Saturday, March 26, 2011

Who's in Hell? Pastors' Criticism of Eternal Torment for Some Sparks Fierce Debate

From Fox News: A Methodist pastor who voiced support for a book questioning the view of hell as a place of eternal damnation is "shocked" by his church's decision to fire him. Chad Holtz, who served as pastor of the United Methodist church in rural North Carolina, said he hoped his personal belief posted on Facebook would engage -- not anger -- members of his congregation.

Holtz was dismissed this month as pastor of Marrow's Chapel in Henderson after he wrote a note on his Facebook page supporting a new book by Rob Bell, a prominent young evangelical pastor and critic of the traditional view of hell as a place of torment for billions of damned souls.

Bell, the pastor of the 10,000-member Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Mich., criticizes the belief that a select number of Christians will spend eternity in the bliss of heaven while everyone else is tormented forever in hell.

"This is misguided and toxic and ultimately subverts the contagious spread of Jesus' message of love, peace, forgiveness and joy that our world desperately needs to hear," Bell writes in his book.

Bell obviously has a problem with Jesus’ message; in fact, no one spoke more about hell than Christ Jesus. Hell is an eternal place of fire and punishment - (Matt 3:12; 5:22; 5:29-30; 18:8-9; 25:41; 25:46; Jude 7; Rev 20:15).

If one rejects eternal punishment and the bible teaches eternal punishment, one is left with no other alternative than to dismiss the authority of the Bible. The only place one finds a God that is a God of love, is the Bible. When folks accept this, (albeit usually at the exclusion of His holiness) yet reject eternal punishment, it is not so because the scriptures are unclear; it is an objection based on theological concerns not exegetical. The phrase “God is dead” comes to mind in the sense that man would also like to dismiss, if not kill the notion of Hell, and probably for good reasons. The reasons why men have a somewhat “natural” desire to make God inconsequential in their daily lives may also hold some of the same answers as to why the doctrine of hell is so differently understood and viewed.

Bell, and the rest of the like-minded world are perfectly free to choose any god they wish, just as long as it is not the God of the Bible. Bell’s god bothers the souls (hearts) of no one, makes no absolute or eternal demands. The God of the Bible is the creator, sustainer, savior and judge. Bell has made a god created in man’s image, and that is a very terrible thing.

This Methodist pastor’s words are very instructive here: he states “"I lost the idol of belief; I lost a very powerful and useful motivator -- fear; I lost the right to hate my enemy and I lost my place in a tribe,…We do these somersaults to justify the monster god we believe in," he said. "But confronting my own sinfulness, that's when things started to topple for me. Am I really going to be saved just because I believe something, when all these good people in the world aren't?"

This “pastor” is unmistakably standing in judgment of God’s word. This is precisely why theology and doctrine are critical. First, his motivation is wrapped up in fear, not what Jesus has accomplished on the cross on behalf of lost sinners. Two, he actually “believes” men are “good” and deserve something more than God’s wrath, and at the same time discounts one’s “belief” as being inconsequential. You can’t have it both ways, either what you believe will save you or it will not. You can’t say one’s “beliefs” don’t matter when it comes to hell, but they do matter if you are arguing against a god who judges men to hell. And perhaps most disturbing, he actually minimizes the Cross of Christ by not mentioning it once in "his" salvation equation. Thankfully, this one rural United Methodist Church had the spiritual maturity and God given discernment to throw him out! Maybe after Satan has had his way with him, he will repent and return to fellowship and obedience to God’s word.

Pastors who embrace false teachings and do not protect the flock from unbiblical theology and doctrines, are doing the work of Satan, and yep - he too is as real as hell.

Lastly, we would do well to remember, the ultimate object of our faith is not doctrine, it is in fact the person - Christ Jesus. We are not at liberty to claim He is our savior while contradicting His word. We must remember - even the demons believe in Jesus, make sure your belief is not the same kind as theirs!

The goal of every (false) religion on earth is in some way trying to appease God. Biblical Christianity knows know such system - God alone is both Just and the Justifier, we have not been left alone to work out a plan. We indeed believe what Christ has done and said, from Genesis to Revelation and we do not dare stand in judgment of His word, His word has and will always stand in judgment of men.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

MUHAMMAD: A TRUE OR FALSE PROPHET OF GOD.

I. Introduction and Purpose

No matter what one may call or give title to, Muhammad is claimed by almost a billion Muslims around the world to be a prophet of Allah. In essence, Muhammad claimed with authority to be a “Messenger of God”. If this claim is true, then anyone who desires to know God and His message would listen and read the divine revelations contained in the Qur’an. Islam makes it quite clear that God has sent prophets to mankind with divine teachings; the Qur’an being the final and more perfect revelation and Muhammad being God’s last prophet (Qur’an 10:47)[1]. The purpose of this paper will be to examine whether or not Muhammad was indeed a true Prophet; “a Messenger of God” and upon what basis is one to accept this claim to be true. The research will show that Muhammad did indeed fulfill one prophetic “office” in his ministry; warning others of idolatry, yet thoroughly fails any objective criteria that would make him a spokesperson or true “messenger” of God.

It should also be noted at this point, the research done here will be examined and analyzed from a Christian worldview; the Bible being the complete and final authority culminated in the person and work of Christ Jesus. If in fact Islam is one of the fastest growing faiths in the world, then it becomes absolutely necessary for both Christian and Muslim to dialogue about their respective beliefs and teachings; asking ‘why do I believe what I do’ is a good and necessary duty. It is this writer’s contention, that whether Christian or Muslim, “arguing” for or against truth claims is necessary to arrive at the truth and thus recognizing true prophets of God from false prophets is essential to both faiths. It is in this universal “spirit” of truth seeking, that the research is done.

II. Purpose of the Prophet

Since Muhammad claimed he was a prophet, a messenger of God, it becomes necessary to understand the purpose of the prophet. Anyone can claim to have received a “message” or revelation from God, but in what manner is one to distinguish the validity of said message from the messenger himself? In 2 Samuel 18:24-27 the term “watchman” is used to describe the prophetic role; a “messenger” that warns the people of approaching judgment so the people may respond. In Ezekiel 33:2-9 it is made abundantly clear, this “watchman” is receiving a “word from the Lord”, therefore the watchman must be faithful and obedient to the message; or the blood of the watchman will be required (v. 6). In essence, one of the Old Testament prophet’s roles was that of a person who would warn the people of his day and society about their sin and their need to change their ways (repent). Muhammad by all accounts, did attempt to warn the people of his day (seventh century Arabia) of their need to stop worshipping false gods. In this context of being a “watchmen”, he fulfills one of the prophetic Old Testament roles as traditionally and biblically understood; forth-telling.

Most biblical prophecy is not predicting the future (foretelling), but rather proclaiming a message that is concerned with the immediate circumstances (forth-telling).[2] Deuteronomy 18:22 makes it clear, that any man who speaks in the name of God, and what is spoken does not come to pass, means the message was not from God. Therefore, any foretelling done by a prophet must be one hundred percent accurate; ninety-nine percent accurate is rejected. Professor David Farnell argues that the authority of any genuine prophet rests in God as the source of the prophecy, not the prophet himself.[3] Therefore, in analyzing all the biblical evidence, the prophet’s speech is God’s speech and is completely true and authoritative.[4]

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the biblical role of the covenants cannot be ignored when discussing the role of the prophets. No matter what prophetic book one reads in the Old Testament, there is the prevailing theme of calling a rebellious and sinful people back to the covenant with Yahweh; creator and Redeemer.[5] Biblically there are five covenants; Noahic, Abrahamic, Mosaic (Priestly), Davidic, and the New Covenant. While an entire paper could be written on each, it is most noteworthy here to simply say that biblically, all the prophet’s messages are based upon and firmly founded on these covenants. Muhammad not only claimed to be a prophet (being the “Seal of the Prophets”)[6], a “messenger of God”, but he did so by precisely linking himself to the prophetic tradition of Moses, Noah, Abraham, David, and Jesus.[7] In fact, while most Muslims argue today these texts (Old and New Testament) have been corrupted, Deuteronomy 18:15 is the key text they will use to show the announcement of Muhammad himself –“The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him” (NASB). Furthermore, even with the argument that these texts have been corrupted lingering near by, more biblical texts are cited by Muslims that testify to the validity and authority that Muhammad is indeed the final prophet (Is. 29:11-13; 40:6).[8]

III. Muhammad the Prophet

There is what might be called “the age old question” that is asked of Christians by Muslims – “Since we [Muslims] accept Jesus as a genuine prophet and messenger of God, can you [Christians] not reciprocate by accepting the genuineness of Muhammad’s prophethood?”[9] While some Christian groups have gone so far as to invent a “new theology of non-Christian religions”[10] in order to answer this fair question without offending the “unanimous recognition given to the sincerity of Muhammad,…but also to the value, the beauty and merit of that preaching,”[11] the true answer must be – no. Can self professing Christians do any justice to the truth of God’s word, the very words of His prophets; by inventing a “new theology” for non-believers, just so they are not offended? Clearly, neither Muslim nor Christian is benefited by paying insincere “recognition” to the other; terminology does in fact matter for both the Muslim and Christian. For the Muslim, calling Muhammad a prophet, but in reality only meaning a sincere, inspired, and perhaps “saint-like” man, will be rejected outright. A prophet in Islam is indeed one who speaks, and as the right to speak in the name of God.

Going back to Muhammad’s early years (his original encounter with the angel Gabriel) may be instructive here. Muhammad lived in a historical setting that was rampant with the poets inspired by evil spirits and soothsayers, therefore, his initial fear of having some kind of experience that was not of God (evil), can surly be understood and is not without a basis.[12] Once Muhammad is assured that “the law of Moses has been bestowed on him” and that he is indeed “the prophet of this nation”,[13] his ministry is born interestingly, with the assurance of a self professing Christian.[14] Muhammad’s early years as recorded in the Qur’an (Early Meccan Period 610-612) have no reference to him becoming anything but a tendered hearted prophet who cared for the poor and was sensitive to the needs of strangers.[15] This “ideal” description of his prophethood would gradually change over the years, especially when the Jews rejected his claims to be a prophet in the tradition of Moses. The Medina phase (622-623) of Muhammad’s life, takes on a much different approach. Shedding the blood of those who opposed him and taking Islam beyond the confines of Arabia, has led some to argue the “prophet of mercy” had become the “Prophet - Statesman”.[16]

Mehmet Aydin argues that religiously speaking, prophet hood is not the natural result of some personal endeavor, even though many prophets do experience deep and moral experiences before they have received revelation from God.[17] For the Muslim, Muhammad’s concern for the community and social justice is revelation from God; the ways and means which Muhammad adopted are simply the means in which the message itself is communicated;[18] shedding blood would by necessity be just another means of communicating God’s message in Islam. Take for instance Qur’an 10:47: “Every community is sent a messenger, and when their messenger comes, they will be judged justly; they will not be wronged.” This clearly shows that according to Muhammad, one of the universal functions of the prophet is to be a just judge between the people.[19] Muhammad’s concern for the people, however, is by necessity tightly enveloped in his power (or lack thereof) to change things. Unlike the more recent Western notion that the church and state are separate, the Muslim sees no contradiction in establishing a “state” or community governed by the “message”. In other words, a message (Islam) that begins with a warning of God’s judgment evolves into an “army” or community administering God’s message (justice included).

IV. Muhammad the False Prophet

As previously mentioned, one of the key biblical texts used to assert the authority of Muhammad being a prophet, is Deuteronomy 18:15 – “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him (NASB). The NIV version states “from your fellow Israelites.” In context, the words “your countrymen” would obviously mean a Jew (Hebrew), not an Arab. While it is not the sole purpose of this paper to defend the historicity of scripture, which has been done authoritatively[20], it does point out a rather blaring mistake in terms of using scripture to support the prophet hood of Muhammad. The very purpose of prophecy in the Old Testament is consistently shown to establish the utter supremacy of God alone, never the prophet.[21] If Muhammad had not placed himself in the prophetic line of Old Testament prophets, then perhaps there would be no issue, but clearly he did. Muhammad’s claim to be a “messenger of God” based upon this Deuteronomy Old Testament text must be rejected since Muhammad was not an Israelite according to both Christian and Muslim alike.

Professor of Islamic Studies M. A. S. Abdel Haleem, a man born in Egypt and who had learned the Qur’an by heart since childhood states:

The Qur’an justifies its teachings using logical arguments, God’s creation and grace in nature, and reference to past history, the future and what will happen on the Day of Judgment. The employment of the histories of prophets previous to Muhammad is a salient feature of the Qur’anic discourse.[22]

Professor Haleem encourages the use of logical arguments and readily admits to the Qur’an’s use of past prophets and their histories. He goes on further to argue that all the prophets in the Qur’an were sent to promote the same fundamental beliefs; bearers of good news and a warning of the afterlife.[23] The function of prophetic stories in the Qur’an is to reinforce the very prophet hood of Muhammad, and to reassure (Islam) believers in their long and persistent struggles against persecution; because in the end “they will win.”[24] Yet, perhaps ironically, he concludes his article on the Qur’an’s repeated employment of the Story of Noah, not as biographies or even the histories of prophet hood, but rather specific moments or events which are to simply give lessons.[25] What is completely absent in Professor Haleem’s analysis, is the fact that the very first time the word covenant is used, is precisely with Noah (Genesis 9:9-17). The only possible condition of this covenant is found in verse six: “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image” (ESV). Apparently, speaking of God’s historical covenants with Israel is not something deemed important to Professor Haleem, since it would seemingly impeach Muhammad for his divine revelation to use force in order to communicate the message of Islam. This is an absolutely foreign concept with the prophets of the Old Testament. God judged men with “war”; it was never employed in order to communicate His message. Furthermore, “war” was only justified for a particular group of people (Israel) at a particular time, and for a particular purpose; a purpose which has already been accomplished (Ephesians 6:12 and 2 Corinthians 10:4).

Perhaps the most serious problem for accepting Muhammad as a prophet is precisely his trustworthiness. Unfortunately, and perhaps generally speaking, the Muslim does not read the Qur’an and then conclude it is a divine work, rather they believe it is a divine work and then they read it.[26] When the Old Testament records the prophet’s words and historical accounts, they reflect reality, historical facts, and truth. If the historical details about the prophet’s words can be shown to be false, then the words of the prophet and their “books” themselves would have a clear credibility issue. This is specifically where Muhammad falls significantly short. For instance, the Qur’an records a story about Jesus as a young child (infant perhaps), breathing into a clay bird and the bird comes to life and fly’s away (Qur’an 5:110). This particular story is derived from the apocryphal Gospels that were circulated over a hundred years after the time of Jesus; none of which were ever accepted as the authentic Gospels. Dr. Caner argues that clearly Muhammad trusted the apocryphal gospel more than he did the authentic and canonical New Testament.[27] Perhaps even more ironic, who but “God” could breathe life into an inmate object (a hunk of clay)? Yet, Muhammad encourages both Jew and Christian during his lifetime to consult and obey their scriptures.[28] The problem with Muhammad’s understanding of scripture is further complicated by the fact that no Muslim theologian seriously contended that the Gospel texts were not authentic for the first four centuries after Muhammad (600-1000AD).[29] If the “employment of the histories of prophets previous to Muhammad is a salient feature of the Qur’anic discourse”, as argued by Professor Haleem, then surely as demonstrated here, there are key historical and factual deficiencies that exist in Muhammad’s message.

Since Muhammad used primary sources (the Old Testament prophetic texts) to directly link him to a tradition of truthfulness and authority, then his prophet hood must be compared in their context. Historically, and as evidenced in the Qur’an (42:13) Muhammad is argued to be a prophet of the “same” religion as Noah, Abraham, and Jesus etc.., and by the close of Muhammad’s ministry, no matter how one characterizes it, he alone is declared to have succeeded by divine favor (God’s last prophet) by perfecting a “religion” that has been declared to all past prophets and thus confirmed by what is now called Islam.[30] It is thus argued, given the unity and universal revelations sent by God to Israel (the Torah, Psalms and Gospel), any resistance to his prophet hood are the result of unbelief; not the scriptures’ testimony. Yet even today, some Muslims frequently use the Gospel of Barnabas to prove the superiority of Islam, specifically for its claim that Jesus speaks of Muhammad as being the Messiah.[31] The problem with the Muslim using such a “proof source,” is that the Gospel of Barnabas not only contradicts the Qur’an, it did not exist during Muhammad’s life time.[32] In essence, such an argument actually lends more support to the authenticity and historicity of the Christian Gospels; the very Gospels circulating during Muhammad’s life time.

V. The Testimony of Scripture (Qur’an included).

1 John 4:1 states “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world” (ESV). As previously argued, the Qur’anic view of the scriptures (both Jew and Christian) is one that confirms their authority and legitimacy. Qur’an 3:84 states:

Say [Muhammad], ‘We [Muslims] believe in God and in what has been sent down to us and to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes. We believe in what has been given to Moses, Jesus, and the prophets from their Lord. We do not make distinction between any of them. It is to Him that we devote ourselves.

The scriptures (that which has been sent down to us) did indeed exist in Muhammad’s day. Christian, Jew, and Muslim are exhorted to judge for themselves. In fact, Muhammad himself is told to follow their guidance and to substantiate his own message in light of them:[33]

Qur’an 10:94-95 – So if you [Prophet] are in doubt about what We have revealed to you, ask those who have been reading the scriptures before you. The Truth has come to you from your Lord, so be in no doubt and do not deny God’s signs – then you would become one of the losers.

Since both Muslim and Christian accept the fact that God has indeed sent prophets, testing them is our duty and responsibility. A true prophet’s message must be judged to be true or false in light of them. No man can be deemed a true prophet of God if what he proclaims contradicts scripture in any way. This is also clearly taught in Deuteronomy 18:15-22.

The Qur’an in many respects does indeed confirm some biblical testimony; specifically there is only one God, creator of the universe, and one day God will judge all mankind. However, there are many biblical contradictions found the in Qur’an. For instance, fighting for God; Jesus teaches to love one’s enemy (Matthew 5:39; 44), while the Qur’an teaches that the gospel says fighting for God is acceptable (Qur’an 9:111).[34] Perhaps the most important biblical contradiction found in the Qur’an, is the denial of Jesus’ death and resurrection (Qur’an 4:156-157). Matthew 16:21 clearly teaches that Jesus Himself, not only predicted His death, but also testified to His own resurrection on the third day. While some scholars may argue that the dispute isn’t over the content of the Bible, but rather an issue of interpretation,[35] clearly either the texts mean what they say, or they do not. The Qur’an itself, makes the claim to be the divine source for making the Bible more clear (Qur’an 10:37), and is also the divine source for explaining the differences between the Jew and Christian (Qur’an 27:76).[36] Since the Qur’an’s own compiling post dates all pervious divine revelation, how can it possibly be linked to the same prophetic tradition of the Bible while making polar opposite truth claims? The simple answer is it cannot, unless it [the Qur’an] forfeits its claim as being divine revelation and its claim to be incorruptible.

Lastly, the topic of the Qur’an abrogating itself must be addressed. Qur’an 2:106 states; “Any revelation We cause to be superseded or forgotten, We replace with something better or similar. Do you [Prophet] not know that God has power over everything?” This does not mean that the Qur’an abrogates the Jewish or Christian scripture, simply because just six verses later (2:111) the Qur’an asks the Jew and Christian to bring forth their “proof”[37] as if their own scriptures will testify in Muhammad’s favor. Furthermore, in Qur’an 16:101 its states the abrogation has to do with the Qur’an, not Jewish or Christian scripture.[38] Therefore, the Qur’an never states the Bible has been corrupted; this includes both the Old Testament (Jews only and Christian) and New Testament (Christians only). 2 John 2:22-23 teaches:

“Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. Let what you have heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you have heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and the Father. And this is the promise that he made to us – eternal life” (ESV).

In essence, the Bible is true and authoritative according to the Qur’an, yet the Qur’an may abrogate itself when God deems it necessary (Qur’an 16:101). Since the 2 John scripture quoted above is true according to the Qur’an, then any prophet [Muhammad included] that denies the son-ship of Jesus, would be a false prophet, or more specifically anti-Christ. Furthermore, since God’s word cannot be changed, and if Allah promised to guard his word from corruption as stated in Qur’an 15:9, how could mere men have corrupted it? No Muslim would argue man is greater than his creator; therefore, evidence of corruption becomes necessary. Lastly, how authoritative can a prophet’s revelation be, if the prophet [Muhammad] allows for divine consent to change or abrogate the message when needed? To make such a claim would be no different than any man (false prophet) claiming he is a messenger of God and proclaiming on behalf of God that - ‘my message may change if God tells me to change it’. This erratic sort of prophet hood simply does not measure up to any biblical standard for prophets, nor would it encourage both the biblical and Qur’anic mandate to judge the prophets according to their words in order to determine false prophets from true prophets of God.

VI. Conclusion

Dr. Jamal Badawi is an Islamic apologist and author of a pamphlet titled Muhammad in the Bible. One of his arguments is that Deuteronomy 18:18 speaks of the “prophet like unto Moses” as clearly being Muhammad; “There were hardly any two prophets who were so much alike as Moses and Muhammad.”[39] The problem with Dr. Badawi’s argument using the Bible as a teaching tool to prove Muhammad’s prophet hood, is the Bible itself tells us who the “prophet like unto Moses is; Jesus Christ.[40] John 4:46 states - “For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me” (ESV). In addition, Acts 13:

The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. ... Now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ would suffer. Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you--even Jesus. He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. For Moses said, "The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from among his people." (Acts 3:13-23, NIV)[41]

Clearly, Dr. Badawi excluded these biblical texts for a reason, they refute his own conclusions about using the Bible to “establish” Muhammad’s prophet hood. Every false religion in the world has mixed truth with error, usually to establish its authority.

The prophets of the Old Testament did not make new laws as Muhammad clearly did.[42] Furthermore, the prophets of the Old Testament never once justified or condoned anything outside of monogamy, unlike Muhammad. While it is true Muhammad called people to worship the one true God, the creator of the universe; when the Jews rejected his claim (message) to prophet hood in the same prophetic line of Moses etc... he was forced to make the charge that the scriptures had been corrupted by omitting references to him.[43] Professor and Islamic “expert” Hammudah Abdalati claims that:

Muhammad stands as the Last Messenger and the crowning glory of the foundation of prophethood. This is not an arbitrary attitude, nor is it a convenient belief…like all other Islamic beliefs, it is an authentic and logical truth.[44]

While it is good that the professor seems to value authentic and logical truth, the burden of proof lies upon him to give evidence that the scriptures (Old and New Testaments) have been corrupted or purposely altered to omit references to Muhammad. For the professor to make the claim that the Qur’an in his hand is complete and authentic[45] is not untrue. The problem he ignores, however, is the utter lack of evidence that “previous revelations” are incomplete, lost, forgotten, or neglected.[46]

The contradictions in the Qur’an are well documented, [47] and the “prophet” himself [Muhammad] confirms the scriptures truthfulness. In fact, not one Old Testament prophet came to establish a new religion,[48] and it was Jesus who said He was the fulfillment of all Old Testament prophecies (Matthew 5:17). Perhaps the greatest obstacle for Islamic apologists to overcome in arguing for the legitimacy of Muhammad’s prophet hood, is the Qur’an’s own teachings about the nature of scripture and God’s ability to keep it pure; it is after all God’s word and God is all powerful. In essence, claiming the scriptures have omitted references to Muhammad requires evidence; this evidence is precisely what is missing and therefore Muhammad cannot be considered a true prophet or “messenger of God”. Lastly, the scriptures themselves speak clearly on the validity of any future divine revelations: Revelation 22:18 (ESV) “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book.” The Christian faith is not the invention of men; it has been divinely delivered to all mankind, and has been historically and factually verified by God’s word and an empty tomb - Christ Jesus (God in flesh).



[1]All Qur’an citations are cited from translation: M.A.S. Abdel Haleem, The Qur’an (Oxford: Oxford Press, 2010).

[2]See David Watson, Called & Committed: World-Changing Discipleship, (Harold Shaw Publishers, Wheaton, IL; 1982), pp. 109-110. [article on-line] accessed 20 February 2011 available from http://bible.org/illustration/tests-prophecy. Internet.

[3]F. David Farnell, “Is the Gift of Prophecy for Today? Part 2 (of 4 parts)”; Bibliotheca sacra 149 no 596 (O-D 1992): 388.

[4]Ibid., 387.

[5]Dr. Dallas M. Roark, Mohammed the prophet versus the prophets. [article on-line] (accessed 11 March 2011); available from http://www.answering-islam.org/authors/roark/mo_vs_prophets.html Internet.

[6]This may have been a physical “deformity” more than a “sign” See More here (accessed 11 March 2001); http://www.answering-islam.org/Shamoun/seal_of_prophethood.htm; Internet.

[7]Dr. Dallas M. Roark, Mohammed the prophet versus the prophets. [article on-line] (accessed 11 March 2011); available from http://www.answering-islam.org/authors/roark/mo_vs_prophets.html Internet.

[8]David Emmanuel Singh, “Muhammad, ‘The Prophet Like Moses’?”, Journal of Ecumenical Studies, 43:4 (Fall 2008): 546.

[9]David A. Kerr, “The Prophet Muhammad in Christian Theological Perspective”, International Bulletin of Missionary Research, 8 no 3 Jl 1984, 112.

[10]"The Prophethood of Muhammad." AFER, 22 no 1 F 1980: 38.

[11]Ibid., 37.

[12]David Emmanuel Singh, “Muhammad, ‘The Prophet Like Moses’?”, Journal of Ecumenical Studies, 43:4 (Fall 2008): 553.

[13]Ibid.

[14] George W. Braswell, Jr. Islam: Its Prophet, Peoples, Politics and Power (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1996), 13.

[15]David Emmanuel Singh, “Muhammad, ‘The Prophet Like Moses’?”, Journal of Ecumenical Studies, 43:4 (Fall 2008): 555.

[16]Mehmet S. Aydin, “Muhammad: Prophet and Statesman”, Dialogue & Alliance, 12 no 2 (Fall-Wint 1998):58.

[17]Mehmet S. Aydin, “Muhammad: Prophet and Statesman”, Dialogue & Alliance, 12 no 2 (Fall-Wint 1998): 65.

[18]Ibid., 66.

[19]Ibid., 63.

.

[20]See F.F. Bruce, The Canon of Scripture (Downers Grove:Inter Varsity Press, 1988).

[21]Dr. Dallas M. Roark, Mohammed the prophet versus the prophets. [article on-line] (accessed 11 March 2011); available from http://www.answering-islam.org/authors/roark/mo_vs_prophets.html Internet.

[22]M.A.S. Adbel Haleem, “The Qur’anic Employment of the Story of Noah,” Journal of Qurʼanic Studies, 8 no 1 2006: 38.

[23]Ibid., 55.

[24]M.A.S. Adbel Haleem, “The Qur’anic Employment of the Story of Noah,” Journal of Qurʼanic Studies, 8 no 1 2006: 55..

[25]Ibid.

[26]George W. Braswell, Jr. Islam: Its Prophet, Peoples, Politics and Power (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1996), 285.

[27]Emir Fethi Caner and Ergun Mehmet Caner, More Than a Prophet (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 2003) 74.

[28]Dr. Dallas M. Roark, Mohammed the prophet versus the prophets. [article on-line] (accessed 11 March 2011); available from http://www.answering-islam.org/authors/roark/mo_vs_prophets.html Internet.

[29]Hans Wijngaards MHM, Can we trust the Gospels [article on-line] (accessed 11 March 2011); available from http://www.answering-islam.org/Bible/Text/wijngaards.html. Internet.

[30]David A. Kerr, “The Prophet Muhammad in Christian Theological Perspective”, International Bulletin of Missionary Research, 8 no 3 Jl 1984: 112.

[31]George W. Braswell, Jr. Islam: Its Prophet, Peoples, Politics and Power (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1996): 265.

[32]Alano Perez, The Gospel of Barnabas: Why Muslims Shouldn’t Use It [article on-line] (accessed 11 March 2011); available from http://www.answering-islam.org/Authors/Perez/assumptions.html: Internet.

[33]Muhammad is not a true Prophet of God [article on-line] (accessed 11 March 2011); available from http://abrahamic-faith.com/shamoun/Is_Muhammad_a_true_Prophet_of_God.html;Internet.

[34]Samuel Green, Test a Prophet [article on-line] (accessed 11 March 2011); available from http://www.answering-islam.org/Green/test.htm; Internet.

[35]Brannon Wheeler, “Arab Prophets of the Qur’an and Bible,” Journal of Qurʼanic Studies, 8 no 2 2006: 44.

[36]Samuel Green, Test a Prophet [article on-line] (accessed 11 March 2011); available from http://www.answering-islam.org/Green/test.htm; Internet.

[37]Samuel Green, WHAT DOES THE QUR'AN SAY ABOUT THE JEWISH AND CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES?[article on-line] (accessed 11 March 2011); available from http://www.answering-islam.org/Green/onbible.htm; Internet.

[38]Ibid.

[39]Samuel Green, MUHAMMAD IN THE BIBLE: A reply to Dr. Jamal Badawi [article on-line] (accessed 11 March 2011): available from http://www.answering-islam.org/Green/mhd_bible.htm; Internet.

[40]Ibid.

[41]Ibid.

[42]Dr. Dallas M. Roark, Mohammed the prophet versus the prophets. [article on-line] (accessed 11 March 2011); available from http://www.answering-islam.org/authors/roark/mo_vs_prophets.html Internet.

[43]Keith E. Swartley, ed., Encountering The World of Islam (Atlanta: Authentic Media, 2005) 21.

[44]Ibid., 100.

[45]Ibid., 101.

[46]Keith E. Swartley, ed., Encountering The World of Islam (Atlanta: Authentic Media, 2005); 101.

[47]Contradictions in the Qur'an [article on-line] (accessed 11 March 2011): available from http://www.answering-islam.org/Quran/Contra/index.html#purpose; Internet.

[48]Dr. Dallas M. Roark, Mohammed the prophet versus the prophets. [article on-line] (accessed 11 March 2011); available from http://www.answering-islam.org/authors/roark/mo_vs_prophets.html Internet.