Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Reformers and Islam

While working in Bethlehem in the 1980s with Project Redemption, we came to understand Islam as a Christian cult. Mohammad had gotten only a Nestorian view of Christianity. It was an incomplete picture.

Mon. night at a Bible study/study of the Lutheran confessions at Emanuel, we watched a video taped lecture of Tim Wengert, on the confessions. Muslims are mentioned (called Mohammedens) in Article 1 of the Augsburg Confession, along with some other groups. Dr. Wengert explained Islam is considered a christogical heresy. I felt like I was back in Bethlehem! Even Luther and Melancthon viewed Islam as a Christian cult. Though we are divided on the person of Christ, we have numerous commonalities from which to build bridges.

Picture from Photo Galerie German Fulbright.


steve martin said...

Nice article!

You mentioned that "Islam and Christianity are dived over the person of Christ."

Building bridges with respect to our commonalites is a good thing, but in out tolerant culture, we might have the tendency to give in to cultures that are more rigid with respect to their religious beliefs.

I think we should stand firm on just who Jesus is and never give an inch on that score with those who have a lesser view of our Lord and Savior.

If we don't do anything else. This would be our job, to proclaim Christ and hand Him over, free of charge, to all that we come in contact with.

Thanks Ivy! Keep up the good work!

- Steve Martin San Clemente, CA

Ivy said...

Thanks for your comments, Steve. I absolutely agree that should not waver on who Christ is, but since God's Spirit is the one who gives us faith (see Luther's answer to the 3rd article of the creed in the Small Catechism), we can build bridges of faith via our similarities. I wasn't thinking so much in terms of our tolerant culture, but as a means of sharing faith. Religious Muslims, even in our society, are open to respectful discussion. In true dialogue, we do not change our own views. There is a great paper on discourse I have from my Systems Thinking course I'd be happy to email you. Just give me your email address. Peace.

steve martin said...


I like you to send me that paper. Thanks Ivy!


Luther's answer to the 3rd article states that it is the power of the Holy Spirit that creates faith. And that Spirit goes to work when the gospel is shared (Romans 1:16)

That is why I say to throw it out there, in the course of respectful discussions about God with Muslims or whomever. And don't worry about making it stick. God will handle that part. (3rd article A.C.)

Bless you, Ivy!

The Grace and Peace of our Lord Jesus be with you!

- Steve

Ivy said...

And also with you, Steve. Isn't it wonderful that it isn't our responsibility to save anyone? God is God and we are not...and I'm glad!

God's peace be with you. I'll email that to you now.