What Muslims and Liberals do to Jesus Christ

Any Christian apologist who deals with Islam will point out that Muslims engage in double standards regarding the use of anti-supernaturalist leftist Biblical “scholarship”.  However, before Muslims started doing that, both at a popular and scholarly level, they actually shared quite a bit in common with the Liberals in how they viewed Jesus Christ.

I’ve known this for a while, but recently reading Mustafa Akyol’s book The Islamic Jesus drew my attention to this once again.  Christians and Muslims both believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Word, and born of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who Muslims and Christians agree is the holiest woman who ever lived.  While this would seem like quite a common ground, there actually isn’t much there.

The liberal “Christian” would affirm all that the Muslim does but would also throw in Christ’s Trinitarian title, the Son of God which Muslims oppose.  What both groups do is keep these flashy titles but completely strip them of their theology.  The externals are there but no internals.  These fancy titles carry no practical weight.

Jesus Christ is the Messiah, but what does He accomplish?  He was born of a virgin, yet there is no reason why.  He is the Word but that title doesn’t carry meaning.  Muslims won’t accept the Biblical(and historical) definition of what the Word means.  Naturally it comes from John 1:1 which reads:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The Muslim obviously won’t accept this definition, though any Christian in the days of Muhammad who heard the Quran being recited would have known exactly exactly what this meant.  While the liberal will pay lip service to this verse, they essentially deny it as well.  The Word has no meaning unless you’re a Traditional Christian.

Perhaps this is what attracted Muslim apologists to use liberal scholarship in the first place.  They both have the same view of Jesus.  A litany of fancy titles on the outside, empty on the inside.  It seems to make the most logical sense.

In my last post, I pointed out that a Muslim apologist should debate a Jewish apologist on if Jesus is the Messiah.  One of my readers correctly pointed out in the comments that the Muslim would be in the same dilemma if he was debating on the existence of Jesus with someone who thinks Jesus didn’t exist.  Defending the existence of Jesus with documents that contradict what you think of His existence wouldn’t be fun.  I’m just happy that the first century documents about Jesus present the Christian Jesus.  I could debate the Jewish apologist and Jesus denier from the same footing.

This whole dilemma only exists if your Jesus isn’t who the first century followers of Him thought that he was.  This applies equally to the Liberal and the Muslim.  Flashy titles, empty shell.  I don’t want that Jesus.  I’ll let the liberals and Muslims have him.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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6 thoughts on “What Muslims and Liberals do to Jesus Christ

  1. I apologize for getting intrusive, but there is an important clarification I want to make. It will probably come as a twist for you, but orthodox Sunni Muslims fully affirm every single word from “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The funny thing is that most of them are not even aware of that. What they dispute is the identity of the Word. For them it’s not Christ. It’s the Quran. In traditional Sunni Islam the Quran is considered to be the eternal, uncreated speech of Allah. It has always existed alongside Allah and it shares the same divine nature. It’s part of him, but not identical with him. And the icing on the cake- the Quran is believed to have it’s own consciousness. There are supposedly authentic hadiths, in which the Quran prays to Allah, and something even more curious- certain chapters of the Quran pray to Allah on behalf of pious Muslims. So much for Islam being a Unitarian religion.
    Christ Is risen, He Is Lord. Amen.

    • Hello Orangehunter,

      As far as I can tell, this belief comes into existence a couple of centuries after Muhammad left the scene. In Jewish mysticism there is a similar belief about the Torah. As far as I can tell, this comes from the Mutazilite vs Asherite debate. John 1:1 would make sense with this, though the entire prologue wouldn’t be able to fit within their theology.

      I wouldn’t want to criticize Muslims based on this because I think these are just theories. As far as I can tell, you’re not a heretic if you don’t believe it. At least not today. Maybe the 9th century would have yielded something else. In my couple read throughs of the Quran I don’t recall this being emphasized. Certainly not as much as monotheism, and prophetic tradition. I honestly don’t think Muslims think about this any more but I could be wrong.

      Thats just my thoughts anyway. Feel free to correct me.

      God Bless,

      • You’re right, this is not emphasized in the Quran. Actually it’s quite ambiguous, which led to great controversy and bloodshed (no surprise here!) among Muslims. I would recommend you Nabeel Qureshi’s book “No God But One—Allah or Jesus”. It contains good introduction to the issue and how it was brought to “resolution”. But it’s not true that Muslims don’t think about it anymore. Here’s one that does:

        The debate still continues in some of the more “liberal” Islamic countries like Turkey. And it’s not true that you are not a heretic if you don’t believe it:

        “… He who claims that the Qur’an is created IS DEEMED A DISBELIEVER as per the evidence established by all the aforementioned ayat (Surah al-Taubah (9):6).
        All the scholars and exegetes specializing in Jurisprudence and hadith agree by consensus that whoever says that the Qur’an is created IS A DISBELIEVER. The majority of scholars also stated that whoever says that his utterance of the Qur’an is created is an innovator [as opposed to other scholars who declared such a person to be a disbeliever]. As for those who sit on the fence regarding this issue – they neither state that the Qur’an is created but nor do they affirm the Qur’an as being the Word of Allah – they are classified as innovators as well.
        Imam Ahmad [ibn Hanbal] and Ahlu’l-Sunnah wa’l-Jama’ah were firm about this issue, showing no tolerance to anyone who did not take a firm position on this matter. Moreover, they abandoned those scholars who stated their utterance of the Qur’an was created, and also discouraged and warned people from learning or taking knowledge from them. The reason for their strong reaction and firm stance against these scholars as to close the door to ill-hearted people who would exploit such a statement in order to manipulate the Qur’an. This is because the utterance in this case is a double-edged sword; on the one hand it is an action performed by a person, and from another aspect, the utterance includes the Qur’an itself, which is the Word of Allah.”

        As you can see, the problem is far worse than it seems. May God guide Muslims to the one and only Truth. Amen.

        • Hi OrangeHunter,

          I’ve never read Qureshi’s book. To be honest, from what I’ve seen from Qureshi, I don’t think I agree with his approach to Islam. I probably should read the book though since it’s a popular book that people use when debating Islam and it’s good to know what’s out there.

          I actually learned about this from Robert Reilly’s book: The Closing of the Muslim Mind. I also listened to some related material from Dr. E. Michael Jones where he talks about how Islamic philosophy ended with Ibn Rushd being unable to resolves certain problems that St. Thomas Aquinas could.

          Perhaps what I meant by Muslims not thinking about it is that average Muslim who lives in Egypt, Turkey, America, etc doesn’t think about this. In Christianity there are many similar comparisons. For example, in the 7th century there was the controversy of whether Christ had 1 or 2 wills. The Church ultimately decided on 2 and condemned the dissenters as heretics. However, how many Christians think about this? There may be a scholarly article somewhere written on it but it doesn’t permeate the life of the average Christian. I think the average Muslim thinks about the Quran being eternal as much as the average Christian thinks about the 2 wills of Christ. However, I’ve never lived in a Muslim country or talked with Muslim theologians. I could be completely off the mark.

          God Bless,

  2. My bad, I didn’t point the source I was quoting from: The Creed of Ibn Abi Zayd Al-Qayrawani, Dar As-Sunnah Publishers, Birmingham, U.K.: First edition, 2012], capitalization mine.