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Review of Qureshi’s No God But One January 12, 2017

Posted by roberttalley in Uncategorized.
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No God But One: Allah or Jesus. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2016.

Nabeel Qureshi’s book, No God but One: Allah or Jesus? is a follow-up to his previous book, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, his account of how he as a Muslim came to follow Christ. This book is an apology of Christianity and against Islam in which he discusses the differences between the two religions and the implications of those differences, and the strong historical evidence for the claims of Christianity.

Although every section of this book is devoted to answering questions necessary to investigating the differences between and evidence for Islam and Christianity (as indicated in the description on the cover and the title page), all of the questions are designed to answer the overriding question presented in the conclusion, “Is the truth worth dying for?” The book concerns itself in the main with what is true but with his answer, exemplified by the life hand death of a young Saudi Arabian Christian martyr at the hands of her brother, he reminds us that this truly matters. If Christianity is true then it is worth dying for because God in the martyr’s death is glorified and the martyr has a sure hope to be with the Savior throughout eternity. The support for the great worth and certain hope of Christianity is the stuff of which this book consists.

In the first part of the book, Qureshi presents the most significant differences between Islam and Christianity. He does this not for those “who enjoy criticizing Islam [nor for those] Muslims who want to argue but do not want to learn” (page 21) but rather for those who need to know the differences in order to determine which of the two religions is true and thus worth dying for.

Differences between the two are discussed under five categories of doctrinal difference: the two views of salvation, the two views of Deity, the two views of each religion’s respective founder, the two views of the holy writings, and the two views of just war. The first four of these fall clearly into the category of essential doctrine for Christians while the fifth deals with a significant issue upon which Christians are not all in agreement with each other, “What constitutes a justified use of violence/war?” To his credit, Qureshi does not give an easy Christian answer to this question and indicates difficulties that both Christian pacifists and Christian “Crusaders” should take into consideration.

The second part of the book deals with the determination of the truth of Christianity and Islam. For each a positive case is made for the foundational doctrines. For Christianity this is the crucifixion of Jesus, the resurrection of Jesus, and the claims to deity by Jesus. For Islam this is that Muhammed is a prophet of God and that the Quran is the word of God. Qureshi’s discussion of each of these foundational doctrines the truth test is objective evidence. At the end of this section he makes it clear that not only is Christianity objective true and Islam is not objectively true but also that if one or the other is true than the other religion cannot be true.

One highlight of the book for this author was the explanation of what the Quran really is and that it corresponds doctrinally in some ways much more to Jesus in Christianity than to the Christian Bible. Another interesting highlight is Qureshi’s discussion of the nature of the Crusades, which gives perspective to those events without justifying any of the atrocities of those events.

As mentioned, this book is not intended for those who desire simply to fight intellectually but rather is intended for a two audiences. The first group are Muslims who are seeking truth concerning Christianity. The second group is made up of those Christians who want to learn what really matters when it comes to understanding these two religions. Some Christians with this book might learn as much about their own faith as they do about the faith of the Muslim.

This plan of this book is simple to follow and the argumentation in this book is clear. When glancing at the notes one might think that some chapters are better documented than others but a closer look at those chapters lacking notes emphasize referencing Scripture and the Quran, two works that do not necessarily require academic referencing in the notes.

Though an apologetic work, this book still is quite personal in dealing with aspects of Qureshi’s own journey of faith, which evokes empathy for the writer that might not necessarily be possible in a more impersonal approach. This is a strength that makes this book a lively read and likely makes it accessible to a broad audience. For these reasons this book is highly recommended both for learning more about the two faiths and for reaching those of the Islam faith with the gospel.

 

 

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