In an effort to minister better to some neighbors, as well as to grow in general, I (Jeff) have been reading a book called “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus” about a man named Nabeel. It was very eye-opening to learn about growing up in a culture so different from my own, and yet see things we had in common as we were both boys growing up in the 80s.
People tend to think that the major world religions are basically the same, teaching “be good” and “earn a better after-life.” They assume most religions have a similar amount of historical and practical support, so they should be considered, respected, or dismissed equally. It doesn’t take a lot of research, however, to discover out how incorrect that myth really is. For one thing, the Bible and the Quran disagree strongly and clearly about some pretty important historical facts (such as whether Jesus Christ ever claimed to be God and whether He rose from the dead). One book cannot be true if the other is.
“Muslims believe that Jesus is no more than a prophet, and to consider him God incarnate would be blasphemy and would cause one to be condemned to hell eternally… I had been repeatedly taught that Paul had corrupted Jesus’ message, misleading billions into worshiping the mortal Messiah.”
Nabeel shows in his book how the Bible outshone the Quran in every category, but it took years for him to overcome the blind trust in human authorities who had taught him. He said, “I needed a friend, an intelligent, uncompromising, non-Muslim friend who would be willing to challenge me. Of course, not only would he have to be bold and stubborn enough to deal with the likes of me, but I would have to like and trust him enough to dialogue with him about the things that mattered to me most.” Who trusts you enough to ask you about what matters?