Friday, April 19, 2013

What Every Christian Needs To Know About The Qur'an by James R. White

You know, growing up in a multi-religious society, you'd think that I'd know the basics of the major religions. Well, I know what Buddhism, Shinto-ism is about; I know a little about Hinduism, and I know about the different cults (there was a reading phase). But suprisingly (to me anyway), I didn't know much about Islam. Sure, I knew about Hari Raya, about the Haj, but what about the fundamentals?

And along comes this book! It's stated purpose is to

"seek to honestly communicate what the Qur'an says about who God is, what His purpose are, and how we are to know Him."

At first, I was a little worried about how impartial the book would be, but I came across this line about examining the Qur'an and my fears were put to rest:

"We will invest great effort to examine the text fairly and honestly. If we do so more closely than might seem neccessary, as Christians we must. Just as we ask the Muslim to handle the Bible fairly and listen to it in its own context, so as lovers of truth and consistency we extend the same courtesy."
Just to be on the safe side, I asked my Google+ friend +Brandon Yusuf Toropov if he would listen to my questions. Surprisingly (for me at least), I had a total of... 2 questions. One was on the wives of the Prophet and the other was on the issue of Mushkrim (check spelling) ('idolators'). Both didn't come about because of some mis-representation, the questions arose because I wanted more answers.

The book looks at "The Qur'an and Muhammad of Mecca", an introduction to the Qur'an, and then on to the different theological positions, like what the Qur'an says about the Trinity, Jesus, Salvation. Then, the book looks at the Bible, to see if it's been corrupted, and if there are any prophesies about Muhammad in the Bible. Lastly, the book looks at the "Perfection of the Qur'an". It's slightly over 300 pages, but it packs a lot of punch. In fact, if there was an expanded edition, I'd probably buy it straightaway.

After each chapter, there are extensive footnotes and at the end, there is an extensive bibliography. In my opinion, this makes it a good book as a starting point for a study of Christianity and Islam.

Because this book is aimed at Christians, the book is very much focused on how Christianity and Islam relate to each other. Apart from the Christian, the author has written this book for the Muslim reader in mind too (they have a note at the beginning and the end of the book). I'm really hoping that a Muslim will read this book too and let everyone know what their opinion is. Still, I think it's possible for anyone to learn something from this book.

Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.

No comments :

Post a Comment

I really do appreciate all comments, and I'll try my best to reply within 24 hours!