A Novice’s Guide to Fielding Common Muslim Objections
Oftentimes, in spite of our best efforts, a conversation with a Muslim friend, or friend to be, hops the tracks to one of five key objections Muslims have to Christianity. (Since only 2 out of 10 Muslims actually have a Christian friend, it’s safe to say that if they knew us better, they’d have a much longer list!)
Here are the objections:
- Your Bible has been corrupted.
- You serve three gods.
- You think Jesus is God’s son. (Often accompanied with a face like smelling bad milk.)
- You are mistaken. Jesus didn’t die.
- You have to pay for your own sins. Jesus can’t do that for you.
The fundamental response to these won’t surprise you. It is obedience to the two greatest commandments: Love God with all you are and love your neighbor as yourself. If that is our core occupation and our driving motivation, we will do well. We’re loving people Jesus loves, not trying to win a gun fight at the O.K. Corral!
Since these objections can sometimes (intentionally!) kill a conversation, it’s good to have a response or two at hand to move things along. To be sure, these are deep and complex issues, and Muslims haven’t usually thought much about them, themselves. The responses below will rarely change a Muslim’s mind, but they may just keep the conversation going. For a more detailed response, grab Fouad Masri’s book Ambassadors to Muslims.
Objection: Your Bible has been corrupted.
Response: “Wouldn’t you agree that God is powerful enough to protect his Word? Who would be strong enough to corrupt His Word, and when would they have done it?” After a pause, then ask “How about studying the holy books with me to see what they actually say?”
Objection: You think Jesus is God’s son.
Response: “Yes, but probably not in the way you’re thinking. Christians believe Jesus’ conception resulted from a miracle of the Holy Spirit. You don’t believe God would defile himself through a physical relationship with a woman, do you?”
Objection: You serve three Gods.
Response: “Are you thinking God, Jesus and Mary? Far from it. We worship one God, revealed in three persons, Father, Son or Word, and Spirit. Let me ask you a question, ‘Which existed first in eternity: God or His Word or His Spirit?’”
Objection: You are mistaken. Jesus didn’t die.
Response: “You might be thinking, how could God let his prophet lose by dying on the cross. Let me ask you a question, ‘Which is greater, for God to save his prophet by keeping him from death or to save him by raising him up and defeating death?’”
Objection: You have to pay for your own sins. Jesus can’t do that for you.
Response: “You’re right, sin is serious. Would you like to look with me at what the Bible
says about Jesus forgiving our sin so that we have hope on Judgment Day?”
Follow any of these with “Could we study together what the New Testament itself says
about Jesus?” Again, in all of this, the love of Jesus is both the fuel and the goal.