Sharing Your Faith With Muslims
At a recent university lecture, Dr. Craig was asked about sharing Christ with Muslims
Sharing Your Faith with Muslims
KEVIN HARRIS: Lots to talk about in upcoming Reasonable Faith podcasts! Check back often! Just a sneak preview, many of you have asked when Dr. Craig is going to comment on the debate and dialogue he had with philosopher Kevin Scharp at Ohio State. You may have heard that Dr. Craig was rather impressed with how this event turned out. What was expected to be a more casual dialogue turned out to be a rigorous debate with strong responses and interaction. We've noticed that it is often best to read the transcript of a debate or a lecture to get a better handle on the information, and that is the case with this exchange. So it has been transcribed, and you can read it at ReasonableFaith.org. That is just one of the topics Dr. Craig is going to be talking about in coming weeks.
By the way, we wanted you to hear this from Dr. Craig's friend and colleague, J. P. Moreland.
DR. MORELAND: Recently a number of research groups, including The Gallup Poll people, studied the question, “Why are people leaving the church, and more generally why are they leaving Christianity, for some vague form of belief in God or perhaps even for agnosticism or atheism?” The answer they discovered was truly shocking. People are not leaving the church or the faith because our small groups aren't good, because our worship is inadequate, or because of bad preaching. All of those are important but there were two fundamental reasons people were leaving the church and Christianity.
The first one was that people had questions about the faith that they were afraid to ask. They were not made safe to ask their questions. They feared that if they asked their questions they would be ostracized. So they just stuffed the questions and ended up concluding that there really were no real answers that Christianity provided. So Christianity is just not true, and they left.
The second group is very similar to the first group. These were people who actually had serious questions about God and Christianity. They asked those questions, but the questions were either dismissed by saying things like, “Well, that is a head issue, but Christianity is really a heart issue. It is a religion of faith, not reason.” Or people tried to answer the question but didn't give a good answer. This group of people, like the first group, ended up concluding that Christianity just doesn't have answers to questions, and so it can't be true.
This is absolutely tragic. It raises the question in my mind, “What in the world can we do about this situation?” The answer is staring us right in the face. We must participate in and support the ministry of Reasonable Faith.
Why do I say that? I've been doing apologetics and philosophy ministry for over 45 years, and I have never in my entire life of ministry seen anything that is close to Reasonable Faith. Reasonable Faith is having an impact far above any other ministry that I know of. Thank God for all of the ministries, but Reasonable Faith towers above them all.
What makes Reasonable Faith so strong is a handful of things they offer.
1. Reasonable Faith supports the writings, teachings, and debates of Dr. William Lane Craig. Bill is a friend of mine, and I say this with all honesty: he is clearly the number one Christian debater in the world. His debates, his writings, and his teachings have had an impact that go far beyond anything that can be imagined. I am talking about an impact all over the world.
2. Reasonable Faith supports the finest website in apologetics and philosophy that you can find. Every week Bill Craig answers a very difficult question raised against the faith. Over the weeks and the months and the years answers have built up so that if you go on the website there is a catalog of numerous questions that you can look up and find answers to. There is the presentation of resources and other things on the website that make it, in my opinion, the finest one for apologetics that is available currently.
3. The presentation and provision of materials. Dr. Craig and others associated with Reasonable Faith have produced a wide range of materials that you can listen to in various ways and writings that you can read all the way from scholarly writings to writings that are accessible to a wide lay audience even down to books for children. I have two 8-year-old grandchildren, and Dr. Craig co-authored a series of booklets on What is God Like? for children. I am right now working through those booklets with my 8-year-old grandchildren, and I have to tell you it has been more fun. First of all, they can understand the material, and secondly it just generates all kinds of questions they have. It gets us into a conversation about God and all sorts of things. That has been really, really exciting.
4. The next thing about Reasonable Faith that I find fascinating is their planting of local chapters of Reasonable Faith all across the country and extending into other countries as well. These local Reasonable Faith chapters meet regularly to study together, to learn how to defend the faith, to plan outreaches and other activities that will showcase apologetics in their local areas. The reason that this is really a brilliant strategy on the part of the ministry is that it makes the ministry a ministry of multiplication where it isn't just a handful of people doing the work but they are multiplying themselves through the training of groups which will then plant other groups and on it goes.
5. Finally, Reasonable Faith is trying to raise the funds to extend its influence to a number of countries in various places around the world. They will do that by trying to establish Reasonable Faith chapters in those countries and by producing websites that are done in the language of the country in question.
As I mentioned earlier, I've been engaged in apologetics for over 45 years. I am so excited that I live at a time when a ministry like Reasonable Faith exists. I would urge you to think very carefully about what is happening in our universities, our media, our government, our public schools, and in our entertainment industry, and ask yourself the question, “What kind of ministry do we need to be involved in that will directly respond to these areas of society with Christian answers and a Christian message?” I think you will discover it will be ministries like Reasonable Faith. There is only one thing I think that you should do, and that is to get involved in Reasonable Faith and support it generously with your financial resources. Thank you very much.
KEVIN HARRIS: Thank you Dr. Moreland. We also want to ask you to pray for Dr. Moreland and his family as he is recovering from some health issues. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.
OK, let's get to a question that Dr. Craig was asked recently about sharing your faith with our Muslim friends. There is a lot to this question, but Dr. Craig gave some brief thoughts.
DR. CRAIG: In sharing our faith with Muslims (which I really enjoy; I love talking with Muslims), I think that the key is to focus on Jesus of Nazareth – his identity and his claims. Don't criticize Muhammad. Don't get their backs up by attacking their prophet. I wouldn't even quibble about the Qur'an and errors in the Qur'an versus the Bible. Focus on Jesus. Paul says that Jesus is the stumbling stone. He is the stumbling stone for both Jews and for Gentiles. It is the same with Muslims. It is who Jesus was and what he claimed that divides Islam fundamentally from Christianity. Here the evidence is just all on the Christian side. The one indisputable fact about Jesus of Nazareth that is recognized by every historical scholar is that Jesus died by crucifixion at the hands of the Romans. Yet this is the one historical fact about Jesus that the Qur'an denies. The Muslim does not believe that Jesus was crucified. In the Qur'an it says, “They did not kill him, neither did they crucify him. But it was only made to appear to them so.” This just makes the Qur'an historically indefensible. In my experience, sharing your faith with a Muslim is very much like sharing your faith with a Jehovah's Witness. It will be the same verses, the same passages, that you will use because the Jehovah's Witness also denies that Jesus is the Son of God, denies the deity of Christ. So you will share passages with the Jehovah's Witness that shows that Jesus made claims whereby he put himself in the place of God himself. Then also you've got the evidence for the crucifixion and the resurrection. I think this presents a very, very powerful case for thinking that the Christian view of Jesus is correct in contrast to the Muslim view. It puts the focus where it should be. It puts the focus on Jesus.
KEVIN HARRIS: Thank you very much for joining us on Reasonable Faith with Dr. William Lane Craig. Just a quick reminder – if you haven't signed up for the free monthly newsletter, be sure and do that on our website, ReasonableFaith.org. You will not only get some great information, but you will get some behind-the-scene things going on at Reasonable Faith. So sign up today. Info on our new updated mobile app is also on our website. As always, you have the opportunity to give to Reasonable Faith to help support this ministry on the mobile app and on the website. Thanks so much. We appreciate it. I'm Kevin Harris. We'll see you next time on Reasonable Faith with Dr. William Lane Craig.
 The transcript is found here: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/debate-is-there-evidence-for-god (accessed May 29, 2016).
 Total Running Time: 13:22 (Copyright © 2016 William Lane Craig)