Saturday, May 29, 2010

From “Guidance” to The Way

Here are a couple posts today that illustrate the difference between Biblical faith and Islam.  I will underline for emphasis what I’m hinting at.  The first is from Duane Miller on the The Two Adams of Islam and Christianity:

The fundamental difference between Islam and Christianity is then anthropological—or more precisely, hamartiological. Adam did sin, he was indeed punished, but in no way did his guilt develop into what Christians have variously called original sin or original stain. In the Adam narrative [in the Qur'an], as in Gen 3:15 and 3:21, we already have intimations of how this narrative will play out. In the Qur’anic narrative God appears to simply forgive Adam, and then warns him to follow his guidance and not turn from his message. In the Genesis narrative, however, we have hints that God will somehow conquer the serpent through Eve, and furthermore God himself sacrifices an animal to provide garments for Adam and Eve indicating that their garment of fig leaves was not sufficient for covering their nakedness. Both of these would become important images for the early Christians as they struggled towards the formulation of the orthodox tradition. (pp 503, 4)

Miller, Duane Alexander. 2010. ‘Narrative and Metanarrative in Christianity and Islam’ in St Francis Magazine, Vol 6:3, June, pp 501-16.

The next is Jesus at the Centre from Of First Importance:

“There is nothing in the Gospels more significant than the way in which Jesus deliberately places Himself at the very centre of His message. He does not say with other teachers, ‘The truth is everything, I am nothing’; He declares ‘I am the truth.’ He does not claim, with the founders of certain ethnic religions, to suggest answers to the world’s enigmas; He claims to be the answer — ‘Come unto Me, and I will give you rest.’ He does not offer the guidance of a code or a philosophy to keep men right through the uncertainties of an unknown future; He says, ‘Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.’”

- James S. Stewart, A Faith to Proclaim (Vancouver, BC; Regent College Publishing, 2002), 122.

May we learn how to turn Muslims from “guidance” to The Way.

Related: Islam is Guidance: A Complete Legal Code for Humankind

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