A comparative study of Christianity and Islam that seeks to spell out terms of reconciliation between the two religions.
When Ireland (Christianity’s Invitation From Jesus to Islam, 2016) was a Protestant seminarian in 2000, he became fascinated by the theological connections between the Christian and Muslim faiths. He discovered many similarities and points of intersection, particularly in the religions’ authoritative scriptures. However, he also noted a considerable doctrinal divide, and that their interpretations of the conditions for salvation are mutually exclusive. For example, Christians venerate Jesus as the son of God and accept his combination of humanity and divinity. However, although the Quran repeatedly references Jesus and recognizes his status as a major prophet, it denies that he was more than a mere man. Ireland carefully reviews relevant passages in the Bible to present a remarkably concise snapshot of Christian theology. He provides a synoptic overview of the faith’s essential message, the Trinitarian conception of God, and an accessible interpretation of the Holy Spirit. Likewise, he explores the fundamental tenets of Judaism, as Christianity was historically connected to it and all three of the major monotheistic traditions are Abrahamic. The author also examines the Quran and adumbrates its foundational beliefs, which simply contradict the Bible’s claim to ultimate authority. Although Ireland calls for mutual respect and tolerance between the two religions—and reciprocal forgiveness for historical sins committed by zealots on either side—his deepest purpose is to describe and recommend the Christian view of salvation, which he says was made possible by Jesus’ ministry, martyrdom, and resurrection. The author’s command of the relevant scriptural material and scholarly commentaries is extraordinary, and this study functions as a handy reference guide for readers looking to compare the Bible and the Quran, point by point. Problematically, though, the prose style can be awkward and unwieldy: “In our review Christianity, would identify Islam as an individual religion separate from the basic beliefs of Christianity, since it uses many terms defined in Christianity or narratives in the Holy Bible in ways that are inconsistent with Biblical teachings.”
A rigorous textual juxtaposition of two faiths, marred by uneven writing.