Between Allah & Jesus, Part 2

See how the story unfolds between a Christian and a Muslim as they debate Jesus and Muhammad; the Bible and the Qu'ran; and theology and religion, in part two of this book excerpt from "Between Allah and Jesus" by Peter Kreeft.

Continued from page 2

“But this eternal truth is recited in time, in history, when it is proclaimed.”



“Yes.”



“And this Qur’an is the Word of God?”



“Yes.”



“So the Word of God happens, in time.”



“The recital of it happens. The truth of it is eternal,” ‘Isa said.



“But with that qualification, you would say that the eternal truth, the eternal Word of God, happens in time.”



“Yes.”



“Well, we Christians say the same thing about Jesus.”



“But when you Christians say ‘the Word of God,’ you mean a person, not a book.”



“We mean first of all the person, yes, but also, secondly, the book. But you put the book first.”



“We do.”



“I think we disagree with you about that. We believe in the primacy of the person, the power of the person, the value of the person first of all.”



“Perhaps that is because you do not understand the power of a book,” ‘Isa retorted. “We do. We Muslims understand the power of the Word, the spoken word. It is like the power of music. And in that way, I think perhaps we understand even your book, your Bible, better than you do.”



“What do you mean? Are you saying you understand Christianity better than Christians do?”



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“No, I meant the power of your book, not its teachings. Your book, your Bible, was once very powerful in your culture, was it not? It was once much more like the Qur’an in that way. Your old King James Bible: everyone read it and loved it and knew it and believed it and memorized it and preached from it and recited it. It had power over your souls and over your culture. It used to sing in your souls. And now it no longer sings. Because now you have twenty different new sissy translations that sound like interoffice business memos, all dull and f lat and ugly and weak, and you have lost its power over your souls.”



Though Evan listened to this tirade with an uncomprehending frown, Fr. Heerema listened intently and sympathetically, and replied, “ ‘Isa, I think you are right there. I think we may need you Muslims to remind us of the power of our own written Word.”



Evan had to go to another class, so ‘Isa and Fr. Heerema continued their conversation over lunch. ‘Isa tried his quid pro quo argument on him.



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