Summary: An essential introduction to Islam that every Christian should know.

There are three worldviews that lie at the foundation of all religions and philosophies:

1) Theism, Theism teaches there is a personal God who created the universe.

2) Naturalism, Naturalism teaches there is no divine being and that the universe is the result of time and chance

3) Pantheism. Pantheism teaches that the universe is eternal and that the divine is an impersonal force made up of all things.

All three worldviews cannot be true at the same time and if one of them is true, the other two must be false.

Within Theism – there are three models in which Christianity views world religions

1. Replacement Model – Christianity is meant to replace all religions

· The idea that Christian must move in and take the place of other religions – this is at the core of the Missionary Movement

· Hold that “There is salvation in no one else for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved” Acts 4:12

· Critics of the Replacement model say that there is tension between the universalism of God’s love v’s the particularity of what they claim is the narrow pipeline of Jesus. They say that Jesus is too exclusive

· Defenders of the Replacement Model say that Jesus is not exclusive but is totally inclusive – that the universalism of God’s is matched by the inclusivity of Jesus dying for all man kind. It is the widest invitation in the history of the world

2. Fulfilment Model

· People who subscribe to this Model believe that other religions have value, that God is found in them, that Christians need to dialogue with them and not just preach to them.

· The key idea is that God can and is at work outside of Christianity. Like for example, God could uses the fact that Jesus is mentioned in the Qu’ran (Koran) to bring people to salvation through Christ.

· Jesus was a great healer of the sick Qur’an(Koran) 3:49; 5:110

Jesus is mentioned in fifteen of the 114 Suras and in 93 of the some 6000 Qur’anic verses.

There are 114 chapters in the Koran that are arranged from longest to shortest

He is called Messiah 11 times (although this is not the same as the way Christian’s refer to Christ as Messiah.)

He was protected from Satan from birth

He was blessed by his special birth

There is a general consensus that his birth was a Virgin Birth

There is a reference to Jesus, his birth, death and being raised up alive.

For example in relation to the death of Jesus, the Qur’an (Koran) says that they did not kill him and did not crucify him but he was counterfeited for them.

For example in the movie the Life of Pi the lad says “Thankyou Vishnu for introducing me to Christ.”

So the fulfilment model basically validates other religions as potential introduction agencies to Christ. This model still holds that Salvation is through Jesus Christ only

3. Mutuality Model

· The Mutuality Model lands heavily on the side of the Universality of God’s love. (as opposed to the apparent particularity of Jesus as being the way to that love)

· The Model basically says that the diversity of God means that God manifests as Vishnu, Braham, Allah or any other God that people follow.

· One of the key objectives in this model is interfaith dialogue. And so therefore the model holds that every religion must come to the table with a level playing field – in other words – no religion must say they are better than any other religion.

· That Jesus as spoken of in the new testament is more symbolic than actual messiah. He is the Messiah for Christians but no one else.

· It is the embodiment of Religious Pluralism that is so popular amongst a post modern generation.


· Islam is the religion founded by Muhammad who lived 570 – 632 AD

· He claimed that he received supernatural revelations from the Angel Gabriel – over a period of 23 years.

“one terrible in power, very strong; he stood poised, being on the higher horizon, then drew near and suspended hung, two bows’-length away, or nearer, then revealed to his servant that he revealed. (Sura 53.5-10)

· These revelations were written down by others and complied into a book called the Koran

· Muhammad lived in Mecca but due to conflict over his revelations he left and went and lived in Medina. All Medina became Muslim and then Meccans went to war against the Medina’s.

Mohammed led them to victory – and so moved back to Mecca – which then became the centre of Islam.

Quote from the book “Islam the Straight Path”

“ From its beginnings, Islam existed and spread as a community – state – it was both a faith and a political order – it’s a framework for state, society and culture – its more than a religion.

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