I sat with French guy last week and I listened as he struggled to come to terms with the horrific events that were occurring around Paris. The death of so many innocent people at the hands of religious extremists in his home city – left us both stunned and speechless.
As we spoke together, I heard something from him that disturbed me greatly. He predicted that Islam would take over Europe – that it was sure to happen.
Now – I think we both absolutely get the point that – our Muslim neighbours are not a threat to our physical safety. The Muslims I have listened to in the past few days have been as shocked and outraged at the barbaric loss of life as the rest of us.
YET – I do not believe that an Islamic Europe would be a good thing. I believe this for many reasons – but one of the centrally important ones is this. Islam misrepresents history. It is an untrustworthy faith system. Islam is getting a lot of air time these days. Many people are holding up the virtue of free speech. But I don’t hear many people talking about the lack of reliability and historical underpinning to its book the Koran.
As a Christian I care passionately about truth. And I believe that ultimately – when it all comes down to it – our lives depend on truth. So in the spirit of free speech – let me say that unfortunately I do not see the Koran dealing in matters of truth.
History records the life of Jesus of Nazareth. We also know through historical sources that Jesus predicted an imminent and violent death for himself. And we know this led to his crucifixion under Pontius Pilate. These are historically demonstrable facts.
Here’s my problem with the Koran – it dismisses these facts about Jesus. It denies that they occurred. In doing so, it tries to discredit Christianity (which had been around for 700 years before Islam began) but it actually shows itself to be unhistoric.
A strong case can be made that the Koran is untrustworthy on purely historical grounds (never mind faith grounds!) How?
In Surah 4:157-158 the Koran clearly states that Jesus was not crucified, that he did not die. But Jesus clearly did predict his imminent and violent death. The contradiction here is that the Koran is happy to call Jesus a great prophet (Surah 3:45-49). But if he did not actually die as he predicted he would – as the Koran claims – then Jesus wasn’t a great prophet. He was a liar. So the Koran is wrong in holding up Jesus as great…it is untrustworthy.
On the other hand – if Jesus DID predict his imminent and violent death – and this DID occur as he said it would – then the Koran is still wrong. Because it clearly says that he didn’t!
Either way – when it comes to the central figure of Jesus Christ – the Koran shows itself to be historically false and unreliable.
Why might the Koran be so focussed on trying to discredit Jesus Christ? Because he is the Truth. He is the one who said, “ I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6, NIV