Hi everyone. I was speaking with a friend and there was a question about God’s judgement/wrath and specifically comparing the God of OT to god of Islam. So the goal here is to see and show how the God of OT is different from the god of Islam without referring to Jesus to show his love. The main question is, “Is the God of OT different from the god of Islam without referring to Jesus.” I am, myself, reading the Quran and so I am composing the answer myself but would like to hear your thoughts too.
Why can you mention Jesus? He is mentioned more times in the Quran than Mohammed. Just asking?
Hey Jimmy @Jimmy_Sellers, the implication is that the God of OT is the same as god of Islam Aka wrathful, only loving at times, and that Christians only use NT to justify the love of Christ. For instance, God in Deutronomy 20:17 tells his people to utterly destroy the amorite, canaanite etc. The challenge is that if that’s the case then why couldn’t the god of Islam tell his people to kill the unbelievers too? The other reason for not including Jesus is also because muslims don’t accept Jesus as God.
I would suggest this resource for further study
No. When we have Muslim friends, what speaks louder than our words is how we live our lives. Our lives are the witness and testimony of Christ.
In a class taught by Hope For Ishmael, one student shared how when he and his wife were living in Afghanistan teaching ESL, when the first one of his students accepted Christ , my friend wanted to learn from his experience and become better at sharing the message, so my friend asked him what was the most convincing piece of the gospel that he’d shared with him. His student said that it was the way he lived his life; the love that he and his wife shared, the beautiful way that they raised their children and how they were filled with a palpable radiant love which touched all they knew which finally convinced him that the gospel was true and that Jesus us indeed Lord.
We lead with love with those deceived by Islam. It shines brightest and speaks loudest.
Hi Nikki @Nikki_Naparst, thanks for your reply. I understand what you are saying, but the challenge here is that as Christians we claim that the God of OT is the same as Christ, correct? they are not 2 gods. So can you show to a muslim that the God of OT is different from god of Islam without referring to Jesus?
The reason for this is, as Christians we need to grow in our understanding of the bible and we also need to grow in being able to reply to a non-believer from various directions. We cant force them in one direction, because every non-believer can be stuck in unanswered question of his/her own, that comes from his perspective of life/culture etc. Every question has an answer too, for the most part. So the better we get, the better becomes our evangelism aka more lives will be saved.
Now to comment on what you said, yes, actions are great but what would you say if you saw a greattttt athiest with the greatest moral code and gives and does more than a Christian, are you going to conclude his view is better? For instance, I know a jewish physician who has a foundation to help the poor and also has adopted 7-8 kids himself to raise them in his own house paying every dim for them. He is not rich, he is an amazing soul. Would you say then if he does not believe Christ is the messiah you are going to be okay with that too. There are many Buddhist that are amazing human beings as well. My point is that there are differences and questions that comes together with it. We have to equip ourselves to defend it and be ready.
I hope this helps.
As a Jew, when Yeshua healed me while I was an atheist at the end of 2017 of three fatal illnesses overnight while I thought Him fictional, one of the first things He did was give me logical apologetics to answer the atheists and also put me in a church where my pastor is Jewish. He and I are the Jews amoung the gentiles. I have the blessing of being able to study Torah deeply and it is a picture of Yeshua. To approach the NT without a deep understanding of Old is just silly to me. Without the Hebrew Bible, Jesus doesn’t make sense. If He’s not the Messiah of the Jews, then He’s the Messiah of no one.
A way to approach it, if you’ve not asked God for the download or haven’t received it yet, is to study. For Jewish apologetics which will also work for those Muslims who profess belief in the Hebrew Bible/OT, is to watch Dr. Micheal Brown’s series on YouTube which answers every Jewish objection. (There’s a 1200 page book too, and a formal course through Fire School of Ministry, which is now also online). Realize, though, that God has blinded the modern Jew to later reveal His glory. I can point out scripture after scripture that clearly reveals that God DID appear to Abraham and Moses and Joshua, etc… not to mention Isaiah 53, and all the prophecies, but because they have been deliberate blinded and because they do not have the Holy Spirit, they cannot see it. In such situations, what God wants to do is heal their blindness with the light of His love. Engaging the mind is not the way most will encounter Yeshua. For those who truly have an open mind, we can do this, but always with grace, humility and patience, and never with the spirit of argument. In such situations, we want them to teach us what they know so that God will use our humility to open up an opportunity to speak into their lives and seed it with gospel truth.
Every other spiritual path is works-based. For those, we only need mention that God is Our Father, and just like our parents, there’s nothing that we could have done before being born to earn their love. Their love is a given. It has little to do with who we are and what we do, and everything to do with the nature of the parent and his heart. For those who believe in some form of God, the way to show them the real God is through the love found in family relationships. Most will admit that God is our Father. And even atheists will admit that any idea of God must include omniscience, omnipotence, immateriality and eternality, but what they deny or exclude is personality. They don’t know that God is kind. They don’t know Him; how could they! Even most self-professing Christians don’t really know this.
This is God’s chesed for us. Chesed is the Hebrew word which is translated in KJV as loving kindness, but it is much more than this. It is mercy, grace, love, kindness and loyalty, a loyalty which is eternally unswerving. That’s God’s relationship to us, those who are called by His name. The only way we can convey this to non-believers who don’t know what they don’t know is for us to know and experience it ourselves. The Holy Spirit will then equip us with the correct apologetic in every situation, if you know and truly experience this one thing: God’s chesed for you.
William Lane Craig has a brilliant little video about the logic of how we know God is personal on his Reasonable Faith website. But I know this isn’t a direct answer to your question. I feel that you want something more intellectually satisfying insofar as showing the non-believer from the OT where Yeshua is. Unless that person is truly open-minded and demonstrates this by asking sincere questions, it is a fool’s errand. It will only come into agreement with and embrace the spirit of argument, which drives away the joy of the Holy Spirit and His flame to melt hard hearts. Argument burns away the anointing.
I can talk quantum physics all day with my Jewish atheist Dad, but as Frank Turek says: ask an atheist or non-believer:
“If Christianity were true would you become a Christian?”
to show that it’s not about Truth at all but about the state of their heart and enslavement to sin. Sometimes we must first discern what the state of their heart is before we engage. We can’t know what tool to use for the job until we assess the job site. We can equip ourselves, and THE best way to do so, is by intimacy with the Holy Spirit who leads us into all Truth and provides us knowledge in the moment and wisdom as we learn to hear His voice.
The facts do little to sway the heart. If the heart is already closed, so will be the mind. Therefore, evaluate the state of one’s heart first before banging your head against its hardness and getting a headache. Facts will only work for those who have an open mind and seek truth. Otherwise the ground is too hard to work and only the light of His love will soften it. Until then, and until we absolutely are saturated in it, and experience His chesed, we have the potential to seed discord along with God’s Truth.
Actions speak louder than words.
Let me know if you want some references to study logical and scriptural apologetics for Muslims, Jew and atheists. I can also provide what God has given me by download. Those seem to work best.
Yours In Yeshua,
One thing I think that is often overlooked in the OT is Yhwh’s statement about Himself to Moses:
“Yahweh—Yahweh is a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in faithful love and truth, maintaining faithful love to a thousand generations, forgiving wrongdoing, rebellion, and sin.” -Exodus 33:6-7 HCSB
The God of the OT is compassionate and gracious and slow to anger. He maintains love to a thousand generations. He asks for obedience from a people He freed from slavery. He shows mercy and grace time and time again to these Israelites who blatantly disobey Him. He does not immediately judge, but gives people (both Israelite and Gentile) time to repent from their sins, and responds when they act in humility (as in the case of Ahab, the people of Nineveh, and King Nebuchadnezzar, to name a few.) His desire is not for the death of the wicked, but that the wicked repent (Ezekiel 33:11.) Now, is that the same as Allah?
You have some very interesting questions. I understand the quandary you are referring to in this type of discussion. I can’t say that I have a lot of answers yet. And I think I know where you are coming from on the question. I have a friend who is a Muslim. We have had many, many discussions about faith. Bringing Jesus into the discussions about God can, at times, definitely feel like a disussion-killer when I’m discussing faith with my Muslim friend. I have read parts of the Quran but not nearly all of it. I can understand your question of how the character of God (in the OT) seems similar to Islam’s view of God. I am interested in seeing the conversation your question will generate. I have found that Andy Bannister has a wealth of knowledge and understanding of the Islamic worldview. He may possibly have some helpful input on this topic. Blessings to you in your studies!
Thank you Nikki @Nikki_Naparst. I know what you mean, the heart has to want it too. It is not all intellectual. The friend that asked me is actually Christian, not well studied and he couldnt answer it and so I was trying to help him as well. We dont want the muslims turning our own back to Islam, but it is true, some just argue to argue. The miss the point of the evil in man and heart.
I will listen to the Dr Michael Brown’s series too. Love to get the references you mentioned when you get a chance. No rush.
Yours in Yeshua as welll (love the word Yeshua btw, it sounds soooo awesome and cool). God is cool
Here are some links for Muslim apologetics. The best way to learn is to learn from former Muslims.
The worst thing we can do while learning this apologetic is argue with a Muslim. Shamefully, I say this from experience.
Unless your Muslim friend is sincerely interested in seeking Truth, what Jesus asks of us is to love and bless them:
“If you love only those who love you, what reward do you have. Even the tax collectors do that. And if you greet only your brother, what more have you done than anyone else; even the pagans do that, don’t they.” -Mat 5:46-7.
As He says a few verses earlier, “love your enemies and bless them.”
We must be a blessing to our Muslim friends until we learn about them enough to speak into their lives; otherwise it’s just debate. Most Muslims are taught that all Christians and Jews want to do is convert them. That’s disrespectful. They’re taught we have an agenda. They’re taught that we truly do not care about them; were only interested in our own objective; that we don’t really honor them or their friendship. In order to show that really God loves them we must show true respect. Not to their religion but to them, but to openly and disagreeably disrespect their prophet or beliefs to them is rude. We respect them. Even when we have no respect for their religion; that we voice elsewhere. Wisdom and common decency is necessary with our Muslim friends. If their heart is open to truth, our true fellowship and love for them will open up a way for opportunities to share the gospel.
Read the Quran. Learn their book. We don’t like it when others try to tell us that our book is wrong when they’ve never bothered to read it. That just shows that they’re only concerned with being right. It doesn’t matter if we’re right; it matters if the love of Christ is received. He will then lead them into all truth by His Spirit.
Especially for the Muslim who are taught that God is not personal; that He is distant and unknowable, we must enter into relationship with Muslims and really get to know them, for it is through relationship that God is known. They will be hungry for the God we know when they also know us if any desire for knowing Truth is within them.
Let me know how it goes. I can highly recommend Hope For Ishmael as a learning source. I take classes from them.
Yeshua, in Hebrew, as you may know, means God saves. Very cool word indeed! This very word is used multiple times in the Hebrew Bible, so it goes to show us that the modern Jews are truly blinded by God and overtly hostile to their own Messiah. My Messiah. Our Lord. The reason He saved me is because, although an atheist who thought Him fictional, He saw the state of my heart and knew it was soft enough so that I’d accept Him when I met Him while He healed me. Many Jews are too callous and prideful still. I pray for those who aren’t to receive Him in dreams and visions, revelations and personal encounters, before His return. I pray the same for Muslims. Especially now at Ramadan when they have no mosque to attend. They report that they are desperate and confused. Pray for them please.
Blessings! Yours in Yeshua,
Also, Tactics, by Greg Koukl is a MUST read for anyone doing apologetics.
Thank you so much Nikki @Nikki_Naparst. You are a blessing. I will look into the resources. Yes, I have one muslim friend and I actually borrowed his Quran to read it. We exchanged with the bible but he said he cant read it now. I said whenever he feels ready he can read it. I read upto the 3rd book now and got distracted. I need to continue to read it. Yes, before all of this, we became friends and that is helping to open him up but it is so hard with their culture. It is as if it is their identity and him saying no to Islam is like saying no to his family too. He has been asking me some questions tho. So God willing, he will come around in Gods time.
I love the Youtube channel oneForIsrael as well. You might be familiar with it. I definitely want to go to Israel soon. Do you go back often?
God Bless You.
Your brother in Yeshua.