Islam: Terrorism or Theology

I took some time to better familiarise myself with Islamic teaching when I was nineteen. I remember when I first read that Muslim men receive a paradise of seventy-two virgins as a reward if they die for their cause. At the time, I could understand the attraction. It seemed quite the Scooby Snack. Now that I'm a few years older and married with four children, the idea of having to teach seventy-two women how to have sex just seems like a lot of work.

Four or five maybe. But seventy-two?
A man has to know his limits.

Elijah confronts a plurality of beliefs on the mountain. Likewise, in our multi-kulti world, we also encounter a large buffet of ideas and one of the most popular dishes on the buffet at the moment is indeed Islam. Sadly, there are some teachers trying to mix the Gospel with this Mohammedan heresy under the banner of ‘Chrislam’. (Really, it’s a thing. Google it.) The condemnation of such teachers is just. 

In recent years, there has been an increase in violence carried out by some who act in the name of Islam. Usually, there is shock and fear followed by people trying to calm the situation by reminding the public that most Muslims in the UK are moderate and not violent. And we understand the desire to do this. We can happily acknowledge that most Muslims are driven more by a desire to provide bread for their families than to destroy the infidels. Of course, some resent this endlessly repeated refrain and see it as politically correct jellyfishing. Some nationalists use such situations to lambast the whole Muslim community and we should resist such broad brushing.

Let’s understand our priorities as Christians. It is understandable that secular people fear radical Islam. For those of us whose life is hidden with Christ in eternity, such fear is unnecessary though we still may feel it at times. Terrorism can make death more unpredictable and it may take our loved ones at unexpected times. But the ultimate tragedy of humanity is not that we lose loved ones when we least expect it―it’s that we lose them in the first place. The goodbye we must one day make to all our loved ones is inevitable.

It's debated between radical and moderate Muslims to what degree the Qur’an encourages violence towards non-Muslims. This is because some verses are peaceful and some are violent in nature. But unlike the Bible, narrative context is not always clearly given to verses so it can be debated which ones are applicable in which situations. Some think Mohammed’s later verses abrogate his earlier ones. But even this is not universally agreed upon.

What is certain is that the Qur’an denies Jesus’ atoning death on the cross (Q4.157, ‘They did not kill him nor did they crucify him.’) and it denies the hope of Christ's resurrection. Islam teaches that Jesus (Isa) was a mere prophet. This is why we must give ourselves to proclaiming the resurrection of Christ with fresh boldness and compassion. It is Christ alone that can save. If you have him, you no longer wet yourself at the thought of being murdered by a terrorist.

We should be concerned about the veils of both secularism and Islam. They both blind the people around us. The disease of sin is killing them and neither can cure. For this reason, I am more troubled by Islamic theology than by Islamic terrorism. Islam preaches a different Jesus. This Jesus did not die for sins, did not rise, and does not bring us into God’s family. Islam does not teach that we need new hearts or that we can be born again. It teaches that we must simply choose to submit to Allah and hope on judgement day he has mercy on us. Iniquity is not a sickness in Islam, and there is, therefore, no need for a remedy.

We present Muslims with the Good News. A Messiah has come. He is the only one who has perfectly submitted to the will of ‘Allah’ and fulfilled all the commands―and he did it on our behalf. Jesus offers Muslims grace.

As a Christian, you have what they need.

Islamic theology is far more dangerous than a few explosions, knives, or vans driven through crowds. And so is any ideology, secular or religious, that blinds people from the person and work of Jesus. Yes, the bombs can be troublesome. But any theology that denies the death and resurrection of Jesus must be of far greater concern and it must be confronted.
Extract from Elijah Men Eat MeatReadings to slaughter your inner Ahab and pursue Revival and Reform (Get Here) 


  1. You shouldn't be writing about the Qur'an if you think it has no context ...

  2. You can read my Qur'an blog for an alternative view


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