- Taschenbuch: 316 Seiten
- Verlag: Bethany House (15. April 2013)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0764209760
- ISBN-13: 978-0764209765
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 14 x 1,8 x 21,6 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 2 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 73.761 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur'an (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 15. April 2013
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Learn What Islam Really Teaches, Straight From Its Sacred Text
Relying on the media and politicians to tell us what Muslims believe isn't going to cut it. Christians need to be better informed, whether the goal is to understand global politics or to talk to a Muslim neighbor across the street.
Through fair and accurate use of the Qur'an and other documents, scholar and accomplished debater Dr. James White examines what Muslim sacred texts teach about Christ, salvation, the Trinity, the afterlife, and other crucial topics. This book provides the answers you've been looking for to engage in open, honest discussions about Islam with Muslims and others.
"An excellent introduction for Christians who want to be more informed about Islam than what they can learn from news reports and the Internet. Dealing not only with historical facts but also deep theological and prophetic questions, the book is valuable for all Christians who want to communicate intelligently with their Muslim friends and neighbors." -"-The Baptist Standard"
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
James R. White is the author of several acclaimed books, including "The God Who Justifies" and "The Forgotten Trinity." The director of Alpha and Omega Ministries, a Christian apologetics organization, he is an accomplished and respected debater and an elder of the Phoenix Reformed Baptist Church. James also blogs at the Alpha and Omega Ministries site www.aomin.org. He and his family live in Phoenix, Arizona.
Sehr hilf- und lehrreich, dann das Buch jedem weiterempfehlen
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With that regard, I think Dr. James White has exemplified how Christians should speak to Muslims in accordance with their respective worldviews. What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur'an is not just another in a long line of polemical works designed to aid Christian evangelists and missionaries in reaching out to Muslims. Granted, it is that, but at the same time, it is so much more than that. This new book lays out many of the pertinent issues concerning the Qur'an. White has gone out of his way in learning Arabic, studying secondary Islamic sources such as the ahadith and tafaasir (if you don't know what those words mean, don't worry, the book comes with a glossary), and listening to lectures by Islamic scholars in order to figure out how Muslims regard their own holy text, as well as how they interact with the Christian Bible. White expands upon many of the arguments that Muslims and Christians have long thrown at each other in their polemic discussions from as far back as the earliest encounters between the two faiths. In addition, he also utilizes new information, based on academic works that have come out in the past few years, in order to update our knowledge of Islam, and bring new arguments and evidence onto the table.
The first couple of chapters of the book provide the basic background information necessary to understand the Qur'an. White begins in chapter 1 by tracing the early years of Islam, during the lifetime of its founder, Muhammad. He takes it for granted that Muhammad is a real historical figure, and that much of what is contained in the Islamic tradition regarding him is reliable, although he does note in passing the publication of recent works that challenge that consensus (pg. 20). A lot of the material is based on direct quotations from sira (biographical) literature, and White does note varying accounts of the same anecdotes as found in different sources (such as the contradictory accounts of the reasons behind Muhammad's death in pp. 46-47).
This is followed by a discussion of the Islamic view of the Qur'an in chapter 2, which goes into how the book is arranged, as well as the theology behind its origins. The main thing to be noted from this section is how the Qur'an is considered the direct speech of God as dictated from an eternally pre-existent heavenly tablet to Muhammad, who acts merely as a passive recipient and reciter of the revelation. This is in stark contrast from the Christian view of revelation where multiple authors write the various books of the Bible under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Granted, this view of the Qur'an is not universally held by all Muslims, but it is the orthodox viewpoint in Sunni Islam, which cannot be challenged without grave consequences.
The rest of chapters go into the various topics that frequently come up in Christian-Muslim dialogues. White goes into the Islamic doctrine of God, discussing the Qur'anic view of God's oneness (tawheed) in chapter 3, and how the Qur'an accuses of Christians of shirk (idolatry) for their belief in the Trinity. Critically important to this discussion is chapter 4, where White goes through the relevant Qur'anic texts, and shows that its author did not understand the Christian doctrine of God, and frequently misrepresents it (a stunning thing if this was, in fact, the direct speech of God as opposed to the fallible ideas of Muhammad).
Chapter 5 goes into the Qur'anic references to Jesus, where White shows that the Qur'anic person of Isa ibn Maryam is completely different from the Jesus of the New Testament, such that we could only conclude that the former is not a real person, but an argument. As White notes, none of Jesus' statements in the Qur'an (with one exception) have any identifiable historical context, rendering them completely divorced from reality (p. 107). This discussion is continued in chapter 6, which discusses the Islamic denial of the crucifixion, a denial that is based on a single verse (Surah 4:157), which is far from clear in its context, contradicts other verses in the Qur'an, has no unanimous interpretation among Muslim exegetes, and contradicts everything that we know from both Christian and non-Christian historical sources regarding Jesus' death. The Islamic viewpoint at this point is essentially reduced to fideism, as all the contemporary accounts are nullified by a source coming six centuries later that claims that these eyewitnesses were in fact deceived by Allah into thinking that Jesus died (which has some very troubling implications for the nature of God in Islam that we do not have time to get into here).
Chapter 7 is also important to consider for those who want to discuss the Gospel with Muslims. White talks about the Islamic view of salvation. While Islam stresses the mercy of God, White notes in this chapter how Islam fails to harmonize God's mercy with God's justice, leaving the conflict between the two attributes hanging in mid-air. This is, of course, contrasted with the Christian perspective, where these attributes are magnificently brought together at the cross of Christ. These differences (along with the aforementioned denial of the crucifixion and atonement) must always be kept at the forefront when discussing the differences in viewpoint on salvation, in order to clear up the barriers of communication that presently exist between the two faiths.
Chapter 8 is, I would argue, the most significant chapter in the entire book from an apologetic perspective. Christians must note that every appeal to the Bible is quickly short-circuited by the fact that Muslims regard the Bible as having been corrupted. This is an accusation that, funny enough, is nowhere to be found in the Qur'an. On the contrary, the Qur'an and the earliest Muslim commentators on it took it for granted that the text of the Bible, while misunderstood and neglected, had not been altered textually. The viewpoint that the text of the Bible had been corrupted wholesale came somewhat later, became popular through the polemics of Ibn Hazm during the tenth century, and is now standard fare in almost all Muslim polemics against Christianity, even though some Muslim scholars to this day (such as Mahmoud Ayoub) challenge this and assert that the Qur'an merely accuses the Jews and Christians of misinterpreting the text, not corrupting it. White here makes copious use of the research put forward by Gordon Nickel, whose recent book is perhaps the most scholarly and comprehensive work out on this topic to date (see below). Once the integrity of the Biblical text can be established, there is not much left standing in the way towards vindicating every other doctrine of the Christian faith over against the Islamic claims to the contrary.
Chapter 9 discusses the Islamic claim that Muhammad is found in the Bible. This claim comes to many Christians as a surprise, yet Muslims the world over take it for granted that the Bible contains references to Muhammad, whether they've actually read the Bible or not. The common texts put forward by polemicists such as Ahmed Deedat are examined and shown to be quite contrary to the Islamic claims, as they cannot be utilized in support of Islam without completely mangling them out of their context. The Qur'an's claim that Muhammad in the Bible is shown to be one of the most blatant errors found in its text, and is stands as a witness to its fallibility.
The last two chapters deal with the common claims Muslims make about the Qur'an's perfection. Chapter 10 talks about the parallel texts found within the Qur'an, showing that they are consistent with a human author reciting to different audiences, but are inconsistent with a divine recitation coming from an eternally pre-existent heavenly tablet. There are also clear parallels between it and apocryphal texts such as the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, as well as Jewish sources such as the Babylonian Talmud. White shows that the author of Qur'an clearly did not know the difference between the biblical stories and later post-biblical legends. Finally, chapter 11 talks about textual variants in the Qur'an, showing how Islamic tradition itself testifies against the claim of a uniform Qur'anic text, and makes use of the most recent published works on Qur'anic textual criticism such as Stephen Powers and Keith Smalls on Qur'anic textual criticism (again, see below) to finally put this claim to rest.
One note I should make note of about this book is that while it is detailed, it is not exhaustive. The book's title is What Every Christian NEEDS to Know About the Qur'an, meaning that there are many other issues that, while germane to the discussion of Islam, are not essential to know. For example, White stays out of the contemporary political debates. Although brief references to the dhimma system are made (such as in p. 120), he largely avoids the question of whether or not Islam is a peaceful and tolerant religion. This is for the better, not only because there are already a flood of books on this topic out in the market, but also because discussing it does little to advance the cause of Christian-Muslim theological debate. There are many other topics that he could have discussed, but chose only to mention in passing, if at all. No mention is made, for example, of Islam's substandard view of women , or of the troubling implications of the doctrine of taqiyyah and the view that Allah is the "Greatest of Deceivers" (Khair-ul-Makireen). White had an opportunity to discuss this doctrine when he touched upon Surah 3:54, but instead chose to pass over it and move on (pp. 114-115). While I'm not faulting him for this, per se, I do think it is pertinent to take the doctrine of taqiyyah into account when discussing the tactics of Muslim missionaries, both here in the west and around the world.
Another thing that I should note about this book is that it is not the kind of book one would read casually if one does not already have some prior experience in dealing with Muslims. In fact, if you are learning about Islam for the first time, I would suggest reading a shorter book first (such as Mateen Elass's Understanding the Qur'an: A Quick Christian Guide to the Muslim Holy Book) before diving into this one. While the first couple of chapters begin smoothly enough, the learning curve tends to become a bit steeper from chapter 3 onwards, as White uses a lot of his academic tools in analyzing the Qur'anic texts, quoting from many secondary Islamic sources, exegetic the Arabic text and applying a classic Van Tillian presuppositional methodology in internally critiquing the Islamic perspective. For those who do not already have a basic grasp of Islamic terminology, expect to turn the page towards the glossary at the back quite often.
For those who are in the front lines of Christian-Muslim dialogue and debate, however, this book is an extremely valuable resource. This is where White's scholarship shines the brightest. Dividing Line junkies such as myself are aware of Dr. White's "reading habits" (for the uninitiated, Dr. White is a bicyclist who listens to audio books during his morning exercises), and we see the result of that in this book. The endnotes are especially valuable for the academically-inclined, as there are copious references that one could follow to obtain more information there. Other than the references to the primary hadith collections such as Sahih al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, White quotes some very important scholarly works, such as the recently published book by Dr. Gordon Nickel, entitled, Narratives of Tampering in the Earliest Commentaries on the Qur'an, as well as Keith E. Small's Textual Criticism and Qur'an Manuscripts. These are the types of works which Christians need to utilize in future discussions with Muslims, and by presenting the materials in a more accessible format, White makes it easier to bring these evidences to a popular level.
In his endorsement of Dr. White's book, pastor Thabiti Anyabwile calls What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Qur'an "a game-changer for Muslim-Christian dialogues about the Qur'an, the Bible and our claims to truth." I am inclined to agree with pastor Anywabwile on this. This book is a necessary part of every Christian evangelist and apologist's library, especially given the accelerating efforts by Muslims to propagate Islam in the west through da'wah. I also highly recommend this to every Muslim, as White shows how a Christian, armed with all the tools and knowledge that a religious scholar may have on the two faiths, can provide a fair yet compelling critique of the Islamic worldview.
The only caveat is that this book is pretty involved. I find that many want sort of a crib notes on the Quran. This is not that. This is a work for those who have a serious desire to dig into the Quran.
We have flashbacks to 911 and other terrorist attacks preformed by Islamic fundamentalists but most Christians know little to nothing about Islam or the Qur'an. Many of us get our information on this subject from the news media which isn't a very reliable source of accurate information.
So what are Christians to do? Well, there have been a few good books and resources for Christians but they've been few and far between, at least that's been my experience, but James White has recently written a book that will certainly help in our understanding Islam.
His new book is called "What Every Christian Needs To Know About The Qur'an" and is a scholarly, well balanced and truthful look at Muhammad, the Qur'an, and some of the important issues related to the Christian. The book is well organized and well written. There are tones of end notes which make it a treasure chest for deeper study. It even has a small glossary in the back along with a wonderful bibliography.
It should be noted this book isn't intended to discuss everything you could ever want to know about the Qur'an as Mr. White clearly states "It is not my intention to write an exhaustive compendium of Qur'anic knowledge. Almost no one could, and certainly I could not, even if I wished to do so. My aims are far more focused and modest." His aim is to deal with the major issues that relate to the Christian.
Let me say plainly, the title is "What Every Christian Needs To Know About The Qur'an" not "An Idiots Guide To The Qur'an". I read one review of the book that complained that it was "...so academic that it would be difficult for "every Christian" to follow." Please understand this is information we NEED to know not some simplistic book on how to talk to a Muslim friend over a cup of coffee. We need to be called to a higher level as Christians not to a dumbing down. You can read this book! It's not necessarily an easy read but you can read it.
Let me mention two things that I learned from this book (there were many).
. 1) That the Qur'an is not the only authoritative source for the Muslim and that the Qur'an is not really a parallel to the Bible.
"...in the Christian mind it would be a mistake to make a direct connection to the role of the Bible, for the true parallel between the Qur'an and Christianity is to be found in Jesus Himself, the Word of God. As we will see, Muslims view the mechanism of `inspiration' very differently and have another source of authority (hadith) that, at least in function, more closely parallels the Bible than does the Qur'an." (Page 13)
2) The importance of and understanding of Tawhid. What is Tawhid and how does that idea govern the Muslim and why is that important to the Christian?
"Ask any sincere follower what defines Islam, and they will answer quickly. Tawhid, the glorious monotheistic truth, the heart of Islamic faith, is to the Muslim what the Trinity is to the Christian: the touchstone, the nonnegotiable, the definitional." (Page 59)
In light of the times we live in I think this is a must read for every Christian. Again it's not simplistic and it might take some time to read through it but you will be much better equipped to talk with Muslims and understand more accurately what the key issues that separate us are.
I highly recommend this book to all Christians and especially those who are preachers and teachers
The first three chapters introduce readers to Muhammad, the Qur'an, and Islamic monotheism (tawhid). In these chapters, and throughout the book, White’s presentation hews closely to Islamic beliefs that are shared by all Muslims (Sunni and Shia). He bases his description of Muhammad’s life and early Islamic history in the Qur'an and ahadith. In other words, he utilizes the same sources that Islamic theologians utilize. This leads Christian readers directly to the textual sources of the Muslim faith and assures them that White’s critiques are based on authoritative texts Muslims themselves acknowledge.
The next four chapters focus on areas where the Qur’an and ahadith either misinterpret or contradict orthodox Christianity—or both. Chapter 4 demonstrates that the Qur'an critiques a Trinitarian doctrine that no orthodox Christian holds. Chapter 5 demonstrates the fundamental contradictions between what the Bible and the Qur'an say about Jesus. Chapters 6 and 7 turn to the doctrine of salvation, showing that Muslims deny that Christ died on the cross to graciously atone for people’s sins.
When Christians point out these misinterpretations and contradictions to Muslims, Muslims respond by claiming that Christians have “corrupted” their Bible, either by misinterpreting or rewriting the New Testament. The final four chapters thus turn to issues of translation, literary sources, and textual criticism. These are the most technical chapters in the entire book, but they also repay careful study. They demonstrate that Christians have not in fact “corrupted” their Bible and that the textual transmission of the Qur'an is not as clean as Muslims commonly believe.
For Christian readers, the effect of White’s overall argument is a shoring up of the intellectual defenses of their faith in Jesus Christ against Muslim assaults on the same. For Muslim readers the effect may be to raise a troubling question: Can we trust an allegedly inspired book that makes false statements about other religions and rests on questionable textual foundations?
I recommend What Every Christian Should Know About the Qur'an to both Christian and Muslim readers, though especially the former. We live in an age of great conflict between these two religious communities. Rather than focusing on a small minority of terrorists who commit violence in the name of Islam (against the wishes of the vast majority of Muslims, by the way), we should focus our critique on the doctrines and practices that all Muslims hold in common. Doing so is less exciting, perhaps, than the evening news, but it is also more helpful to the long-term project of winning Muslim hearts and minds.
People may disagree with him but they could never say he does not know his stuff. This book is no exception. He has been debating Islam for years now. He was talking about it even before Christians knew it would be a factor.
I knew a little about Islam before, but only bits and pieces. White explains in the introduction:
"The reality is that there are areas--one being Islam in general and the Qur'an in particular--in which the literature is so vast, and the terminology gap so large, that the resultant task is, or at least seems, too daunting for even the most committed believer."
White takes these vast resources and summarizes them for our benefit. Islam is growing faster than we could ever imagine. You would think after what happen on 9-11 that people would shun a religion that believes people should convert or die. But we live in a world where people would rather embrace a lie than to believe the truth.
White's book is very understandable. He starts with a short biography of Mohamed then moves on to exegete the Qur'an itself. He shows the differences in Islam and Christianity. He exposed Islam for the false religion it is.
I really liked this book. I highly recommend it and give it 5 out of 5 stars.
I received this book free of charge from Bethany House Publishers and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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