First I have to apologize to anyone who thinks I am a basher of Christianity, or anyone who feels that I focus on the dumbest elements of that faith. I don’t mean to do either. But I do tend to find myself talking to people who, when I report what they say to me, sound dumb. This is one of those conversations.
I stepped in my local bookstore to use the free Wi-Fi, and there is a Bible study group meeting at an adjoining table. Someone raised a question about the Koran, and asked why the Koran says that God did not impregnate Mary and father Jesus.
The Bible study leader said the Koran was wrong, and that it propagated this lie because it was the book of the devil, Allah.
I waited a moment to see if anyone in the group would challenge this, and when they did not I leaned over and spoke up.
“The Koran claims to be the direct Word of God— Allah being not a devil but the Arabic word for God. When Arabic speaking Christians pray in Arabic they pray to Allah. They are not Satanists, so why assume that Muslims are? And there is no way to prove that the Koran is not the Word of God.”
“You are so mistaken,” the teacher said, making room for me at his table. “The Bible says, for example, that Isaac was almost sacrificed by Abraham. The Koran says it was Ishmael. But we know that Ishmael had been banished, so he could not have been with Abraham on the mountain.”
“But the Koran does not say Ishmael was banished.”
“Proving that it is wrong. And there is the matter of God having Son. We know that Jesus is God’s Son through Mary. The Koran denies this. It is wrong.”
“But how do you know it is wrong.”
“Because the Bible tells me different.”
“But how do you know the Bible is true?”
“Because it is the Bible.”
What I saw is that this fellow’s reasoning goes in circles, and there is no way off the merry–go–round of his faith. I didn’t take the place at his table. I wonder if I should have.