Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Dark Side of Islam

Cover of "The Dark Side of Islam"Cover of The Dark Side of IslamLast week, I mentioned that I finally got a Kindle ebook reader.  My big concern when I got it was whether or not I would actually use it enough to make it worth buying it.  At work, I rarely would take a formal lunch break.  Instead, I usually sat at my desk and ate junk.  So, I have made the decision to bring a healthy lunch to try to lose weight and use that time to read from my Kindle.  Last week, I finished my first book on the Kindle.

That book was called "The Dark Side of Islam" by RC Sproul and Abdul Saleeb.  Saleeb is the pseudonym of a former Muslim who has converted to Christianity.  The book is rather short, with only 8 chapters and less than 100 pages in total.  It is based on a series of conversations that the two had on the subject of the differences between Christianity and Islam.

The first seven chapters of the book highlight the various differences between the historical orthodox Christianity and Islam.  Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of the similarities and differences. Those subjects are the views on Scripture, the Fatherhood of God, the Trinity, sin, salvation, and the death and Deity of Jesus Christ.  With the brevity of each chapter, you do not get an in depth treatise on each subject, but a fairly high level comparison.  The two writers take turns within each chapter discussing various aspects of the topic.

In the final chapter of the book, Saleeb draws on his experience as a former Muslim and as a Christian to address what is called "the dark side of Islam."  Saleeb makes the argument that the vast majority of Muslims are, in fact, peace loving people.  However, there is the problem that can not be avoided and that is the fanatical element that are using Islam as their justification to wage jihad.

Saleeb states that Christians are not without sin in acts of violence in the name of Christianity.  However, his belief is that when Christians act in such a manner, they are acting in direct opposition to the teachings of Christ.  Muslims who perform acts of violence in the name of Islam do so based on the teachings of the Qur'an and the example as set forth from the life of Muhammad.

Normally, I am a big fan of the work of Dr. Sproul, especially in his works on "The Holiness of God" and "The Last Days According to Jesus."  His work usually is a lot more in depth than the particular book.  Still, I enjoyed the book and learned a bit more about the subject matter.  If you are looking for a brief look at the differences between Islam and Christianity, you may enjoy "The Dark Side of Islam."  However, if you want a more in depth treatise on the subject you will probably be disappointed.
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1 comment:

  1. Back when I was still trucking, I met a young black Muslim, which has more to do with the sect that he was a member of than race, in Norcross, GA, which is a northern suburb of Atlanta. All in all, he was one of the respectable persons I have ever met, and I felt quite blessed to have been allowed to carry on several fairly long conversations with him on why he had converted from Christianity to Islam. For it gave me some first-hand experience with such, but the rest of the story is a very sad one. For he felt like Christianity was empty, and that the requirements imposed upon the followers of Islam made more sense to him. In other words, he rejected the concept of pure grace, and all of my efforts to help him to see where works cannot prove a thing to the One who has already known everything that there will ever be to know about all of us were also summarily rejected.



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