This is going to be an interesting conversation tonight on BlogTalkRadio, and if you can’t listen live at 6 o’clock Pacific time, be sure to go to our BlogTalkRadio site later when you can. We will have as our guests Dr. Safi Kaskas (calling in from Saudi Arabia) and Dr. David Hungerford, creators of a new version of the Qur’an in simple English with over 3,000 references to the Bible.
I must admit, things took an interesting turn for me yesterday, and now that I think about it, I’m glad they did, because we have even more to learn from this experience than I thought.
What I’m saying is that I initially thought Dr. Kaskas was a converted Muslim — that he had put together this version of the Qur’an to try to lead his fellow Muslims to Christ. Not so. He’s a very committed American citizen, and a devout Muslim, who is trying to find common ground with his Christian neighbors. He’s not trying to convert us to Islam; he’s not trying to kill us; he’s trying to say, “Look at all these things we agree on,” and he’s pointing this out because he wants to live at peace with his neighbors. How can you fault that?
And here is the big question we need to answer here, and I trust our conversation tonight will help us answer it: If this man is willing to come this far to meet us — to spend five years of his life finding common ground with our scriptures — what are we going to do about that? Are we going to tell him to take his book and go home; we don’t want to have anything to do with his religion — it’s false, it’s evil, Allah is not God, so go away? Or are we going to meet this man with the same kind of respect and kindness he has extended to us, and accept his book as a means of creating fresh dialogue with our own friends and neighbors who are Muslim?
It just might be that many of our Muslim neighbors feel the same way, if we got close enough to hear them out.
Someone who has gone to these lengths to try to find common ground with us deserves to be met with equal love and compassion. No one is trying to convert anyone here; we are merely trying to live together as friends.
There is one bit of information I have found out that will give you a head start on tonight’s conversation. Down through history there have been many versions of the Qur’an, with many of them interpreted quite differently. This version was not created by an international council of Qur’an scholars pouring over the original manuscripts and coming up with a consensus. It was created by Dr. Kaskas himself. This is his version of the Qur’an. This is how he reads it. We’ll find out for sure tonight, but I’m pretty sure that there is no justification of violence or harm towards another person in his version of the book. The way ISIS and other Muslim extremists base their violence and murder of all “infidels” from the same book, tells us there must be other versions of the Qur’an with a much different message. And before you cry “Foul!,” I would be quick to mention the Crusades, Apartheid in South Africa, slavery in America, Jonestown, Jehovah’s Witnesses (etc., etc.) as examples of those who claim our Bible as justification for their beliefs. We understand how this works.
As most of you know, Paul said that he became as a Jew to speak to the Jews, and he became as a Greek that he might speak to the Greeks. He became all things to all men that he might by all means save some (1 Corinthians 9:21-23). So if Paul were alive today, would he become like a Muslim in order to possibly lead a Muslim to Christ? Why not? The Jews reject Jesus, and the Greeks worship pagan idols, yet he is willing to get in their shoes that he might understand them and know how to talk to them with respect. I don’t think a Muslim would be any exception. Do you?
Be sure and join us for tonight’s discussion; it should be a good one.
Looking forward to listening in tonite – Pastor John can u plz consider mentioning in tonite’s show how you came to meet the guest, OK?
PS I’m really loving listening in as you read the Catch – it so cool – in don’t have to be in front of my PC reading and re-reading it… LOL 🙂
I was introduced to these men and their project by Tim Gilman whom we’ve had twice on our show. He works among Christians in Palestine and has lots of contacts with Muslims.
I hope this discussion will help to educate those Christians who believe that all Muslims are terrorists and want to kill us. Without exception, ALL the Muslims I know are lovers of peace, and just want to be given the same rights to worship as any other American citizen.
I hope so, too.
There is common ground between all of us – saved and unsaved. As humans, we are ALL created in His image and therefore we should be extending the highest regard to others regardless of their beliefs. We all share this common ground too – we are ALL sinners in need of saving grace – some have accepted this gift – others haven’t gotten there yet…and who are we to judge the timeline of someone else’s salvation process? And even after we have this great gift, because of the sin nature still so much a part of us, we still need to ask for daily grace and cleansing…1 John makes that very clear. It’s so hard NOT to be a Pharisee, isn’t it? Thank God for His grace…God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.
Well said. Couldn’t agree with you more.
I most certainly wish to live in peace and harmony with any and all that the Lord would bring me in contact with. I know that I am not near the Beacon of Light that Paul was in his day. A true example of how I wish to follow Jesus. Paul also warned against those who would lead many astray from the Truth, given the chance to do so, those False teachers of any misleading belief. Touting the fallout over the past 2000+ years those, who’ve got it sadly wrong ( Jim Jones, Joseph Smith, Racist self righteous Bigoted Bible thumpers, Gnostic Jehovah Witness, etc., etc..) simply are not stand out examples in comparing those who may or may not be following the intent of the teaching in the Qur’an. Mohamed is a false teacher of the Truth. Leading astray Billions. I would love to get the take of those Jesus following ex-Muslims that have evaded losing their heads or shunning from their families, to help direct the conversation of how to get it right when trying to relate, if we can, to those who want to. I will listen to the Blog this evening , hopefully to get some answers.
Don’t you think there are some in those billions who found Jesus and put their trust in Him? Just like there are some Mormons who are trusting in Jesus, and some Jehovah’s Witnesses who are trusting in Jesus, and some Baptists who are trusting in Jesus, and some Methodists who are trusting in Jesus, etc.
I’ll still pray for this Muslim friend to be saved through faith in the biblical Jesus (Romans 10:1-4; 1 Timothy 2:1-7).
Of course. We want everyone to be saved.
There will always be some common ground between Christians and non Christians and if this common ground helps to achieve more peace in the world then so be it. There are still important differences in matters of faith of course, differences that show in things like the question as to whether one accepts Jesus as one’s personal saviour, or not, but there is still the commandment of love. God expects us to love even our enemies and this kind of absolute love includes the wish to live in peace with our brothers and sisters, no matter whether they believe in God/Jesus, or not.
The only danger I see here is the risk that the wish for peace might tempt us to water down the good news. I do not think that you are in danger of this though. I only mention it, because I see it as a general risk for people who yearn for peace more than they yearn for God/Jesus. It is wrong to offend people without good cause of course, but the good news is definitely such a good cause, especially when we do our best to present it with love in our hearts. If that is still offending to some, then so be it.
I think you’ve struck a good balance here.
The big problem with lots of Christians is that they worship a three-headed god, thought he Bible is very clear that there is only One True God, the God of Israel who is the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jesus Christ, Jesus his disciples and the many non-trinitarian Christians.
The true Christians worship the same God as the Jews and the Muslims, but for the trinitarian Christians there is a cause of concern, because they worship Jesus as their god and make also graven images of that god and their other gods, though the Only One True God is very clear on that matter too, that there may not be made graven images of Him. This is an ordinance those trinitarians have forgotten or do not respect.
The other part is the one were you put the finger at the wound. Several of those trinitarian Christians show their hate for those who do not believe what they believe. They do forget the golden rule of the teacher they say they are following (Jeshua, Jesus Christ) and use his title in their name (Christian = follower of Christ). We should see the difference between the non-believer doing good and the believer, doing good. those who believe in Christ follow his sayings and his laws as well as the Laws of God and know that we have to love all creatures of God (i.e. respecting plants, animals and all sorts of human beings whatever they may believe).
Wow I Certainly make no assumption that the Holy Spirit can not rescue anyone from any situation. You are the one pointing out the history of the ones who along with the world claims as Bible motivated, in their deceptive and destructive interpretations, leading to the evil misleading of souls away from the Truth so many were and are looking for. ( funny how you snuck in putting Baptist and Methodist in there, who in fact are believing in the Jesus of the Trinity. Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses REJECT that Jesus. As does the devout Muslims like your guest.) I listened to the Blog. I did admire the enthusiasm and hope for peace MR. Kaskas is in search for. I can’t help but wonder if all the efforts for peace on earth sorely fall short from the ever lasting Peace found in Jesus our Savior. Oh, about the Blog, I was disappointed that it stopped airing about 58 minutes into it. I hope to get back and finish listening to it when I can, if it is up to hear !
My point about Baptists and Methodists is that not necessarily all of them have found Jesus. Just because you go to Baptist church does that make you a Christian? Just as I do think there are probably some Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses who have found Christ and are trusting in Him for their salvation.
It seems to me, your are evading the more important issue and throwing in red herrings to avoid the big gig. So, I’ll step back now !