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.