Between Allah & Jesus: Part 1

How would a Christian and a Muslim debate Jesus and Muhammad; the Bible and the Qu'ran; and theology and religion? Follow the compelling conversation as imagined by Peter Kreeft, in part one of this excerpt from his new novel "Between Allah and Jesus.” Then join a discussion between Beliefnet’s Muslim and Christian bloggers.

BY: By Peter Kreeft


Continued from page 1

“No,” explained ‘Isa, “the Qur’an is speaking about the Gospel God sent down from heaven, not the Gospel you have now. They are not the same. The Gospel God sent down did not claim that Jesus was the Son of God.”

“Where is this original gospel?” Evan wanted to know. “Show me a single sentence in it. Show me a single quotation from it. Show me a single reference to it by anybody, before the Qur’an. You can’t do it. There is no such book. It exists only in your imagination. The only Gospel is the New Testament as we
have it.”

“But how do you know your New Testament as you have it is true? How do you know that Jesus really claimed to be the Son of God, as your New Testament says he did? How do you know your New Testament didn’t get the facts wrong, and that God didn’t correct the things that were wrong, later, by sending Muhammad and the Qur’an? That’s what we believe. How do you know that is not so?”

“That’s a fair question, ‘Isa.” Evan never called ‘Isa by his nickname, Jack, as Libby did. “Let me think for a minute . . . let’s see.

...I think I can explain to you why we Christians can’t accept your quid pro quo about Jesus and Muhammad if you will make a thought experiment with me. Suppose I said that your Qur’an got it wrong about Muhammad. Suppose I said that your original Qur’an was very different from the Qur’an you have now, and suppose I said that in this original Qur’an Muhammad never actually claimed to be a prophet at all. What would you say to that?”

“I’d say that was blasphemy. And also ridiculous and unfair: what right do you have to tell us what our scriptures really are and who our prophet really is?”

“And that is exactly what I say to you about Jesus: what right do you have to tell us what our scriptures really are and who Jesus really is?” “Oh, but there is a difference. The Qur’an came later. It corrects the New Testament. The New Testament can’t correct the Qur’an because the New Testament didn’t come after the Qur’an.”

“Are you assuming that just because the Qur’an is later, it is better and truer? That’s chronological snobbery. That’s telling the truth with a calendar.”

“No, I’m not assuming that.”

“Well, we Christians will accept your belief that Muhammad really said what your scriptures say he said. We will let you define your own prophet. But you don’t accept our belief that Jesus really  said what our scriptures say he said, that he claimed to be the Son of God. So you do not let us define our own prophet. It is you who will not give us quid pro quo, not the other way round.”

‘Isa shook his head and smiled. “That sounds like a very clever argument, but we are arguing by different standards. You are judging scriptures by prophets. We judge prophets by scriptures.”

“What do you mean by that?”

Continued on page 3: 'I don’t think we mean the same thing by God.' »

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