Friday, September 24, 2010

The Jesus Hermeneutic: What can we learn from Jesus' view and use of Scripture?

 How did Jesus interpret the Bible? Was he a liberal? A neo-orthodox? Or a fundamentalist?

When Jesus quoted scripture, he seems to presuppose:
1) That the residents of the palestine area were familiar with and not ignorant of the Hebrew Scriptures
2) That said scriptures were able to be understood clearly without confusion i.e., count the number of times in the gospel wherein Jesus says "As it is written...", "Does it not say...", "You have heard it said" etc.

That being said, Jesus wholeheartedly believed in :

- The Genesis account of creation

4  He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5  and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh’? 6  So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” 
Matthew 19:4-6

- The historicity of Cain and Abel

49  Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,’ 50  so that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, 51  from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be required of this generation. 
Luke 11:49-51

- The historicity of Noah and the Flood

37  As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38  For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39  and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 
Matthew 24:37-39

- The historicity of Abraham

51  Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” 52  The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’ 53  Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” 54  Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ 55  But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. 56  Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” 
John 8:51-56

- The historicity of Sodom and Gomorrah

23  And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24  But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you.” 
Matthew 11:23-24

- The historicity of the account in which Israel was given manna from heaven

49  Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50  This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51  I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
52  The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53  So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54  Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55  For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56  Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57  As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. 58  This is the bread that came down from heaven, not as the fathers ate and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 
John 6:49-58

- The Davidic authorship of [some of] the Psalms

41  Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, 42  saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.” 43  He said to them, “How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying,
44  “‘The Lord said to my Lord,
Sit at my right hand,
until I put your enemies under your feet’?
45  If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?” 46  And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions. 
Matthew 22:41-46

- The historicity of the account of Jonah having been swallowed by a whale

39  But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40  For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41  The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. 
Matthew 12:39-41

- The unity and single authorship of the book of Isaiah

38  so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:
“Lord, who has believed what he heard from us,
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”
39  Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said,
40  “He has blinded their eyes
and hardened their heart,
lest they see with their eyes,
and understand with their heart, and turn,
and I would heal them.”
41  Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him. 
John 12:38-41

- The authorship of the book of Daniel

15  “So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16  then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17  Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, 18  and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. 19  And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! 
Matthew 24:15-19

- The canonicity of the entire Old Testament

49  Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,’ 50  so that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, 51  from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be required of this generation. 
Luke 11:49-51

- His own place in the Old Testament

25  And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26  Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27  And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. Luke 24:25-27

- The verbal-plenary inspiration of Scripture and it’s preservation throughout the ages

17  “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18  For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 
Matthew 5:17-18

- The vital importance of studying and knowing Scripture

37  And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, 38  and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent. 39  You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, 40  yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. 
John 5:37-40

- The judgment of all mankind by God

47  If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48  The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. John 12:47-48

Ergo, it would be incorrect to suggest using Jesus as a model for interpreting the Bible in a non-literal manner. If anything, Jesus openly challenges the religious leaders of Israel who while putting on a façade of having great knowledge and wisdom of the Scriptures, in actual fact did not really have a very high view of it:

52  Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering. 
Luke 11:52

23  The same day Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection, and they asked him a question, 24  saying, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies having no children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up children for his brother.’ 25  Now there were seven brothers among us. The first married and died, and having no children left his wife to his brother. 26  So too the second and third, down to the seventh. 27  After them all, the woman died. 28  In the resurrection, therefore, of the seven, whose wife will she be? For they all had her.”
29  But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. 30  For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 31  And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God: 32  ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living.” 
Matthew 22:23-32

23  “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. 24  You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!
25  “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26  You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.
27  “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people's bones and all uncleanness. 28  So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
29  “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous, 30  saying, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31  Thus you witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32  Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. 33  You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell? 34  Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town, 35  so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of innocent Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. 36  Truly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.
Matthew 23:23-36

All to often, the “You’re a Pharisee!” label is used in a derogatory manner to denounce anyone who is perceived to have too high a view of scripture, but as we can clearly see, those who wish to characterize the Pharisees and religious leaders of Israel as hard-hitting fundamentalists in contrast to Jesus as a free-spirited liberal would be hard-pressed to be able to make a case from Scripture alone. If anything, the testimony of scripture screams vice-versa.

   I remember having a conversation with a pastoral leader about the importance sound theological instruction is personal discipleship. This particular individual tried to justify not emphasizing theology on the grounds that supposedly “All Scripture may be God-breathed, but not all scripture is useful.”
   I asked this individual to explain their position. In response he said that when examining theology, there are three essential criteria:
1) Scripture – Does it measure up to the Bible?
2) Philosophical – What are the logical implications of such a view?

3) Phenomenological – How do we as believers experience it personally?

   I replied: “What do you do when it comes to concepts that although being 100% scriptural, do not actually have immediate phenomenological application for the believer? Two good examples would be the virgin birth of Jesus and the creation account in Genesis. How does one experience the truth of the virgin birth? Or creation? Furthermore, if you discount such things as being unimportant to Christian living due to the apparent lack of experiential support, why bother defending them by way of apologetics during evangelism?”
   This person’s answer: “But we don’t see Jesus defending creation – however you want to interpret it – so we shouldn’t be too caught up either.”
   I gently pointed out that not only was this individual committing the fallacy of reading an attempted argument from Silence into the teachings of Jesus, but such reasoning would have simply been illogical. If, based on what we can see, Jesus’ views and interpretation of Scripture was consistent, he too would have accepted the literal 6-day creation account of Genesis – just as the author of the Torah would have originally intended it to be read.

   Given Jesus' own view and interpretation of Scripture, why then is it that so many who claim to be his followers do not have the same view as He did? Can one truly be a true disciple if they do not believe the entirety of scripture?

   To put it simply, it is just not Christ-like at all to reject the inspiration, inerrancy and authority of Scripture.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Six New Testament Words You Need in Your Vocabulary

We've dumbed down the gospel for too long. Let's rediscover the Bible and become mature disciples.
I love words. That's why I do a crossword puzzle every day—not just because it is the mental equivalent of a three-mile bicycle ride, but also because I enjoy discovering that a word such as "coulrophobia" means a fear of clowns, or that "jobbernowl" means a stupid person.
Words are especially important to us as Christians, not only because Jesus is the logos—the word made flesh (see John 1:14)—but because our faith rests on the truth revealed by God in the Bible. We can't really know Him apart from the God-inspired words that describe who He is and what He has done for us.
"Countless martyrs died so that we could have the Bible, yet today we are forgetting it. I urge you to rediscover the timeless truths of Scripture."

Sadly, however, we are losing our biblical vocabulary. Many Christians don't read the Bible consistently, and many church leaders assume that basic theology is optional for discipleship. Meanwhile many of us charismatics often will choose Holy Ghost goose bumps and flash-in-the-pan miracle services instead of an hour of sound doctrine.
We are like the Corinthians, whom Paul said were "infants in Christ," stuck on milk because they couldn't handle solid spiritual food (see 1 Cor. 3:1-2). In this day of watered-down, dumbed-down faith, God is calling us to reclaim the genuine apostolic gospel and the words that frame it. I encourage you to make sure these words are part of your vocabulary:
Justification. Paul uses forms of this Greek word dikaioo 27 times in the New Testament. It means "to declare to be righteous." It is sometimes translated "to free," "to acquit" and "to vindicate." It describes what happened to you when you put your faith in Jesus as your Savior: In the courtroom of heaven, God declared "Not guilty!" over you! Are you walking in full awareness of this awesome revelation? Romans 5:9 promises: "Having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him (NASB)."
Redemption. We miss the meaning of this word apolytrōsis today because we don't have public slave markets. But in ancient times, a slave could be liberated from bondage when a wealthy person paid a hefty fee. Redemption means "released from slavery by the payment of a ransom." This is what Christ achieved for us when He died on the cross! Ephesians 1:7 says, "In Him we haveredemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses."
Propitiation. This is certainly not a word we use in everyday conversation, since we have no cultural concept of making sacrifices for sins. This word, hilasmos, is packed with meaning—and speaks of a sacrifice that covers sin and satisfies the demands of a holy God. When Jesus died for us, He removed our guilt by transferring it to Himself. 1 John 2:2 says: "He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world."
Sanctification. This word, hagiasmos, is sometimes translated "holiness." It signifies separation unto God (not self-righteous separation from people) and separation from evil things and ways. It is the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit, who purges us continually as we offer our lives in consecration and devotion. The Bible also says sanctification is not optional: "Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord" (Heb. 12:14). In this season when our culture is redefining morality, this is not a word we should ignore.
Judgment. We live in a permissive culture, and any talk of final judgment is considered socially insensitive. Yet this inflammatory word was used by Jesus Himself to speak of the final destiny of sinners who reject Him. Jesus was certainly not politically correct when He said in John 5:24: "He who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come intojudgment." Meanwhile the author of Hebrews reminds us: "It is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment" (9:27). The Greek word, krisis, means "a sentence of condemnation, damnatory judgment, condemnation and punishment." If we believed God's final judgment was a reality, it would certainly alter the way we interact with unbelievers.
Grace. There is a reason the hymn writer called grace "amazing." This word is almost impossible to define. According to Strong's Lexicon, the Greek word charis means not only (1) the goodness and favor of God, and (2) the kindness by which God exerts His holy influence upon us, but also (3) "the spiritual condition of one governed by the power of divine grace." Grace is not just God's unmerited favor, but also what it does to us and through us. This is implied when Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:10: "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me."
Countless martyrs died so that we could have the Bible, yet today we are forgetting it. I urge you to rediscover the timeless truths of Scripture and expand your vocabulary. By the power of His grace, you will become a living demonstration of these words to everyone around you.
J. Lee Grady is contributing editor of Charisma and author of the new book The Holy Spirit Is Not for Sale. Follow him on Twitter at leegrady.

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Friday, September 10, 2010

Qur'an Burning and Fundamentalism: Can Muslims and Christians ever get along?

There has been much controversy in the news this week as a result of Ps Terry Jones’ announcement and subsequent cancellation of his plans to hold a public Qur’an burning on
September 11:


Let me say that while the idea of interfaith dialogue may seem encouraging
within today's politically correct, multicultural, postmodern society, when one
weighs the teachings of historical Christianity against Islam, it is
impossibile to have dialogue (let alone syncretism) without compromising either

What I'd like to do in this post is to compare what the Bible and Qur'an have to say with regards to the nature of God, the person of Jesus Christ, divine revelation, sin and salvation; with addition exposition from Ps Mark Driscoll and Yasir Qadhi, representing Evangelical Christianity and Islam respectively:


Christianity - One God represented by a Trinitarian nature: God the Father, God the
Son (Jesus Christ), God the Holy Spirit.

Mat 3:16
As soon
as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was
opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him
Mat 3:17
And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am
well pleased."
Mat 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing
them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

Mat 28:20 and teaching them to obey
everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very
end of the age."

1Jn 5:6 This is the one who came by water
and blood--Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood.
And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.

1Jn 5:7 For there are three that testify:

1Jn 5:8 the Spirit, the water and the blood;
and the three are in agreement.
1Jn 5:9 We accept man's testimony, but
God's testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has
given about his Son.

1Jn 5:10 Anyone who believes in the Son of
God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made
him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given
about his Son.

Islam -
God is singular not just in number, but also in nature (Tawhid), having no
creator or offspring.

Say: [1] Say: He, Allah, is One.
2] Allah is He on Whom all depend. 

[3] He begets not, nor is He begotten.
4] And none is like Him

Indeed, the truth deny they who say, "Behold, God is the third of a
trinity" - seeing that there is no deity whatever save the One God. And
unless they desist from this their assertion, grievous suffering is bound to
befall such of them as are bent on denying the truth.

The Identity of Jesus

Christianity -
Jesus is God the son incarnate as a human being, fully God and also fully man; born of a virgin (Mary) to live a live without sin.

Joh 8:52 At this the Jews
exclaimed, "Now we know that you are demon-possessed! Abraham died and so
did the prophets, yet you say that if anyone keeps your word, he will never
taste death.

Joh 8:53 Are you greater than our father
Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?"

Joh 8:54 Jesus replied, "If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me.

Joh 8:55 Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and keep his word.

Joh 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad."

Joh 8:57 "You are not yet fifty yearsold," the Jews said to him, "and you have seen Abraham!"

Joh 8:58 "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I AM!"

Php 2:5 Your attitude should be the same as
that of Christ Jesus:

Php 2:6 Who, being in very nature God, did
not consider equality with God something to be grasped,

Php 2:7 but made himself nothing, taking the
very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

Php 2:8 And being found in appearance as a
man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!

Php 2:9 Therefore God exalted him to the
highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,

Php 2:10 that at the name of Jesus every
knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

Php 2:11 and every tongue confess that Jesus
Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Heb 1:5 For to which of the angels did God
ever say, "You are my Son, today I have begotten you"? Or again,
"I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son"? 

Heb 1:6 And again, when he brings the
firstborn into the world, he says, "Let all God's angels worship

Heb 1:7 Of the angels he says, "He
makes his angels winds, and his ministers a flame of fire." 

Heb 1:8 But of the Son he says, "Your
throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter
of your kingdom. 

Heb 1:9 You have loved righteousness and
hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness
beyond your companions."

Heb 1:10 And, "You, Lord, laid the
foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your

Heb 1:11 they will perish, but you remain;
they will all wear out like a garment, 

Heb 1:12 like a robe you will roll them up,
like a garment they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will
have no end."

Heb 1:13 And to which of the angels has he
ever said, "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for
your feet"?

Islam -
While Islam affirms the virgin birth of Jesus, muslims deny that he was the Son of God, let alone God incarnate.

O FOLLOWERS of the Gospel! Do not overstep the bounds [of truth] in your
religious beliefs,and do not say of God anything but the truth. The Christ
Jesus, son of Mary, was but God's Apostle - [the fulfilment of] His promise
which He had conveyed unto Mary - and a soul created by Him.Believe, then, in
God and His apostles, and do not say, "[God is] a trinity". Desist
[from this assertion] for your own good. God is but One God; utterly remote is
He, in His glory, from having a son: unto Him belongs all that is in the
heavens and all that is on earth; and none is as worthy of trust as God.

The Christ, son of Mary, was but an apostle: all [other] apostles had
passed away before him; and his mother was one who never deviated from the
truth; and they both ate food [like other mortals].Behold how clear We make
these messages unto them: and then behold how perverted are their minds!

[As for Jesus,] he was nothing but [a human being -] a servant [of
Ours] whom We had graced [with prophethood], and whom We made an example for
the children of Israel .

And had We so willed, [O you who worship angels,] We could indeed have
made you into angels succeeding one another on earth!

AND, BEHOLD, this [divine writ] is indeed a means to know [that] the
Last Hour [is bound to come];hence, have no doubt whatever about it, but follow
Me: this [alone] is a straight way.

And let not Satan bars you [from it] - for, verily, he is your open

NOW WHEN Jesus came [to his people] with all evidence of the truth, he
said: “I have now come unto you with wisdom,and to make clear Unto you some of
that on which you are at variance:hence, be conscious of God, and pay heed unto

“Verily, God is my Sustainer as well as your Sustainer; so worship [none
but] Him: this [alone] is a straight way!”

But factions from among those [who came after Jesus] began to hold
divergent views:woe, then, unto those who are bent on evildoing - [woe] for the
suffering [that will befall them] on a grievous Day!

Inspired texts and revelation

Christianity - Christians believe the text of the Bible - Creation, Law,
Prophets, Chronicles, the Gospel - to be the inspired, infallible and innerant
Word of God containing all that is sufficient for teaching and doctrine. Apart
from it, there is no authoritative revelaton from which to base teaching.

Gal 1:8 But even if we or an angel from heaven
should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him
be accursed. 

Gal 1:9 As we have said before, so now I say
again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received,
let him be accursed.

2Ti 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by
God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training
in righteousness, 

2Ti 3:17 that the man of God may be
competent, equipped for every good work. 

2Pe 1:16 For we did not follow cleverly
devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus
Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
2Pe 1:17 For when he received honor and
glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic
Glory, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased," 

2Pe 1:18 we ourselves heard this very voice
borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. 

2Pe 1:19 And we have something more sure,
the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp
shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your

2Pe 1:20 knowing this first of all, that no
prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. 

2Pe 1:21 For no prophecy was ever produced
by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the
Holy Spirit.

Islam - While Muslims declare that the original revelations
of the Jewish Torah as well as the Gospel preached by Jesus were inspired by
God, it is believed that the Qur'an, received by Muhammed is superior to both
and that the former have been corrupted over time.

SAY [O Prophet]: "Whosoever is an
enemy of Gabriel" -who,, verily, by God's leave, has brought down upon thy
heart this [divine writ] which confirms the truth of whatever there still
remains [of earlier revelations], and is a guidance and a glad tiding for the

"whosover is an enemy of God
and His angels and His message-bearers, including Gabriel and Michael, [should
know that,] verily, God is the enemy of all who deny the truth."

For, clear messages indeed have We bestowed upon thee from on high; and
none denies their truth save the iniquitous.

Is it not so that every time they made a promise [unto God], some of
them cast it aside? Nay, indeed: most of them do not believe.
And do not argue with the followers of earlier
revelation otherwise than in a most kindly manner - unless it be such of them
as are bent on evildoingand say: “We believe in that which has been be stowed
from on high upon us, as well as that which has been bestowed upon you: or our
God and your God is one and the same, and it is unto Him that We [all]
surrender ourselves.”

For it is thusthat We have bestowed this divine writ from on high upon
thee [O Muhammad]. And they to whom we have vouchsafed this divine writ believe
in itjust as among those [followers of earlier revelation] there are some who
believe in it. And none could knowingly reject Our messages unless it be such
as would deny [an obvious] truth: 

for, [O Muhammad,] thou hast never been able to recite any divine writ
ere this one [was revealed], nor didst thou ever transcribe one with your own
handor else, they who try to disprove the truth [of thy revelation] might
indeed have had cause to doubt [it].

Nay, but this [divine writ] consists of messages clear to the hearts of
all who are gifted with [innate] knowledgeand none could knowingly reject Our
messages unless it be such as would do wrong [to themselves].

And yet they say, “Why have no miraculous signs ever been bestowed upon
him from on high by his Sustainer?” Say: “Miracles are in the power of God
alone;and as for me - I am but a plain warner.”

Why - is it not enough for them that We have bestowed this divine writ on
thee from on high, to be conveyed [by thee] to them?For, verily, in it is
[manifested Our] grace, and a reminder to people who will believe.

Say [unto those who will not believe]: “God is witness enough between me
and you! He knows all that is in the heavens and on earth; and they who are
bent on believing in what is false and vain, and thus on
denying God - it is they, they who shall be the losers!”


Christianity -

"What’s the gospel? I’ll put it in a sentence. The Gospel is the news that Jesus Christ, the Righteous One, died for our sins and rose again, eternally triumphant over all his enemies, so that there is now no condemnation for those who believe, but only everlasting joy. That’s the gospel." - John Piper 

Joh 1:28
These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
Joh 1:29 The next day he saw Jesus coming
toward him, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of
the world! 

Joh 1:30 This is he of whom I said, 'After
me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.' 

Joh 1:31 I myself did not know him, but for
this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to

Joh 1:32 And John bore witness: "I saw
the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him.
Joh 1:33 I myself did not know him, but he
who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'He on whom you see the Spirit
descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.' 

Joh 1:34 And I have seen and have borne
witness that this is the Son of God."
Joh 1:35 The next day again John was
standing with two of his disciples, 

Joh 1:36 and he looked at Jesus as he walked
by and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God!" 

Act 17:30
The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people
everywhere to repent, 

Act 17:31 because he has fixed a day on
which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed;
and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.

Rom 3:21 But now the righteousness of God has been
manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness
to it-- 

Rom 3:22 the righteousness of God through
faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 

Rom 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short
of the glory of God, 

Rom 3:24 and are justified by his grace as a
gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
Rom 3:25 whom God put forward as a
propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's
righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former
Rom 3:26 It was to show his righteousness
at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who
has faith in Jesus.

1Co 15:1 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the
gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 

1Co 15:2 and by which you are being saved,
if you hold fast to the word I preached to you--unless you believed in vain. 

1Co 15:3 For I delivered to you as of first
importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance
with the Scriptures, 

1Co 15:4 that he was buried, that he was
raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 

1Co 15:5 and that he appeared to Cephas,
then to the twelve. 

1Co 15:6 Then he appeared to more than five
hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have
fallen asleep. 

1Co 15:7 Then he appeared to James, then to
all the apostles. 

1Co 15:8 Last of all, as to one untimely
born, he appeared also to me. 

1Co 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles,
unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 

1Co 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what
I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder
than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 

1Co 15:11 Whether then it was I or they, so
we preach and so you believed.

Islam - Since Islam denies the divinity of Christ, muslims therefore
deny the Christian concept of atonement, stating that a man is responsible for
his own sin and must come to repentance and faith in Allah on his own.

If you avoid the great sins,
which you have been enjoined to shun, We shall efface your [minor] bad deeds,
and shall cause you to enter an abode of glory.

do not covet the bounties which God has bestowed more abundantly on some of you
than on others. Men shall have a benefit from what they earn, and women shall
have a benefit from what they earn. Ask, therefore, God [to give you] out of
His bounty: behold, God has indeed full knowledge of everything.

And so, [We punished them] for the breaking of their pledge, and their refusal to
acknowledge God's messages, and their slaying of prophets against all right,
and their boast, "Our hearts are already full of knowledge"- nay, but
God has sealed their hearts in result of their denial of the truth, and [now]
they believe in but few things - ;

and for their refusal to acknowledge the truth, and the awesome calumny
which they utter against Mary,

and their boast, "Behold, we have slain the Christ Jesus, son of
Mary, [who claimed to be] an apostle of God!" However, they did not slay
him, and neither did they crucify him, but it only seemed to them [as if it had
been] so;and, verily, those who hold conflict ing views thereon are indeed
confused, having no [real] knowledge thereof, and following mere con jecture.
For, of a certainty, they did not slay him:

nay, God exalted him unto Himself- and God is indeed almighty, wise.

Yet there is not one of the followers of earlier revelation who does
not, at the moment of his death, grasp the truth about Jesus;and on the Day of
Resurrection he [himself] shall bear witness to the truth against them.

The same did say [to themselves many of] those who lived before their
time; but of no avail to them was all that they had ever achieved:

for all the evil deeds that they had wrought fell [back] upon them. And
[the same will happen to] people of the present time who are bent on
wrongdoing:all the evil deeds that they have ever wrought will fall [back] upon
them, and never will they be able to elude [God]!

Are they, then, not aware that it is God who grants abundant sustenance,
or gives it in scant measure, unto whomever He wills? In this, behold, there
are messages indeed for peo ple who will believe!

SAY: “[Thus speaks God:]‘O you servants of Mine who have transgressed
against your own selves! Despair not of God’s mercy: behold, God forgives all
sins - for, verily, He alone is much-forgiving, a dis penser of grace!’ ”

Hence, when one considers Islam's and Christianity's views towards God, Jesus, Divine revelation and Salvation, the two are simply incompatible. One has to triumph over the other. It could be argued that those who would push for inter-faith dialogue in the hope of
building a bridge between the two faiths may not truly be representing their own faith as they know they should.
   The same could be said of the Jewish and Christian leaders who, while not condoning the actions of Terry Jones, are nonetheless reluctant to contend for the exclusivity of Christian
worldview and in response to the actions of extremists in their ranks, default to compromise and flattery. Of course, in the case of the latter, this is obviously a case of not following sola christus

   This blog post is nether an apology to my Muslim neighbours, nor an accolade for the likes of Terry Jones; however, for both sides neither flattery nor extremism is the answer to the issue. On that note, I close with one final message: