Raising Christian Children Who Love Their Enemies Author: Marcia Harris Brim Issue: Volume One, Number ten – July 2015 Web Site: BrimWood Press Ma

         
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Raising Christian Children Who Love Their Enemies

Author: Marcia Harris Brim
Issue: Volume One, Number ten – July 2015
Web Site: BrimWood Press
Marcia’s prayer site supporting the seriously ill: prayerbook40
Circulation: ~400

What's in this Issue:

1. Welcome
2. Gay marriage and 911’s impact on our children
3. Family Devotional: Loving neighbors who don’t like us
4. A recommended book for dealing with Islamic enemies
5. Loving the Muslim
6. Apologetics: Arguments against the Islamic faith
7. Three reasons to teach worldview to children
8. The critical belief differences between Christianity and Islam
9. Upcoming issues
10. Pass this newsletter along
11. Reprint rights

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1) Welcome to the BrimWood Press newsletter!

This new monthly newsletter is dedicated to Christian parents raising children in this postmodern, secular, Gnostic culture: parents who want their families to shine. (Matthew 5:14-16 & Philippians 2:15.)

This newsletter provides practical, relevant help for the on-going work of evangelizing our children.

My little children, of whom I am again in travail until Christ be formed in you.
Galatians 4:19 ESV

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2) Gay marriage and 911’s impact on our children

What do an eleven-year-old boy confronted with the Supreme Court Ruling on gay marriage and a Christian convert from Islam have in common? Both teach us much about loving our enemies.

Many reading this newsletter are raising children who were born into a post 9-11 world. We try to shelter our kids from exposure to the current “reign of terror” wielded by the self-proclaimed Islamic State. But the reality is the “Islamic threat” has altered the landscape within which our children will reach adulthood.

In this world, our children will have enemies.

Enemies of the cross are certainly nothing new, but the shifting sands beneath our feet certainly are. In a land that once felt so secure for Christians, persecution either from within or without is no longer unthinkable. From without, the likely antagonist continues to be Islam. From within, the likely assailant seems to be our government, whose pluralism is tolerant of all but those who claim no Lord except Jesus. Today’s America is not unlike yesterday’s Rome.

Preparing our Christian children for persecution: The need for some Boy-Scout-like preparation became apparent to me a couple of weeks ago when a friend who goes to my church shared a story about her eleven-year-old son. Peter got caught in the cross-fire of some unfriendly neighborhood relations that occurred after the recent Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage.

The story that resulted provides the rest of us with a powerful tool for introducing the topic of persecution to our children. I’ve packaged Peter’s tale along with some pertinent Scripture references for a family devotional below.

In addition to Peter’s story, this newsletter includes a recommendation for a book about an Islamic convert who, like Peter, has much to teach us about loving our enemies. Out of this context, I provide some helps for teaching your children about Islam. I wrap this newsletter up by addressing the purpose of worldview training for all Christian kids.

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3) Family Devotional: Loving Neighbors who don’t Like Us

enemies fighting kids

When Supreme Court Battles Morph into Chalk Wars


The boy who fought the battle below has much to teach us all about how Christ’s words impacted a sleepy suburb in Northern California. Peter, though his name has been changed, is a real kid, and his story is true.

Eleven-year-old Peter was in church the Sunday after June 26, 2015. On that day, the Supreme Court of the United States changed the law of the land. They established a new law, saying that it was legal for people of the same sex to marry each other. Peter is years and years away from getting married, and, when he does, he certainly has no intentions of marrying a guy. So the law didn’t seem to matter to him. But that was before he came to church.

At the all-church potluck, he listened while his deacon read a letter from a leader of his church. The letter acknowledged the new Supreme Court ruling that homosexual marriage is legal throughout our land. But ministers of Peter’s church cannot bless marriages that go against the pattern established by the Creator in the beginning. God created them male and female and said that the “two shall become one flesh”. Though the Supreme Court changed US law, the church must obey what God has ordained.

But there was more. Even though the church cannot marry same-sex couples, people who struggle with homosexual sins or desires are welcomed in Peter’s church. The church is full of folks with all sorts of sinful behaviors and desires. They come for healing. The church is a hospital.

Though this wasn’t a statement written for kids, Peter thought about what he heard and what it meant to live in a place where what God’s people believe is at odds with the laws of the land. But he didn’t think about it for long. He was just a kid.

A day later, he was outside, playing with a bunch of other kids in his neighborhood. Suddenly, gay marriage was a hot topic for ten-, eleven-and twelve-year olds. Everybody seemed to agree: the Supreme Court did a good thing by finally letting gay people marry.

But not Peter; he piped up, “My church doesn’t support gay marriage. It’s against what the Bible says.”

One boy retorted, “That’s dumb!” Another said, “It’s against the law not to support gay marriage.” The argument got uglier from there.

Pretty soon, someone shouted, “You’re an idiot! Why would you believe such dumb stuff?!” The boy across the street, whom Peter never much liked anyway, yelled, “Christianity is stupid! How could you be so mean to people who just want to be happy?”

Peter, who realized he was fighting a losing battle, fired a parting shot or two: “You’re the stupid one!” and headed home. Later that night he told his mom all about it, being sure to leave out the names he hurled at the kid who was now officially Peter’s enemy.

She sat Peter down and told him how sad she was about how things turned out but she wasn’t actually surprised. Jesus told his disciples long ago that, because people hated him, they would hate those who followed and obeyed him. She said some other stuff from the Bible too, but when she got to the part about Christians needing to love our enemies, Peter had to interrupt.

“Wait, you mean I’m just supposed to just shrivel up and die?”

Without missing a beat, his mom said, “No and yes. We aren’t supposed to shrivel up, but we are supposed to die.”

“Huh?”

“We have to stand up for the truth even while we love those deceived by a lie. At the same time, we have to give up our rights to be treated fairly and kindly when we can’t approve of actions that go against how Christ taught us to live. Whenever I give up what I deserve to follow Jesus, I am dying to myself.”

That was a lot to think about.

The next morning, the summer sky beckoned him outside. The battles of yesterday had all but faded away until he reached the sidewalk. He couldn’t believe his eyes. Printed in big bold chalked letters was the word “STUPID” on his front sidewalk, with a huge arrow pointing to his house. The sky suddenly turned dark. That was it. Neighborhood humiliation was more than he could stand.

Peter ran inside, grabbed the biggest piece of chalk he could find, and headed to the sidewalk across the street.

With the largest letters he could make given the chalk he had on hand, he spelled out: S – t – u– p – i – b and then drew a giant arrow towards the home of his nemesis. He brushed his hands on his shorts and walked smugly home to play video games.

Later that morning when Peter’s mom discovered the stupid sign in front of their house, she asked Peter and his brother, “What’s this all about?”

“That crummy kid across the street did that to our sidewalk,” was about all Peter had to say. But his older brother, Nate, was more than happy to fill Mom in on the rest of the story.

He led her, with Peter following behind, to the other side of the street. There she witnessed her son’s handiwork, which now included an addition. His archenemy had extended Peter’s arrow and redirected the pointer back toward his house.

As Peter’s mom read “Stupib”, only then did he realize that, in his anger, he reversed his d. He wanted to die a thousand deaths. With tender eyes, his mom said, “That’s kind of humiliating, huh?” Ten minutes later, she sent him over to his neighbor’s sidewalk with a bucket of soapy water and a scrub brush. Peter got down on his knees and scrubbed the sidewalk clean.

He’d lost the chalk wars. But learning how battles with enemies must be fought will make him a better solider for his Savior in years to come.

enemies love chalk

Discussion Questions: What did Peter do right? Do you think it was easy to stand up for what the church and the Bible teach when his friends believe the opposite? Why did his neighbors belittle him and his Christian faith? Would you have stood up for what Christianity teaches about marriage between a man and a women? Why or why not?

What was wrong about what Peter did? Why was it wrong? What do you think Peter learned by having to scrub the sidewalk and switching his d for a b? Can you think of anything Peter may have forgotten that might have helped him not retaliate against those who treated him, his family, and his church badly?

Postscript: Now it would have been grand if he hadn't slung a name or two back at his adversaries. It would have been amazing if, when Peter saw “STUPID” in front of his house, he had quietly turned around, gone inside, and asked his mom to pray with him for the kid across the street.

But stories about perfect kids are pretty hard for the rest of us to relate to. Lots of us at eleven would have done the exact same thing. And many more at that age (and much older) would have lacked the courage to speak up for the truth in the first place. “Shriveling up” is so much easier than standing up.

His story taught Peter and us far more just the way it happened. To be a disciple of Christ is to be a learner.

This brave kid learned through his mistake about humbling himself. When he got down on his knees, Peter experienced what having to die to ourselves is all about. In washing that sidewalk, he learned a lot about what Jesus told his disciples in the verses below.

Disciples have to tell the truth, but when it gets to the point of having to die, dying doesn’t come naturally to anybody. We all have to struggle to learn to be like Jesus.

Though small by comparison to the deaths Christians have faced throughout church history, Peter’s story is a good introduction to what it may look like to be persecuted or hated by enemies because of the things we believe and the One we believe in. It’s more important now than ever to know what Jesus has to say about the subject.

enemies loveyourenemies1

What Jesus had to say about Enemies

The Bible verses Peter’s mom shared with him included some of the following:

Read aloud: John 15:12 through John 16:4.

Ask your children: Why did the world hate Jesus? Why did Jesus tell His disciples and all those who follow Him that they would be persecuted? Whom did Jesus send, and what is His role? What does He help us do?

Read aloud: Matthew 5:10-12.

Ask your children: What do you think it means to be blessed? What does it mean to be persecuted? Did Peter experience a form of persecution? Do you know of anyone else in the present or the past who was persecuted for doing what is right in God’s eyes? How did they respond?

Read aloud: "But I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Luke 6:27,28

Ask your children: Is it easy to do any of the things listed in these verses? Why is it so hard to love, do good, bless, and pray for those who treat us badly? Why would Christ ask us to do something so hard?

Any other questions or thoughts about Peter’s story or Jesus’ words to his disciples?

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4)A Book for Dealing with Islamic Enemies:

On the same day that the deacon read the letter in my church about the Christian’s response to the Supreme Court Ruling, I ate lunch with Peter’s mom and two other ladies. I told them about a book I’d been reading by a Christian convert from Islam.

In telling his life story, the book paints a beautiful, positive portrayal of a peaceful, devout Islamic home.

enemies Islamic children praying

Nadia, a relatively recent immigrant from Bulgaria, pushed her chair back from the table, crossed her arms, and proceeded to give us a firsthand account of the Islamic atrocities committed against Christians in her homeland. She told of how children were thrown in the air by Islamic soldiers. Then, acting as the soldiers, she slashed her imaginary saber over her head. Her recounting was horrifying.

The other gal sitting with us asked me later if it is possible that this book I’d been reading written by a “supposed Christian convert” could be a form of propaganda concealing the truth about who these people actually are. “These people”, as my lunch time conversation revealed, are our enemies.

But, in reading that book, I discovered that “these people” are also parents. These people love their children well, and their children love them wholly. At the heart of this book is the question, “Can an Islamic boy so deeply and fully loved by his parents give up everything to follow Jesus? Could he do so knowing he would utterly break their hearts?

His eventual answer after heart-wrenching struggle was “yes”.

Though I rejoiced for him, “these people” suddenly became parents who lost their only son to Jesus. I could not help but grieve for them. I could not help but feel compassion for a wound that will never heal unless they come to Jesus too. I could not help but pray for the restoration of their family in Christ.

Ammi, the boy’s mother and Nana Abu the boy’s father taught their boy Nabeel to love Allah, his prophet, and his message with a whole heart. That love would ultimately fuel Nabeel’s journey to Christ. I doubt he would be a Christian today were he not so well trained to faithfully seek after Allah.

From these people, Ammi and Nana Abu, came a son, so devoted to Allah that he gave up father, mother, and sister to follow Christ. Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus is a book about how the faith we cherish cost this young man his life. Though not literally killed, he gave up everything he loved to follow our Lord.

enemies seeking Allah finding Jesus

The cost of discipleship: Nabeel’s zeal for Allah and his sacrifices for Christ should be imitated by those who follow after Jesus. His story is a modern -day example of what it may also mean someday soon for Americans to follow after Jesus.

So here’s the irony: From our Islamic enemies comes a young men who can greatly encourage Christians to stand strong in the face of adversaries who may live just across the street. His story is a portrait of faithfulness. Nabeel Qureshi models the cost of being a disciple of Christ and why the price is worth it.

Read Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, to your older children, sixth grade and above. It will help them be better disciples and give them a reason to love their enemy.

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5) Loving the Muslim:

enemies matthew 5 44

Learning about Nabeel’s growing up years does so much to fight against the stereotypes we may understandably hold against those shaped by the Islamic world.

His home life confronts the prejudices we hold against the notion that there are sects of Islam that are peaceful, even while the book acknowledges that these sects are in the minority. Again, the book is not a propaganda tool, but it does enable us to understand how good people can genuinely believe that Mohamed is peaceful and the religion he founded is based on peace. These people have been deceived.

This book is a call to prayer for Islamic peoples. By praying for Muslims, we Christians are loving our enemies.

I’ll admit: while I pray daily for Christians who are targets of Islamic persecution, never until reading this book did I recognize my need to pray for these enemies of Christ, blinded by the evil one.

Witnessing to our Enemies/Evangelizing the Muslim:

In reading Nabeel’s story, it will help those who might engage with Muslims to understand why friendship must be indistinguishable from evangelism. We are literally asking the Muslim to do what we have never had to do ourselves— to give up everything to follow Jesus.

If our children think that evangelizing the Muslim is telling them how to go to heaven when we they die, they are portraying a falsehood. In witnessing to a Muslim, we are asking them to die now, to pick up their cross, walk to Golgotha, and stretch out their hands.

I am not saying we shouldn’t ask. I am saying we must be willing to walk every step of the painful journey with them. To evangelize the Muslim is to commit to being a Simon. He was the one who carried our Savior’s cross. For the average Muslim, the journey to Jesus takes seven years.

This is what evangelism targeted toward the Muslim has to look like.

enemies Simon-of-Cyrene

We have a better book – the Bible. We have arguments and evidence that the Bible is the Word of God and the Koran is not. We have a better founder. Simply compare the lives of Jesus and Mohamed. The differences are staggering. We have a better God — A God who is a Father. A God who has a Son. A God who is an undying circle of love between Father, Son, and Spirit. A God who entered a filthy, disgusting world so we could be invited into His eternal circle of love. We have a better message.

But again, if we have not love, what can all this knowledge profit a Muslim whom we want to reach with Christ?

A library story: My dear friend Deborah, who is the mother I wish I was, asked my advice recently about a situation with her young children.

As a homeschooling mom, she takes her children to the library a couple times a week. There they encounter families from very different walks of life. The other day, a young Islamic boy was leaving the library with his father at the same time they were. Her kids asked if they could play with the boy on the library lawn.

Her two boys seven and eight and their younger sister ran to the father to see if his son could play. The following game of tag was interspersed with lots of laughter and friendship hugs. Out of this idyllic peace, Deborah could hear her children asking if the boy he knew Jesus. Did he know that Jesus died for his sins? Did he know that Jesus loved him? He didn’t, but he seemed glad to know. My friend, however, was not so sure how glad his father would be.

Her question to me was, “They are so expressive about their love for Jesus; should I let them play with Islamic children?” My answer was yes. For children of this age, to love this boy is to tell him that Jesus loves him. There is no more precious gift they could give ... even though it created some socially awkward moments for the adults involved.

But little children telling a new Islamic friend about Jesus is quite a different scenario from arming our teenagers with facts about the Koran designed to shake a Muslim’s worldview. Or giving them the tabloid-worthy dirt on Mohamed that could only result in singing the grade school tune with a revised ditty: “My worldview is better than yours is, my worldview is better than yours…”.

If in all our apologetic training we are arming our young people with facts without cultivating love in their hearts for the lost, we are shaping know-it-alls, not disciples. All our knowledge profits nothing if we have not love for the Muslim we may hope to reach.

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6) Apologetics: Arguments against the Islamic faith

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim’s Journey to Christ is a treasure trove of apologetic arguments against Islamic beliefs. But the primary reason for reading it is to challenge ourselves and our children to love Jesus more and the Muslims He died to save. Because and only because this book lays this ground work, it is also an excellent tool for teaching your children the apologetic arguments against Islam.

I highly recommend reading Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus aloud to your children.

enemies seeking Allah finding Jesus

Below is a list of questions you can give your kids to answer over the course of the book. While they could easily surf the web and find the answers to all of these questions, don’t let them do it. Answers acquired in such a manner reduce truths that impact human lives to mere facts.

The very best worldview training is always bound up in stories about people. People not textbooks hold worldviews.

God didn’t drop a book into the world and then say “Live according to its ideals”. God sent His Son. Even the book He gave is not primarily a bunch of truth claims. It tells a story about God and the people He loves. He put His book into the hands of disciples whom He told: “Go … and love your neighbors”.

So teach your children the truth about Islam in the context of a story that will help them love Islamic people.

enemies koran


Apologetic Questions for Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus

1. What does Islam teach about the identity and characteristics of Allah?
2. Which characteristics does Allah share with the God of the Bible?
3. Name at least three ways in which the Koran is different from the Bible.
4. Why is the notion that Jesus is the Son of God unthinkable to a Muslim?
5. Did Jesus actually die on the cross according to Islam?
6. Who do the Muslim think Jesus is?
7. Does Allah forgive sins?
8. Why can’t Allah die?
9. What is Islamic salvation based upon?
10. What is the Koran in the eyes of the Muslim?
11. What commands in the Koran and in those books that teach about the Koran caused Nabeel to doubt that it actually was the word of Allah?
12. What did Nabeel learn about Mohamed growing up from his mother and father?
13. What else does Islam teach about Muhammed that rocked his faith?
14. What does Islam teach about who Jesus was?
15. In Nabeel’s high school conversation with Betsy, an evangelical, how did he use the Bible to argue that Jesus is not God? List his arguments. Which do you think is his strongest?
16. Editor’s note: Nabeel argued that Jesus called himself the “Son of Man”. This is true. Christ uses this title for Himself more than 80 times in the Gospels. Nabeel interpreted Christ’s words as saying, “I’m just a man.” If you don’t know what “Son of Man” means in the Gospel, you need to study this title. There is an excellent podcast on this subject which you can listen to or a transcript which you can read [here](http://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/namesofjesus/jesus-son_of_man). There are plenty of other sources you can turn to as well, but every young person growing up in a Christian home needs to know the meaning in this name. It is one of the strongest affirmations that Christ gives that He is both Messiah and God. If Betsy had known this, her conversation with Nabeel would have ended very differently.
17. Extra Credit: See if you can write a better response for Betsy based on what you learned about the meaning of the title “Son of Man.”
18. What does it mean for a Muslim to embrace the cross of Christ? Why is this choice so difficult even after they believe the truth of the Gospel?
19. What role did David play in Nabeel’s eventual conversion to Christ? Why was his role so important?
20. Islam: Which sects in Islam are peaceful and do not believe in violent forced conversions of non-Islamic peoples?
21. What is the basic of Islamic Eastern culture? What is the basis of Western Christian culture?
22. In light of these differences, why will rational apologetic arguments not be enough to convince the Muslim that they need to follow Jesus?
23. Why do you think Nabeel needed dreams and visions in order to become a Christian? Does this give you any insight into why God might work in different ways with different cultures?

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Note to Parents: I know I will get requests from parents asking for a list of answers. To save you an email, here’s my answer: I am adversely opposed to providing answers because I will set you up for temptation. You will be tempted to just buy this book and hand it to your kids along with my long list of questions. It becomes an assignment they can do on their own. My answers become the parents’ means to ensure their kids did it. My answers could rob you and your children of learning that needs to be done together.

If there is one subject you must engage in with your hopefully self-directed kids, that subject is worldview. Whether you homeschool your kids or not, you need to teach worldview.

Many parents who homeschool do so because they want to pass on their faith. If you treat this subject, which is necessarily covered in the older grades, as you would treat math, you are neglecting the very purpose for which you make so many sacrifices

Even if you’ve had no theological training, you can use this book and these questions with your kids. What’s most important here is not finding the answers to all my questions. The value of the questions are the conversations about faith and outreach that this book will inspire between you and your children (eleven years and older).

But as a concession, here is a link to a promotional piece about Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus on-line. It contains most of the excerpts from the book that are needed to answer the questions above.

Please note: many answers are contained in the book’s prologue. I do not recommend using the book’s beginning to capture the answers. All the content covered in the prologue unfolds throughout the story at a more digestible pace for students. Just have them listen to the prologue because it sets a powerful tone for where the story leads:

I hope by reading Peter’s story here and through learning about Nabeel’s you’ve got some new tools for introducing this subject of enemies and persecution to your children, and for cultivating in their heart’s the love that flows from Jesus’ side.

enemies Christ on cross

Below is an overview on worldview and some differences to focus on in comparing Islam to Christianity.

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7) Three Reasons for Teaching Worldview to Children:

For those of you who are familiar with my approach to teaching children worldview, you know that one of my primary objectives is to help children learn their own faith better and to fall in love with Jesus more deeply by understanding the alternatives.

Children who have grown up in a Christian home will naturally take their heritage for granted. What is worse, as they get older, they will notice that the “grass looks greener” on the other side. With a quick hop of the fence, it’s pretty easy to leave the good shepherd behind.

This is why I strongly encourage parents to take your children on virtual field trips to those seemingly ever verdant meadows of other religions. Do this while they still love Jesus most. Ages nine, ten, and eleven are ideal. Later it will be a rockier road but still worth the trip. I recommend this curriculum as the place to start.

WV cover 0610 cropped

There are plenty of worldview programs that will give you lists of beliefs set up in a compare-and-contrast chart. Christians believe this, Muslims believe that. Sure, it’s fine to teach kids a categorized list of beliefs. Such materials are well organized, and some brains really need this approach. But please do not stop after creating a library of worldview information in your child’s head. For all of the reasons listed above: Facts save no one.

Some cautions when training children in apologetic arguments:

In apologetics training, we often spend lots of time teaching arguments that find holes in the other person’s belief, whether those beliefs come from secular evolution or the Koran. What’s the purpose of all those proofs against falsehoods?

I’m still not sure that Jesus’ purpose in leaving us here was so we could “defend the faith”. He certainly doesn’t need defending.

I’m not sure that giving reasons for the hope that lies within us demands having proofs that demonstrate how the other’s hope is empty. I don’t even think that teaching children how to win arguments against an atheist is essential for Christian discipleship. What is essential is showing them how to love Jesus and demonstrating why Christ’s love always works itself out in loving others, even our enemies.

Now, with all this said, don’t get me wrong. Teaching worldview is vitally important for today’s Christian children. But “how” we teach this subject is as important as “what” we teach.

Exposing children in positive ways to those who hold different beliefs from ours is one of those necessary approaches. The books I recommend for this are available here. If all we ever do in our homes is set up straw men to laugh at, we are not preparing our children. I fear it is our children’s faith that will falter when others make Christian belief into straw men.

HNET Jacket piecemeal cropped

“How” to teach worldview: My favorite medium for teaching is stories. This is why, when we published our course on worldview, we wrote four novels with four non-Christian protagonists. The Jeweled Astrolabe has an Islamic main character who will teach your children much about the twelfth-century world in which he grew up. Some of these free resources will help you use this book to teach your children more about the Christian faith.

In summary:

“Why” teach worldview? I think there are three reasons:

1. Learning about others people’s faith can greatly increase a Christian child’s understanding of his or her own.
2. Studying other worldviews acknowledges this reality: children growing up in Christian homes are Christians because their parents are Christians. We enable our children to choose Christianity for themselves when we respectfully and honestly expose them to the alternatives.
3. Rather than always seeking to expose the falsehoods in another person’s belief systems, learning about other’s faith can uncover bridges, similarities that Christianity shares with other faiths. Discovering similar beliefs or practices between Christianity and someone else’s worldview can build a bridge for friendship evangelism. (Acts 17:16-34)

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8) The Critical Belief Differences between Christianity and Islam

Christianity vs Islam

Now, if there was more room in this newsletter, I would elaborate on a four critical theological points that differentiate Christianity from Islam.

1. The Trinity,
2. Christ as both God and man,
3. His death and resurrection,
4. and human beings made in the image of God.

These are key Christian doctrines that a study of Islam facilitates.

You may not be able to clearly articulate all of these doctrines, but the experience of God as Father who sent His Son is a very different experience from Allah, who would never lower himself to walk among the filth of this world.

The idea that God in Christ, rather than demanding the justice of Allah would submit Himself to our death and suffer our shame is a notion beyond imagining for the Muslim.

One of the fascinating things I learned reading Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus was this: If a Muslim memorizes and recites one chapter from the Koran that contains these words – “God is not a Father. He has no Son.” – that recitation is equal to reciting a third of the Koran.

Why do you think these words hold so much weight in Islam? I believe they are a feeble attempt to counterbalance Christian truth moored to the bedrock – God is our Father. Jesus is His Son. Even as the Father loves the Son, so Christ has loved us. We make His joy complete by loving others, even our enemies.

Lastly, if you can get a translation of the Koranic creation story you will find many similarities to the Genesis account, with one extraordinary difference: Mohamed never dictated the words, “Let Us make man in Our image.” God as “Us”, and male and female as” image bearers” are notion clearly absent in Islamic thought.

When I tackle my next Christian Theology book that compares Christianity to Islam, much indeed will be written about the difference that results from the notion that man is made in the image of God. Next time your family is confronted with a story about a suicide boomer, ask why, from a Christian perspective are these stories so tragic? Where does human worth lie? While both Muslims and Christians believe that God made the world and that all of God’s creation is valuable, upon what basis is human life sacred? This is one of the discussions that Conversations from the Garden will lead you through.

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9) Upcoming Issues:

In September, I’ll provide some parent helps for our third historical novel as we examine how to help children retain their Christianity in a culture that makes faith incredulous.

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10) Pass this Newsletter Along

This is our eighth newsletter. If you know someone who could benefit from its content, please forward it and ask them to subscribe. If they don’t subscribe, you’ll have to forward it to them again next month. Subscribe Here. Of course, if this newsletter was not helpful simply unsubscribe at the bottom below.

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11) Reprint Rights

This newsletter is copyright Marcia Harris Brim, 2015. Permission is granted to use any of the information in this newsletter in your own newsletter or web site, as long as you include the following 2-paragraph blurb with it:

This article is reprinted by permission of the author.

Marcia Harris Brim of BrimWood Press writes a free bi-monthly newsletter for Christian parents to provide practical, relevant help for the on-going work of evangelizing our children. Marcia’s books for teaching 10 to 13 year old children Theology, History and Worldview are available at www.brimwoodpress.com

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Check out one of our great affiliates and their review of BrimWood Press Worldview Curriculum by Brandy Ferrell at Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood

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