Monday, August 24, 2009

What Are the Contents of Islam?

A recent survey of world religions states that Islam is the worlds’ fastest growing religion with over one billion followers.[1] In others words, Islam is the faith of one-fifth of the world’s population. We’ve developed a new resource that answers all types of questions on Islam such as: Is the Islam that we hear about and their God Allah, the same God you find in the Bible? Is the Qur’an Credible? Who are the Shia? What about the Sufis? What connection does Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam have with regular Islam? What is Sikhism? How do you witness to Muslims?

Have you ever heard the words, “There is no deity except God, Muhammad is the Messenger of God.” “These the first words that every Muslim baby hears and they are often the last words that a Muslim utters upon his death bed.” For over 1 billion “this is not merely a doctrinal creed––it is the foundation for every facet of their lives. The Islamic faith is not simply an exotic Arabic religion…over the last 100 years it has awakened and is spreading worldwide at an almost unprecedented rate. If then Lord’s “Great Commission” is to be fulfilled, it is essential that we, as active, concerned Christians, understand what Islam is. We must both know how to relate to the Muslim, and how to ‘contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints’ (Jude 3), ‘with gentleness and respect’ (1 Peter 3:15).”[2]

Some quick fast facts for you about Islam[3]:

· Muhammad was born in Mecca (Saudi Arabia) in AD 570

· At age 25, he married a rich 40 year-old widow. This gave him “rank among the notables Mecca” but perhaps more importantly gave him the time he needed to devote to spiritual matters.

· Allegedly one night during the month of Ramadan (which incidentally started on August 22, 2009) he heard a voice which said, “Thou Art the messenger of God, and I am Gabriel.” It was at this point that Muhammad said “he realized his calling and prophetic mission.”

· “In AD 630 Muhammad marched on Mecca with a force of 10,000 men…the inhabitants of Mecca swore allegiance to the prophet and for the first time the ‘Muslim call to prayer’ was heard…two years later Muhammad died.”

· “The Qur’an is believed to be God’s final and complete revelation to man.”

· “The Qur’an has much to say about Jesus, but the one thing that it emphasizes more than anything else is that He was only a man, a messenger of God, not the Son of God, or God in the human flesh.”

· Orthodox Muslims maintain that Jesus did not die on a cross; they maintain that God made someone look like Jesus and the look-a-like was crucified in place of Jesus.

· Most Muslims believe the Jesus “was bodily taken up into Heaven by God. Most Muslims also believe that He will ‘come again at the last day, slay anti-Christ, kill all the swine, break the cross… He will then reign as a just King for 45 years, marry and leave children, then die and be buried near Mohammad at Medina.’ ”

· “All Muslims believe that Muhammad was the greatest apostle and prophet of all.”

· All Orthodox Muslims believe in a heaven, where true believers will exist forever in a garden of beauty and joy. In this Garden the Qur’an in Sura 55:56-57 and 52:20 says there will be “In them will be (Maidens), Chaste, restraining their glances, Whom no man or Jinn before them has touched” and they will have “beautiful, Big and Lustrous eyes.”

· Salvation is based on good works, “there is no need for a Savior, and in any case God Most High alone can save.”

Islam then has the universally know “five pillars.” This is I think one of the charms of Islam. They are easy to remember and very easily implemented. It starts out, “There is no deity except Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah”. The second pray five times a day facing Mecca The third fast. The fourth give alms. And the final pillar is the pilgrimage to Mecca.

For all this information and much, much more I encourage you check out this great new resource on Islam, entitled Islam: What You Must Know. You can get at our Website of or by calling us at 1-888-700-0274.


[1] The List, The World’s Fastest Growing Religions, Foreign Policy (

[2] From Joseph Gudel’s article “Islam’s Worldwide Revival” in Islam: What You Must Know The Best of the Christian Research Journal (Published by CRI, Charlotte, NC, 2009), p. 30-31.

[3] Ibid., 32-43

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Can a Christian Believe in Darwin’s Theory of Evolution?

There was a recent article in USA Today in the Forum section entitled, “We Believe in Evolution and God”. It also has the subtitle, “Nearly half of Americans still dispute the indisputable: that humans evolved to our current form over millions of years. We’re scientists and Christians. Our message to the faithful: Fear not.” It’s written by Karl Giberson and Darrel Falk. They write, “Like most scientists who believe in God, we find no contradiction between the scientific understanding of the world, and the belief that God created that world. And that includes Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.”[1]

What I find difficult to believe is these men are lending credibility as Christians, as believers in God, to Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. Charles Darwin was a racist and sexist. Darwin said, “Looking to the world at no very distant date, what an endless number of the lower races will have been eliminated by the higher civilized races throughout the world.”[2] Darwin had a bulldog that popularized his notions, Thomas Huxley. Huxley had the temerity to say that Negro stock would not “be able to compete successfully with his bigger-brained and smaller jawed rival, in a contest which is to be carried on by thoughts and not by bites.”[3]

As far as sexism is concerned, Charles Darwin was clear, just read his works. He once said in his book The Descent of Man under the subheading “Difference in the Mental Powers of the Two Sexes,” that “the chief distinction in the intellectual powers of the two sexes is shewn [sic] by man’s attaining to a higher eminence, in whatever he takes up, than can woman.”[4]

It’s one thing for Giberson and Falk to say that they believe in evolution, as believer in God, it’s another thing to say that they believe in Darwin and want to save Darwin. Why save the racism and the sexism? My goodness we live in an age of scientific enlightenment.

They go on to say, “Darwin proposed the theory of evolution in 1859 in On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. This controversial text presented evidence that present-day life forms have descended from common ancestors via natural selection…Christians hoped the advance of science would undermine Darwin's novel theory, which threatened their understanding of traditional biblical stories such as Adam and Eve, and the six-days of creation. In the years since, Darwin argued natural selection was the agent of creation, the evidence for evolution has become overwhelming.” Earlier in the article he had said that “evolution is as well-established within biology as heliocentricity”[5]

What do they give as this overwhelming evidence? They say, “The fossil record has provided evidence of compelling transitional species such as whales with feet.” This is his overwhelming evidence. Now of course the Bible says that living creatures produce according to their kinds (Gen. 1:24). This doesn’t take anything but reading the Bible for all it’s worth, that’s clear and consistent. It’s incontrovertible, that’s what the Bible teaches. This is in stark contrast to the evolutionary hypothesis. Where is the evidence in the book of nature for common descent? Scant fossil evidence is around for the notion of common descent or for one kind evolving into another kind, a hippo evolving into a whale.

Furthermore, in an age of Scientific Enlightenment there is molecular evidence that contradicts fossil evidence. To go from a hippo to a whale requires the stretching of credulity beyond the breaking point. It means that it would require: changes in the skin to make it impermeable to water; an eye protective system that would require massive alterations of brain; diving/emerging mechanisms and a respiratory system so that the whale doesn’t contract the bends; the lactation system; not to mention the existence of sonar. In other words, to believe that hippos became whales takes a lot of a faith. Not faith in evidence—faith in blind faith—not at all faith in reason! This isn’t reasonable faith.

In the article, they continually make a false dichotomy between faith and reason. As though the scientist has reason, the Christian has faith, so let’s all get along and dance and be happy and sing. The truth is that the Christian believes in faith founded in a reputable fact.

I’m still amazed, quite frankly, that USA Today in the Forum would publish an article like this. Again, it’s one thing to believe in evolution, it’s another thing to blame God for it. But in the worse of all cases, you have these guys not only believing in evolution, blaming God for it, but then defending Darwin 19th century view of evolution as if it is now have been proven to be true. If you going to laud Darwin, don’t forget what I said earlier, he was a racist and a sexist.

If you don’t think that ideas have consequences, just think back to eugenics. For eugenics to succeed, it is crucial that the unfit die, as the fittest survive. If the unfit continue to survive indefinitely, they would infect the fit with their unfit genes, and evolution wouldn’t take place. So eugenics took Darwin’s theory of evolution to its logical conclusion. That’s why they took the unfit and sterilized them, or as it unfolded in the Nazi’s death camps, they exterminated them. All done in the name of Darwinian evolution! I think it’s about time we woke up in this age of scientific enlightenment and realized that Darwin was anything but enlightened, and the Bible is anything but obscurantist. This doesn’t mean that we have to allegorize the Bible, it means we have to read the Bible for all it’s worth.

In this article, they set up straw-man after straw-man. The straw-man is always you people that don’t believe in theistic evolution, you try to shoehorn humans and all of human history into only having been around 10,000 years. They attack this straw-man as if this were the only option provided in the Christian community.


[1] “We Believe in Evolution and God” by Karl Giberson and Darrel Falk, USA Today, 8/10/09 (

[2] Letter from Charles Darwin to W. Graham, 3 July 1881, Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, vol. 1, 316, quoted in Gertrude Himmelfarb, Darwin and the Darwinian Revolution (London: Chatto and Windus, 1959), 343, quoted in Henry M. Morris, Scientific Creationism, public school edition (San Diego: C.L.P. Publishers 1981), 179; emphasis added.

[3] Thomas H. Huxley, Lay Sermons, Addresses and Reviews (New York, Appleton, 1871), 20, quoted in Henry Morris, The Long War Against God (Grand Rapids, Mich, Baker, 1989), 60.

[4] Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, in Robert Maynard Hutchins, ed., Great Books of the Western World, vol. 49, Darwin (Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, 1952), 566.

[5] “We Believe in Evolution and God” by Karl Giberson and Darrel Falk, USA Today, 8/10/09 (

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Does 2 Samuel 12 approve of Polygamy?

A recent caller to the Bible Answer Man broadcast asked for further clarification as to whether 2 Samuel 12:8 might well suggest that God approves of the practice of polygamy. I promised to provide additional perspective to this very significant question, and I say “significant” in that one may legitimately question a God who approves the practice of polygamy.

In 2 Samuel 12, the Lord, speaking through Nathan the prophet, says to King David, “I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your arms, and I gave you the house of Israel and Judah; and if that had been too little, I would have added you many more things like these.”

At face value, this seems to suggest that God gave David multiple wives, and then stood ready to add to his harem with divine sanction. Of course, that’s precisely the problem with pressing Scripture into a wooden literal labyrinth, because—in truth—if Nathan’s words are anything at all, they are ironic. David had just murdered a man in order to have another woman appended to his harem. Despite the generosity of the very God who had made him sovereign ruler of the land, the king had stolen the wife of a servant and that to satisfy his carnal lust. Thus, in language that dripped with irony, Nathan the prophet pronounces judgment against Israel’s king. As such, 2 Samuel 12 hardly constitutes divine approval for the practice of polygamy.

And this is not a singular case. As with David, Solomon, David’s son, had extravagances in multiplying not only horses, but multiplying wives, and that was a significant factor in the unraveling of a kingdom. Who can forget the explicit admonition of Moses in Deuteronomy 17:17: Do not multiply wives or your heart will be led astray! If this applied to the great kings of Israel, how much more the subjects of the kingdom. Moreover, monogamous marriage is clearly taught in Genesis (2:22-24), and then reiterated by Christ himself. Indeed, Jesus went on to say that, “Anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery” (Matt 19:9). Not only so, but marriage is an analogy for the relationship that God has with his people, with the Church His one and only bride.

Furthermore, reading the Bible for all its worth involves recognition that the narratives of Scripture are often descriptive as opposed to prescriptive. The fact that Scripture reveals the patriarchs with all their warts and moles and wrinkles is to warn us of their failures, it’s not to teach us to emulate their practices. Far from blinking at David’s polygamous behavior, the Bible reveals that as a result of his sin, the sword never left his home.

Finally, let me say this, as God permitted divorce because of the hardness of men’s hearts, so too He put up with polygamy because of humankind’s insolent stubbornness. Indeed, God causes even the wrath of man to please Him. Thus, in His sovereign purposes, He might well have tolerated the practice of polygamy for the very purpose of providing economic stability and security for women trapped within the confines of a patriarchal society. Yet, as redemptive history reveals, God does not simply leave His people where they are—He moves to sanctify them. In the effulgence of Scripture, women are elevated from the confines of a patriarchal society to the status of complete ontological equality with men. As such, the apostle Paul in definitive fashion says just as there are no slaves but only free in the economy of God, so too there is no male or female but all are one in Christ. Indeed, one might well say that the words of Paul in Ephesians 5 have ennobled and empowered women in the West such that far from being chattel, their considered co-laborers in Christ with the very men who are instructed to give up their rights for them.

While Islam abides polygamy, it certainly plays no part in the Christian ethic. Speaking of Islam, we have a brand new book out on Islam, entitled, Islam: What You Must Know. It equips you now how to correctly think about Islam. Unfortunately, we have all sorts of pre-texts about Islam, sophistry, sloppy journalism, and sensationalism has won the day even in the Christian church. We put together this book to help you determine questions such as, “Is Islam a maniacal monolith or is it multifaceted?” “What’s the difference between Shiite and Sunni?” Islam is a mission field on our own doorstep, and I encourage you to get a copy of this book at our website of or by calling us at 1-888-700-0274.