I have a brother that is married to a Muslim. They disagree w/ your “19 Reflections on the Current Crisis” in your Winter 2001 issue of your newsletter. He wrote as follows and we are wondering how to respond. Any help?
Following is his letter...
I got your mail from Randy Alcorn. When Alcorn writes that “without Christ they will go to hell” (point 17) he could be so interpreted by some as being correct with respect to Jews, who don’t see Christ as their Messiah, but this is definitely not the case for Muslims. Not only does Islam recognize the historical Jesus as the Messiah, but they also assume that Jesus Christ will set up his kingdom in the end times.
The Koran is very clear on the fact the Mohammed was only a messenger bringing God’s word to the Arabs in the Arabic language (“There is no god but God and Mohammed is His messenger,” i.e. he Is Indeed and Only Is a messenger) and had nothing new to say that had not already been revealed by the Hebrew and Christian prophets. e.g. Sura (book) XLI “Distinguished” (Arberry translation), verse 44: “Naught is said to thee (i.e. to Mohammed by God) but what already was said to the Messengers before thee.” NB: “the Messengers” refers to the OT and NT prophets and Christ, but not to Ishmael.
Where does Alcorn get his idea that Muslims don’t believe in Christ, in his crucifixion, his ascension to heaven, etc.? My wife has a very deep and personal faith in Jesus Christ and was very hurt by Randy’s “misleading, ignorant, exclusionist” statements.
The issue seems to be what Muslims believe about Jesus Christ. My question would be: “What does your sister-in-law not believe about Jesus that keeps her from becoming a Christian?” The things stated in your brother’s letter that Muslims believe are not the issues of saving faith. There is no mention of Jesus’ Deity or its corollary, equality with the Father. There also appears to be no recognition of His exclusionist claims to be the only means of salvation (John 14:6).
Truth is by its very nature narrow and exclusionary; it is therefore of utmost importance to examine the credentials of those claiming to dispense it. The only thing that gives any weight to what Randy or I or anyone else says on matters of eternal import is whether what we say accurately reflects what Jesus said or confirmed. Ephesians 1:15-23 gives a powerful picture of Jesus’ identity; isn’t it inconceivable that anyone believing this would continue to primarily identify with anyone else?
I will pray that God will give you discernment as you interact with your loved ones and that God will enlighten their understanding so that they can see Jesus clearly for all that He is.