Christian Misunderstanders of Islam


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Ah yes!—the tender trap.  But, as any objective scholar of Islam can attest, this is sheer nonsense.  Islam didn’t sell itself through tenderness but through terror.  Once, when a Jewish tribe surrendered to Muhammad’s forces, he ordered the beheading of over 700 of the captives.  On another occasion he ordered that some captured thieves have their eyes gouged out, and their arms and legs cut off on opposite sides.  Inquiring students at places such as Boston College, Calvin College and Wheaton might want to supplement their Kreeft with some samplings from the Hadith and The Life of Muhammad.

Kreeft’s tendency to confuse Islamic concepts with Christian beliefs continues in his treatment of jihad.  The secular media, says Kreeft, has created the false impression that jihad is a duty to wage war against unbelievers.  But, according to Isa, jihad, is, in reality, “the inner struggle against evil.”  The trouble is, the evidence for this interpretation is minimal.  In one Hadith—the one which Isa quotes—Muhammad is reported to have said, “the most excellent jihad is for the conquest of self.”  But this is from a Hadith of doubtful provenance and, in any event, the Koran makes it quite clear in several places which is the more excellent jihad.  For example:  “Do you pretend that he who gives a drink to the pilgrims and pays a visit to the Sacred Mosque is as worthy as the man who believes in God and the Last Day, and fights for God’s cause?  These are not held equal by God.” (9. 19-20)

Once again, Kreeft seems to be projecting Christian concerns onto Islam—in this case, the notion of an interior spiritual struggle against sin.  In fact, there is very little sense of “soul struggling” in Islam.  As Nonie Darwish puts it:

“This ‘inner struggle’ business is hogwash.  In the Arab world there is only one meaning for jihad, and that is:  a religious holy war against infidels…I have never heard of any discussion of inner struggle in my thirty years living in the Middle East.  Such nonsense is a PR ploy for Western consumption only…”

Western style soul searching is a rare commodity in Muslim lands.  As Raphael Patai points out in his classic study, The Arab Mind, “One of the important differences between the Arab and the Western personality is that in Arab culture, shame is more pronounced than guilt.”  In other words, there is less sense of personal sin and personal responsibility in the Arab world.  One behaves oneself to avoid censure.  Thus, Isa’s preoccupation with the “war against evil within” is entirely unrepresentative of Muslim thinking.  Kreeft is right in his contention that many Christians have lost the sense of sin and spiritual struggle, but it’s quite a stretch to think that they are going to find it again by looking to Islam.

Isa’s attitudes may be unrepresentative of Muslims but, unluckily, Kreeft’s favorable disposition toward Islam is representative of many influential Christians.  He is not alone in his attempt to “reach across the aisle” and find common ground with Islam.  Despite the increasingly bloody persecution of Christians in the Muslim world, many Christian leaders still cling to the pious hope that there is some slight misunderstanding between Islam and Christianity that can be cleared up by more dialogue.  Dialogue with Islam has, in fact, become something of a growth industry.  It’s no longer confined to high-level theologians:  it’s become the in-thing for parishes and congregations.  In the last few years, numerous Christian churches across America have invited Islamic speakers to come in and explain Islam to them.  The rationale is that “people fear what they don’t understand,” and once we understand Islam we will see that there is nothing to fear.

Kreeft shares that hope.  As he puts it, “I think this high and honorable dialogue between two high and honorable faiths will continue…and that something great will come of it.”  But what if he’s wrong?  If, in reality, there is little common ground between Islam and Christianity, Christians will find not only that they have been misinformed, but also that they have been put at a serious disadvantage.  The time that Christians waste pursuing false hopes is time that Islamic activists will use to press their agenda.  Instead of finding common ground with Islam, Christians will find that they have lost ground—in both the cultural and geographical sense.

We are in a high stakes struggle with Islam.  It’s one that doesn’t allow for much margin of error.  You can misinterpret or completely ignore the beliefs of Jains or Buddhists, and still rest secure that your life will go on as before.  But misinterpreting Islam could turn out to be fatal mistake.  If it turns out that jihad is not, after all, an interior spiritual struggle, but rather a serious obligation to subdue non-Muslims, a lot of Western Christians are going to be woefully unprepared for the kind of things that are already happening to Christians in Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia and Nigeria.

Peter Kreeft has written some of the finest works of Christian apologetics of the last four decades.  But he’s off base with this one.  Seeing that Kreeft has been highly influenced by C.S. Lewis, and is considered by many to be a worthy successor to Lewis, he might want to take a second look at Lewis’ views on finding common ground with an alien faith.  In The Last Battle, Lewis’ fictional account of the conflict between the Christian-like Narnians and the Muslim-like Calormenes, the Narnian have been deceived into believing that their God, Aslan, and Tash, the demonic God of the Calormenes actually have much in common.  “Tash” and “Aslan” they are told are only two different names for the same God.  In reality, “Tash is Aslan: Aslan is Tash.”  After a while, the hybrid God is simply referred to as “Tashlan.”  As time passes, however, the worship of Tashlan becomes simply the worship of Tash, and the Narnians find themselves enslaved by the followers of Tash.

It may be that the same God listens to the prayers of both Christians and Muslims, but Muslims take their marching orders from the God of the Koran.  And in many respects the Allah of the Koran is as different from the God of the New Testament as Tash is from Aslan. Today’s common-ground-at-any-cost Christians would do well to ponder Lewis’ instructive tale about the dangers of cultivating a “Tashlan” mentality.

William Kilpatrick’s articles have appeared in FrontPage Magazine, First Things,Catholic World Report, National Catholic Register, Jihad Watch, World, and Investor’s Business Daily.

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  • YeshuaisAdonai

    I think a Christian misunderstanding of Christianity is the core of this problem. We were commissioned to spread the Gospel. Period. This non-sense of trying to find common ground with an ideology that stands in direct contradiction to everything Jesus taught is wasting time that could be better spent speaking with genuinly interested inquirers. The emphasis of Jesus as kind and merciful has overshadowed His sharp criticism of immorality and his strong stand against comprimise with falsehood. One of the greatest examples of this is Matthew 23 which shows Jesus delivering the most blistering denunciation of His ministry. Conversely these same Christian symathizers turn their attention to fellow Christians and attempt to silence any criticism of Islam by quoting the "Judge not" verse without taking the context of the passage into account. It was referring to the hypocritical judgement of persons not the righteous judgement of teachings. Later Jesus told his disciples that when they judge to do so righteously. This is a lesson that many here in the west, and Christians in particular, could do well taking to heart.

    • inagreement

      well said

    • J. Pottorff

      Excellent ! ! ! ! ! ! !
      Thanks for putting my thoughts on this in perfect form.

      • dhimminology

        To YeshuaisAdonai:

        Amen and Amen! Agree completely!

    • bdouglasaf1980

      Very good statement. Another part many Christians forget is the part about shaking the dust off your feet of the place that rejects your message. In other words, if they won't listen leave them alone.

  • Beverley

    So Peter Kreeft is a Catholic and believes in some kind of Christian unity with the Muslims. Is he crazy or what … you can't even get Christian unity with Christian's. Why because half the Christians don't even know what the Bible teaches. They just sit in church and let the 'priest' tell them what it say's. No wonder Kreeft thinks it is ok to get into bed with the Muslims a lot of churches like to mix and match.

    Besides our morality, goodness, and sanctity God says … "But we are all like a unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags". Isaiah 64:6

  • stephencuz

    I have been a devout follower of Peter Kreeft as well as C.S. Lewis. I use his works ("The Unaborted Socrates") to refute arguments. I am extremely disappointed in his stance. It appears to me that he has fallen into the trap of beginning from a false premise. He accounts to the Muslim the same moral code as the Christian. This article exposes this as false. Well done Mr. Kilpatrick. I think Dr. Kreeft sees this through rose colored glasses. The sad fact is he may find the harsh truth is they are rose colored from the blood of the victims of Islam. I am convinced that he along with most “inclusive” Christians would tell us we must ask WWJD. Well the fact is Jesus would probably challenge them on the spot. He called the Pharisees and sadducees liers and thieves and vipers and murderers. He gave no quarter to falsehood. Instead he provided a curse for those that would dare preach another Gospel. So yeah, maybe we should ask WWJD but without the rose colored glasses on.

  • waterwillows

    Kreefts is off the mark 100%. He has some kind of fuzzy, wishful thinking approach to dealing with evil. One can not whitewash, excuse or justify evil. Nor is there anything to dialogue with. He will wind up being fully devoured by it and seeing reality upside down.
    If he does not turn himself away from his fascination with the perverse, he will have built himself a 'tour of duty' with evil. There is no doubt his tour will be a wide awake eye opener of the worst sort. Better to listen to good advice.

  • Dennis / Tampa

    Gees Louise! What just happened in BAGHDAD the other day? Were 58 or more CATHOLICS murdered while in Church? Hmmm, I wonder if they turned the other cheek, silently allowed the MURDERERS to act, and FORGAVE them before their last breath escaped from their lungs? If so, I am certain the MURDERERS realized what horrific things they had done and immediately asked forgiveness. Yah, just like Hitler must have done before he blinked his last blink repenting for all the Jews who were murdered.

    Oh what a tangled web has been woven when the PERPETRATORS become VICTIMS and elite academics' swathed in P.C. ROBES become the "VOICES OF REASON".

    BEWARE!

  • MMS

    I agree that most Christians don't know the Bible, and not because they've cut themselves off from anything other than actually reading it. Many times, it has just been degraded to the point where it is meaningless. One time a woman I knew from church had gone to some prestigious, layman's theology program at Harvard or somewhere, and basically the gist of what she was taught she showed me by nearly throwing the Bible in the trash. So it's much more complicated than it seems.

    As for Kreeft, he falls into the trap I'm seeing more and more. The problem is the way the category of religion is framed in general. There's this default understanding of it in the West, perhaps based on Christian teachings that have seeped in everywhere, that religion by definition is something transcendent, otherwordly, and pacifist. It simply must somehow at its core be moral. So no one need actually look at teachings of any particular stripe of religion, go back to texts, or what have you, because we all know in this nebulous way that it is all these things. Naturally, anyone who contradicts that will come off kind of weird. It's simply not possible when talking about religion.

  • Chezwick_Mac

    All one need do to ascertain the profound difference in philosophy and ethics between Jesus – as documented in the Gospel, and Muhammad – as documented in the Hadith and the Sirat Rasul, is to study the respective scriptures. Ahhh, but that's asking too much of the apologists and liberals, who embrace their narrative, facts be damned.

    In the Bible, Jesus says "turn the other cheek." In the Hadith, Muhammad says "fight until Allah's religion reigns supreme."

    In the Bible, Jesus says "he who is without sin, let him throw the first stone." In the Hadith Muhammad demands the stoning of the adulterer who has confessed his crime.

    In the Bible, Jesus tells the story of the good Samaritan. In the Sirat Rasul, Muhammad instructs one of his followers to kill a pregnant poetess because of the content of her verse, and after the deed is done, assures the perpetrator that "two Billy-goats won't knock their heads together over it."

    How stark can the contrast be? The equating of these two men and the respective religions that they spawned is one of the great fallacies of modern times…and is only made possible by the absurd relativism of our warped multicultural ethos.

    • Jim C.

      As great as the stark contrast between the New Testament and the bloody, merciless Old Testament, the latter of which resembles the Koran far more than it does the Gospels.

      • Beverley

        The blody, merciless Old Testament was man's inhumanity to man. It was not God telling everyone to kill unbelievers. He knows you can't force people to believe in Him. It has to be a circumcision of the heart. Anyhow Jesus came to fulfill the law.

  • Liberty Clinger

    The Apostolic Tradition is based on a lie. No priest, bishop or pope possesses supernatural powers unavailable to the ordinary Christian man or woman through the action of God's Spirit allied with human reason. Jews need no help from Christians of the "Apostolic Tradition" in order to interpret the Torah; non-Apostolic Protestants are fully capable of understanding the Bible with the aid of their rational minds and God's Holy Spirit – no need to call forth any self-anointed modern day "Apostles." The actual Apostolic mission died with the Apostles themselves – there is no mention of an ongoing "Apostolic Tradition" in the New Testament – only a "priesthood of all believers." The self-serving "Apostolic Tradition" was a requirement for the emergence of an effete class of Christian clergymen who, alongside the effete Monarchy and Nobility, considered themselves, as in Animal Farm, 'more equal than others;" "Apostles" who make sure they are more equal in wealth and political power. The "Apostolic Tradition" is an anachronism which is linked to Medieval Feudalism.

    • Bruce

      Are you making an infallible statement? Well, I know you aren't. But, you need to be shaken from your arrogant self-righteousness. If you knew what apostolic tradition is, you'd embrace it. Tradition means that which is handed on – whether written or orally. St. Paul himself refers to this. The same apostle ordained men to faithfully teach what he handed on, and instructed them to do the same. We would have no Sacred Scriptures if he hadn't! So apostolic tradition is a concept running through the New testament for those with ears to hear. It is the teaching and office of teaching, governing, and sanctifying handed down in the Church through the laying on of hands according to the apostles instructions. If you deny it, there is no one who can hear Christ, because he said to the apostles (and by extension their legitimate successors) who hears you hears me; baptize; do this in memory of me; whose sins you forgive are forgive; I will be with you until the end of the word; etc. Interestingly, he never told them to write or read!

      • Liberty Clinger

        I'm all for the Apostle's inspired written word, i.e.: the New Testament, and I'm all for faithful teaching; but there were no Medieval Apostles and there are no modern Apostles. There is no Apostolic Succession described in the New Testament or instructions for an ongoing Apostleship by Jesus. I have ears to hear God's Word and ears to hear God's faithful Christian teachers, but only skeptical ears for self-anointed illegitimate successor "Apostles." Thank God for the real Apostles.

      • Beverley

        “Beware lest anyone cheat you (plunder you, or take you captive) through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the TRADITIONS OF MEN, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.”
        Col. 2:8

    • Bruce

      …cont…. But, if there is no apostolic tradition and ministry there is absolutely no way to know what Sacred Scripture is except by "arbitrary preference" (which is, in fact, a good definition of Protestantism). Apostolic Tradition, guided as it is by the Spirit of Truth unto all Truth, alone can render a correct interpretation of Scripture.
      Protestantism is so sadly laughably. First they say reason is totally corrupt. Then they say reason can interpret Scripture. And there are new Protestant sects everyday because there are hundreds upon hundreds of different interpretations (and all are apparently valid to a Protestant except the ones they don't like such as the Catholic one). Clearly, it ain't no Holy Spirit of God guiding illogical Protestants.
      Finally, the existence of the Eastern Churches proves your last accusation either a sign of your ignorance or of your ill-will. Medieval Feudalism was a freature of Western Europe. Apostolic Tradition is a concept shared by those Eastern Churches (in Perisa, India, Ethiopia, Syria,) which never had any experience of Medieval Feudalism.

      • Liberty Clinger

        Sacred Scripture can be understood by the ordinary man and woman despite your elitist assertion to the contrary; all it takes is the ability to read and think along with the Spirit of God acting within the mind – no priest, bishop or pope is required because the Christian has a direct path to God through Christ. Thank God for invention of the printing press and wide dissemination of God's Word in the various languages of people. Had it been left to the popes and people like you the common man would still be at the mercy of an effete group of religious overlords working in tandem with their Kings and Nobles, and the Bible would be available only in Latin and only for a self-anointed religious minority.

      • Liberty Clinger

        The Protestant Reformation represents liberation of the human mind from the shackles of what was at the time a perverted self-serving Church in name only, a Church more interested in earthly property, privilege and political power than in God. Your disgusting view of Protestants being devoid of God's Holy Spirit is an opinion no doubt shared by so-called Christians as they burned Protestants and Jews at the stake, and a violation of Christ's direct command:

        "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? .. Hypocrite!" Jesus Christ

        As for the association between Christian priests and tyranny in other lands and at other times, I believe Thomas Jefferson knew better than you.

        “In every country and every age, the priest had been hostile to Liberty.” Thomas Jefferson

    • jim

      Over 33 thousand protestant denominations worldwide all claiming to interpret the bible on their own. Nothing but a bunch of prideful bable.

      • Liberty Clinger

        Nothing but a bunch of good people doing their best to think with their own minds using intellects endowed by their Creator – doing their best fo follow Jesus Christ. Taking pride in one's ability to read and understand God's Word is a recognition by such individuals that they are made in God's image – that every man is creative – that God gave every man a brain.

      • Liberty Clinger

        Any Christian denomination which considers it's self to have infallible human leadership or which considers its self "the one true church" has descended beneath prideful babble; such a so-called Christian church, once entangled into a nation's legal system, becomes a threat to human freedom.

        "Almighty God hath created the mind free. All attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens . . . are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion… I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.” Thomas Jefferson

  • Matt.2414

    Kreeft is a book salesman. He's not qualified to carry Lewis' briefcase.
    I do think YeshuaisAdonai hit the nail on the head

    • jim

      Lewis was a Christian lightweight. Didn't have the guts to come into full communion as he should have.

      • Liberty Clinger

        You sound more like a Muslim than a Christian – like a Sunni Muslim stating with arrogant confidence that a Shia Muslim hasen't come into "full communion" within the religion of Islam. I have no desire for Christian communion with those who see themselves as members of the "one true church;" those who view other Christians as not in "full communion."

  • Hart

    Kreeft's ideas are wishful thinking – suicidally so in my opinion,
    and stem from the unfounded idea that Muslims and Christians worship the same God – but God is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – and what Moslem will ever acknowledge THAT? They believe that God's blessing is upon the Islamic nations through Hagar's son Ishmael. They base this on "revelations" to some guy in a cave 600 years after the establishment of the Christian church, but current events and recent western history prove that "a tree is known by its fruits" and that one of these two revelations of God is false. The New Testament and the message to the guy in the cave 600 years after that cannot both be correct at the same time.

  • Hart

    [CONTD post above] Read St. Paul's words in Galatians 1, verses 6-9:
    "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. "
    No religion or society is perfect, but the fruit of the Moslem religion in the modern world is unmistakably evil.

  • Jim C.

    True to a point. What Christianity and Islam have in common could probably be typed in one or two paragraphs on one page.

    However, what Judaism and Islam have in common could be written in a multiple books. They have much more in common, theologically, spiritually, and practically, than either do with Christianity. To pretend otherwise is to do mental gymnastics, not to mention miss the message of Christ, altogether.

    So should we Christians be more vigilant of both desert nomads?

    Personally, I am grateful for our Jewish brethren. Perhaps I should look towards Christ when considering hating 1 billion people who follow a religion similar to the one Christ grew up with.

    • dhimminology

      Jim C,

      Interesting observation.
      The differrence is that Judaism seldom proselytyze but in Islam, that's encouraged(by any means – war, intermarriage, deceit, coercion, immigration etc.).
      Islam has many traits similar to Judaism but has some traits taken from Christianity which is devastating to humanity- Islam is a proselytizing religion and claims universality .
      Islam is a theocracy. So is Judaism.
      Islam is legalism. So is Judaism
      The legalism of Judaism is however supposed to be confined to the Jews only. Awaiting for the Messiah, they await a universality of their religion imparted by the Messiah. There is no command in the Old Testament for the Jews to subjugate the whole world and force all peoples into Judaism by brute force. The Messiah is supposed to do that by supernatural means – and not needing the aid of the Jews.
      continue below…

      • dhimminology

        Islam, like Christianity proselytizes but while Christianity speaks in spiritual terms of the individual, Islam pushes its theocracy(which is a national/Arab /ethnic religion akin to Judaism) towards all peoples and nations and do that by the sword. This syncretism of ideas lead to the monstrous politico-religious ideology called Islam. Hence, Judaism is no threat to world peace and humanity(politically-wise) but Islam certainly is.

        • Jim C.

          Well, you make a good point, as well. But I think this "comparative religion" is on shaky ground when we start looking at it politically. No doubt, there is a political dimension to Islam. But that dimension existed, in a very tangible way, in Christianity up until about 300 years ago. Was it "built in" to Christ's teachings? No–at least, not as we interpret them, today. It did exist in Old Testament teachings, though. The difference is in a:) the magnitude and power of the people, and b:) the secularization of Western culture.

          • Jim C.

            The Jews never had the numbers or territory. And science made short work of the chains of religious-based superstitions both empirically and economically. Long story short–the Islamic world needs its Enlightenment period. I think dialogue should not be sneered at: humans prefer freedom. Let's keep the lines open to them.

          • dhimminology

            Jim C,
            I get what you mean. Still, Christ's teaching is innately apolitical although as you have pointed many who called themselves Christians repudiated His teachings and were engaged in warfare and subduing non-Christian peoples. If one truly(and that's the ball game!) follow Christ's teaching…even without secularization, there would be no violence or subjugation by Christians. I can say the same for most other main religions – such as Buddhism which espouses non-violence. The Islamic world cannot have its 'enlightenment period' because there is an inbuilt self-censorship in that politico-religious ideology. Innately, it also espouses violence towrads non-Muslims.

  • blotto

    Oh, for Pete's sake. Making a moral equivalence between Christianity and Islam is beyond stupid. It is the work of spineless and self-serving person who bows before the altar of PC that this work is dedicated to. The left have to make this moral relativism work so that they can delude America into NOT fighting against the encroachment of Islam.

    Dennis/Tampa laid it out perfectly. Oh and McVeigh was not Christian but again the left has to use this red herring to confuse the American public. Dhimmis R Us is the motto of the left.

  • 9-11 Infidel

    Now here is a guy who has neither read his own religious book nor has he read the Muslim Trilogy. Had he done his homework he would have discovered that the children of Ishmael have nothing in common with the Children of Promise; that Islam is the opposite of Christianity; that Allah is at the very least "Baal" at the most he is Muhammed's alter-ego' that Islam meets the criterion spoken of by John when describing what is "anti-Christ."
    This man has nothing in common with CS Lewis. He's as big an idiot as is D'Sousa when it comes to Islam.

  • Long Ben

    Islam is bad news wherever it raises it's filthy head . Take Bethlehem for instance . Bethlehem , the birthplace of Messiah Jesus as foretold in Isaiah 7:14 as well as among other Scriptures such as Micah 5:2 , used to be about 80% Christian until PLO/Mohammedan types showed up . Last time I heard it was only about 20% Christian , the other 60% drove out mainly by violent persecution . A year or two ago a banner was put up there at Christmas time quoting a verse from the koran saying G-d had no Son . Christians should be keenly aware that if Yeshua was not the Son of G-d , Christians are the most miserable among the foolish of humanity . Because if he is not , then our sins are still on us , because if he is not , the blood he willingly poured out was not Holy Blood , and it availed and avails nothing . But He Is . So then it is appropriate to ask ; what fellowship should the Sons of Light have with the sons of Beliah ?

  • Beverley

    Trust me I would not touch the likes of Joel Osteen with a barge pole. I learn from people who only believe in 'Sola Scriptura' (by SCRIPTURE ALONE) who believe in 'Sola Fide' (by faith alone) "Sola Gratia' (by grace alone) "SOLO CHRISTO' (through CHRIST ALONE) and 'Soldi Deo Gloria (to GOD ALONE BE THE GLORY).

  • Melody

    Kreeft is a sound thinker. I would be curious to take a look at the book before dismissing him. Aren't we called to be "all things for all people", in the spirit of St Paul? Didn't St. Francis attempt to convert Muslims? Why should we not try? The fight against abortion has brought us closer than ever to other religions. Why wouldn't fighting other forms of immorality? What is so unchristian about this? Trust in God is paramount, and we must be prepared to lose our lives to defend and spread His message. The blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church. I

    • Mel

      Melody, you make a good point. But Kreeft is clearly making his arguments from an imaginary concept of what Islam actually is. This is a common problem in the west. Everyone from George W. Bush to mainstream media editorialists begin with the false assumption that Islam is a "religion of peace". It simply is not. The gulf between what Islam teaches (by clerics in mosques, and according to their "sacred" texts) and what is portrayed by the mass media (and now arm-chair "thinkers" like Kreeft) is wider than the Grand Canyon.

      Yes, we should be trying to convert Muslims. That is the most loving thing we can do for them. The most cruel thing we could do to Muslim men, women and children (for whom Christ died) is to reinforce — even unwittingly — their erroneous beliefs by attempting to validate or legitimize the demonic message of a false prophet.

  • Jared

    I have been a Kreeft fan for years, especially his talks on iTunes (free by the way). I have not read this book, so cannot comment on any specifics. However, I do think you may want to consider reading this book in light of prior works, or even talks, by Kreeft. I have heard him speak on similar things, and I find it odd that the similarities between Islam and Christianity are not that obvious to other people. Although we don't agree on every theological issue, there are many moral teachings held in common. This becomes the starting point of conversation. How many converts are made by just yelling points? I find this seldom works, if at all. The way to convert, is through a relationship which starts with common bonds that we can discuss. With Islam, there is more in common than with Hinduism. With Hinduism, there is more in common than with Agnosticism. With Agnosticism, there is more in common than with Athiesm. Regardless of who you are speaking with, commonality will be the starting point to discussion. Perhaps this is Kreeft's intention.

    • Mel

      Jared, you are partly right, but how would you begin with any commonality in speaking to a top party member in the Third Reich?

      I think you over state the commonalities between Christianity and Islam. Remember, the devil also believes there is one true God, and is intimately knowledgeable about what we as Christians know to be the truth. Islam, like the devil's shenanigans, is a deception. I'm not saying that our starting point with Muslims is condemnation and "yelling". Our starting point is love. But not any imaginary "common ground" with Islam. Like fascism, Islam's core teachings are at opposite ends of the moral spectrum to Christianity. Unless we recognize that, we risk reinforcing people's false beliefs, rather than pointing them to the one who can truly free them from spiritual bondage.

  • Liberty Clinger

    Protestants are heritics – what a piece of unholy arrogance. It would be more truthful to state that the Medieval Popes, Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops were heritics and that Luther practiced a form of Christianity closer to that of the early Christians. I can see s similarity between your version of the Christian religion and that of the Islamists. Labeling Protestants as "heritics" may be acceptable in your church, but I don't think it is acceptable in the eyes of God or Christ.

  • http://www.realclearreligion.com Genevieve

    His thinking results from the errors contained in Vatican II (specifically religious indifferentism) which he and all his lackeys on Catholic Answers continue to defend.

    So much of this misplaced tolerance of Islam among Catholics can be traced back to VATican II errors. Vatican II dispensed with the idea that the Catholic Church is the One True Church established by Jesus Christ and only those who remain in this Arc will be saved.

    • Liberty Clinger

      There is no "one true church" and no "infallible church" because there is no one true infallible leader of Christians other than Jesus Christ himself. Look no further than the divisions within Christianity are natural and healthy because human minds naturally disagree about Biblical interpretation. Despite those disagreements there is a fairly broad agreement about the Christian faith. Total unity of mind regarding spiritual (or material) matters requires totalitarian power in the hands of fallible men – a never-ending inquisition. Jesus Christ did not establish the Roman Catholic Church – a subset of the Christian Church – Jesus established the whole Christian Church.

    • Liberty Clinger

      There is no significant difference between the erroneous Roman Catholic doctrine of "one true church" and the erroneous Islamic doctrine of "one true religion." When given the opportunity the Roman Catholic Church established it’s self as an ally of medieval totalitarian government (European Monarchies) in a way similar to Islamic governments. The political and legal expression of Roman Catholicism runs parallel to that of Islam under the influence of "one true church."

    • Liberty Clinger

      Here is a perfect example of “apostolic power” and the “one true church.”

      “resting upon the authority of Him whose pleasure it was to place us… upon this supreme justice-seat, we do out of the fullness of our apostolic power declare the foresaid Elizabeth to be a heretic and favourer of heretics, and her adherents in the matters aforesaid to have incurred the sentence of excommunication and to be cut off from the unity of the body of Christ. And moreover (we declare) her to be deprived of her pretended title to the aforesaid crown and of all lordship, dignity and privilege whatsoever. And also (declare) the nobles, subjects and people of the said realm and all others who have in any way sworn oaths to her, to be forever absolved from such an oath and from any duty arising from lordshop. fealty and obedience; and we do, by authority of these presents , so absolve them and so deprive the same Elizabeth of her pretended title to the crown and all other the abovesaid matters. We charge and command all and singular the nobles, subjects, peoples and others afore said that they do not dare obey her orders, mandates and laws.” Pope Pius V, 1570

  • Peter

    Either we learn to love one another in peace or we will die!!!! Kreeft is only stating that we should truly learn about one another!! Yes, there are manipulations and perversions in ALL religions and I don't think that Kreeft is an fool since I am certain he knows what is happening around our geopolitical world. Imagine you're an islamist and all you hear are the negative aspects of the Catholic Church –just how welcoming would you be?? To Kreeft's credit, he is truly opening the discussion and searching deeper about ourselves and the world we ALL live in.

  • Beverley

    The Catholic Church believes in 'Replacement Theologh' . http://www.ldolphin.org/replacement

  • http://n/a Eddie J.

    A Quiz to all of you NewTestament Biblical Scholars!?
    Who Said That:
    *** And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searches the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
    ….please note the phrase (I will kill her children with death)…..emphasis is mine!
    Later.

  • http://n/a Eddie J.

    O.K. Almost the full text from the Book of Revelation. King James Bible ( The Revised Edition!).
    1- Reve.Chap.2-22: Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
    2- Reve.Chap.2-23: And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searches the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
    Well, These are the words of “GOD” as reveled to St. John the Divine. Believe it or not this “GOD” is going around killing and murdering inoccent children just because their mother has commited fornication. The question is! What kind of GOD is this GOD that many millions of Christians believe in….and Jews as well!?
    NO…NO…NO…
    And YES, I believe that the Muslim God and the Christo/Judaic God are two different Gods. The Muslim GOD is the most Gracious GOD and the Most Merciful GOD who cares about all his creation….children included! And not that GOD portrayed above in the holy book of the Revelation who is running around chasing small children so he can kill them just because their mother has commited a sin.
    Peace be upon all who believed the rightful GOD.