Posted by - Julian Mann, June 2013

One does not have to agree with the recent, disgraceful attacks on mosques and the inexcusably aggressive behaviour of the English Defence League to believe that both moderate and radical Muslims need to be converted to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

From a social perspective, it is certainly to be welcomed that moderate Islam is selective in relation to the religious scriptures that feature in its public worship. Unlike militant Islamists, moderate Muslims either spiritualise or ignore the texts in the Koran that call for holy war.

Though this moderate hermeneutical approach is vulnerable to radicalisation, it does help to inculcate a social peaceableness amongst its adherents that evangelical Christians should welcome. Peaceable social conditions serve the proclamation of the gospel (see 1 Timothy 2v1-7). But, as it was before the present disturbances,  moderate Islam is not a saving faith and needs to be argued against - peaceably.

It is a religion based on salvation by works. It does not recognise the 'righteousness from God (that) comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus' (Romans 3v22-24 - NIV).

Furthermore, moderate Islam refuses, in the words of the Church of England's Collect for Trinity Sunday, to 'acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of the Divine Majesty to worship the Unity'. The Allah of both moderate and militant Islam is a single-person God. Quoting from the Koran, which on the mono-nature of Allah is the authority for both brands of Islam, Michael Reeves writes in his outstanding book on the Trinity:

"Allah is a single-person God. In no sense is he a Father ('he begets not'), and in no sense does he have a Son ('nor is he begotten'). He is one person, and not three. Allah, then, is an utterly different sort of being to the God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And it is not just incompatibly different numbers we are dealing with here: that difference, as we shall see, is going to mean that Allah exists and functions in a completely different way from the Father, Son and Spirit" (The Good God, Enjoying Father, Son and Spirit, Paternoster, 2012, pxv). 

So, moderate Muslims needs to encounter the true, good God of the Bible as much as any other non-Christian group in society. They need to be reached for Christ.

The full text of the Trinity Collect focuses the difference between Nicene Christianity and moderate Islam:

"Almighty and everlasting God, who hast given thy servants grace, by the confession of a true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of the Divine Majesty to worship the Unity: We beseech thee, that thou wouldest keep us stedfast in this faith, and evermore defend us from all adversities, who livest and reignest, one God, world without end. Amen."

Julian Mann
June AD 2013


BibleGateway Reform Diocese