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2.5 out of 5
ISBN/ASIN : 0801064309
Manufacturer : Baker Book House Co ,U.S.|
Release data : 01 August, 2002
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Readable, but very unscholarly.
This book is an extensive collection of anti-Islamic arguments from two Christian polemists that is divided into 3 parts. Part 1 is meant to be an honest, non-confrontational look at what Islam is all about. Part 2 attempts to refute these beliefs, while part 3 attempts to address alleged Muslim misunderstandings of Christianity.
While the book is well-written and easy to read, its main problem is the severe lack of credible sources and references that the authors cite in support of their arguments. On many occasions, the authors employ the old missionary con-trick of making an anti-Islamic claim (or pro-Christian one), and then simply referencing it back to another missionary. Thus all throughout the book we have missionary quoting missionary rather than missionaries quoting independent and recent scholarship. Many of his references therefore included current and long deceased Evangelicals such as Shorrosh, Dashti, Pfander, Tisdall, Gilchrist etc etc).On several occasions one author (Geisler) even quotes himself!! For example, on page 239, regarding Geisler's outrageous claim that the New Testament text is "98.33% pure", his reference is simply "Geisler and Nix , 365". How this is supposed to convince the neutral reader (yet alone the Muslim) that such an audacious claim is true is beyond me.
There are also bogus references too regarding major arguments. On page 197 we read that "Recent discoveries confirm the textual corruption of the Quran" with a mention and reference to the work of "Jay Smith" (another missionary) via a paper on his website (debate.org.uk). In fact, the web paper says absolutely nothing about how any `recent discoveries' have proven the Quran's corruption. The only mention the paper makes of any "recent discoveries" are regarding the Sana manuscripts about which Jay Smith solely says date to within 100 years of Mohammed- hence making them closer to Mohammad than the earliest NT manuscripts are to Jesus!!
The book is also jam packed with basic errors on Islam and historical facts. They write how the hadith collector Bukhari "admitted there were errors in over 295,000" hadith [p.170], when in fact Bukhari said no such thing (hence no reference). Bukhari's collection was never meant to included EVERY true hadith, but simply to give a good sample of them.
Geisler and Saleeb also fair no better in their defence of the Bible against Muslim arguments. Regarding for example the contradiction in the genealogies of Jesus about whether Joseph's father was Heli or Jacob (Matthew 1:16 VS Luke 3:23), the authors attempt the laughable `solution' that Luke is really given Mary's genealogy- even though Luke 3:23 actually says "Joseph". They write on p.229:
"Luke does not say that he is giving Jesus' genealogy through Joseph. Rather, he notes that Jesus was "as was supposed" (Luke 3:23) the son of Joseph, while he was actually the son of Mary."
Why Luke did not simply write "Mary" rather than "as was supposed Joseph" despite the fact that- according to Geisler- he is giving us Mary's genealogy, is never explained. His argument thus reaks of desperation.
One could go on and on.
In short, buy the book if you want a good collection of the type of propaganda missionaries like to use against Islam and in defence of the Bible. But if you are in search of scholarly truth and academic rigor, save your money.
A thorough analysis of Islam
I find it hard to believe that the people who wrote reviews on how this book directs hate, etc. against Islam have actually read this book.
The fist part of the book is an unbiased and thorough look at Islamic beliefs, using purely Islamic sources. It helps the non-Moslem understand what Moslems actually believe and provides all the necessary background information needed to understand the rest of the book.
The second part of the book deals with the "problems" of Islamic belief. However, I saw no attempt at trying to spread "hate" against Moslems here.
The third part of the book is a defense of basic Christian beliefs. It corrects many of the misunderstandings Moslems have of Christianity (e.g. Some Moslems think that "Son of God" means that God had sex with Mary, etc - something Christianity does not, and never has believed).
Some of the apologetics, however, were dissapointing (hence only 4 stars). I have seen other scholars and thologians provide a far better defense of the various Christian doctrines. The author, in a few instances, made a few unfounded assumptions that lead to a few errors.
The only part of the book I felt was unecessary was the Apendix: Islam and violence (added after Sept. 11). Although this was more analytical than anything else (not judgemental propaganda), I felt that the use of Moslem traditions (only accepted by some Moslems) could confuse certain readers into thinking otherwise.
On the whole though this book is excellent and I would recommend it to anyone interested in the beliefs of Islam.
A much needed book
..This book was excellent. What made it great was that the authors didn't sit back and rail criticisms at Islam. Everything they say is based upon scripture, mostly from the Qur'an, some from the Bible. All of the points they make are observations on historical fact, documented evidence, and noted Muslim scholars, (Haykal, Deedat, etc). Not only that - Geisler presents his opinions in a completley unbiased, and fair way. Infact, the first third of the book is simply an explaination of Islam to Christians who do not understand it. He doesn't get into debating questions until two-thirds into the book. I highly reccomend this book to anyone who's not afraid to talk about truth.