Islamic Theology and Worldview B Y D R. S A M L A R S E N R T S P R O F E S S O R O F M I S S I O N S E M E R I T U S

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1 Islamic Theology and Worldview B Y D R. S A M L A R S E N R T S P R O F E S S O R O F M I S S I O N S E M E R I T U S

2 Islamic Theology and Worldview Since there are many variants among individual Muslims, does it really matter what the historic Islamic consensus may be? Yes. Psalm 115:8 says of false gods: Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them. We become like the ones (or One) we truly worship! And God will not allow His glory to be accorded to any false god (Isa. 42:8).

3 I. Islamic Theology A. Doctrine of God: Are Allah of the Qur an and the God of the Bible the same??? 1. Allah s sheer freedom from any constraints lead to a. Abrogation: contradictions are accepted the later verses of the Qur an abrogate earlier ones if any conflict is apparent b. Forgiveness or judgment based on Allah s decision at the moment and need not harmonize with any other trait or attribute than his sheer will c. No assurance of salvation

4 Islamic Theology A. Doctrine of God (cont.) d. Christian belief in the Trinity, according to the Qur an, is the carnal relationship of the Father with Mary, resulting in the birth of Jesus

5 Islamic Theology 2. The God of the Bible, by contrast, while not bound by anything external to Himself, is constrained by His own character and perfections ( holiness ) a. Yahweh cannot lie, change, or deny Himself, and He is a God of hesed (faithfulness) b. Therefore believers can trust the promises of Yahweh, and may have assurances of their standing with Him (and their salvation) c. The biblical Trinity nowhere includes Mary, but rather teaches that God is one, yet three Persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) who have an I-Thou-He relational communion within one Personal Being (not as a committee or small group!)

6 Islamic Theology B. Islamic doctrine of divine revelation: 1. Muhammad is the seal of the prophets (final and infallible) 2. The Qur an is inimitable (not translatable) and co-eternal in Arabic (in its present form) with Allah 3. Jesus did not write down his words and was misrepresented by his apostles (the only parts of the Bible that Muslims accept, and only where they do not contradict the Qur an, are the books of Moses, the Psalms, and the Gospels)

7 Islamic Theology C. Islamic doctrine of salvation 1. The natural human condition is not fallen and sinful, but simply ignorant 2. Allah mercifully gives instruction to the ignorant and calls upon them to submit to it (dawa) 3. Those who submit (muslims) must join the community (umma) that is entirely ordered upon the Islamic law (sharia)

8 Islamic Theology C. Islamic doctrine of salvation (cont.) 4. Muslims are obligated to participate in jihad, or inward and outward war against all that resists submission to Allah (including warfare against all non-muslim states and groups) 5. Paradise awaits the faithful muslim, if Allah on the day of judgment chooses to show mercy and favor but none can know until that day

9 II. Islamic Worldview A. Identity 1. A muslim does not exist autonomously from the umma (community of faith), and all of life and society is to be governed by the teachings of Islam (imposed upon others when the umma within a society becomes a majority) 2. Strict Islam teaches that membership in the global umma takes precedence over family, ethnic, and nation-state loyalties (compare the biblical teaching re the Body of Christ)

10 Islamic Worldview B. Beliefs and Values 1. Muslims trust to Allah s mercy, which they can attract by doing things that please him (merit) without need of a Savior or substitute to satisfy their debt for sin and to achieve perfect righteousness in their behalf (instead, the Gospel is blasphemy ) 2. Much of the Muslim world operates upon a shame/honor basis (cf. Roland Muller s three civilizational axes of fear/power, guilt/innocence, and shame/honor; cf. the biblical perspective)

11 Islamic Worldview C. Allegiance 1. Muslims must submit to the teachings of Islam as found in the Qur an, the Sunna, the Dhimma, and Sharia law 2. Since lay Muslims cannot be expert in all of the above texts and traditions of Islam, they must submit to a teacher (imam, mullah, ayatollah, or shaikh), often with an oath of allegiance to the death

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