Today I begin a new series on the Koran from a Christian perspective. I have wanted to do this series for a number of reasons. First because there are approximately one and a half billion Muslims in the world today; people I know little about. Being a Christian and a westerner, I do not understand their religion, their way of life, and their perspective on the world. Meanwhile, the Muslim world continues to expand beyond its historical Muslim lands into Europe and America, thus continuing the fourteen hundred year expansion of Muslims and the Islam religion. Increasingly it is becoming more and more important for Europeans and westerners to understand the hoards of people moving here and their differing ideas, religions, and world views.
The second reason I wanted to pursue this project was to better understand the violence directed at Israel and the west by those who claim guidance from the Muslim faith. On one hand we are told by our leaders that Islam is a religion of peace, yet daily we see the atrocities carried out by those whom I can only describe as Muslim fundamentalist. I do not understand why they hate us so much as they chant "Death to America!" and refer to us as the "Great Satan." What kind of religion could provoke such hate and anger as some of the Muslim faith display? Yes, there will always be isolated extremists in any religion, and even misguided Christians in centuries past have committed such atrocities, but violence and conquest has seemed to be part-and-parcel with the fourteen hundred year history of Islam. It seems that in many parts of the world dominated by Islam that its people have reverted back to the time before the flood when, "the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence." (Genesis 6:11)
In preparing for this study I have spend the last several months studying the Koran in different translations in an attempt to be honest and fair in what it says. My goal is not to slander the Koran but to let it tell its story and then to analyze what it says from a Christian perspective. I freely admit that I am not a scholar nor do I understand Arabic (the original language of the Koran). I welcome all comments, corrections, and substantive debates from anyone who might wish to comment on these posts. We will look at what the Koran contains, its claims about itself and its author, and compare its history and doctrine against that of the Jewish and Christian faith.
Finally, my goal here is understanding and not politics. I will not venture into the realm of suggesting what, if anything, our government ought to do in the face of the Muslim expansion and the violence of Islam. My goal is to help other Christians to better understand the Muslin faith and Muslims to gain greater insights in to the Christian faith.
I hope you enjoy this new series.