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Yesterday: Islamic Fundamentals | Christians have a responsibility to understand our Muslim neighbors and their beliefs

Monday:Islam, U.S.A. | Are Christians prepared for Muslims in the mainstream?

God-fearing Muslims from every corner of the earth are moving into American neighborhoods. Are we ready to welcome them and tell them the truth about Jesus? This week at ChristianityToday.com, we take a look at the basics of Islam, how Muslims view Christianity, helpful models for relating to Muslims, and how to engage our Muslim neighbors boldly and lovingly.The driving principle behind Islam, recited in the call to prayer, is La ilaha illa Allah—"There is no god but Allah." This is the lens through which Muslims interpret all other religious confessions, and it explains why many Muslims do not understand Christianity. It seems that either no complete version of either Testament had been translated into Arabic in Muhammad's time or that he did not have access to the testaments. His references to Jesus and Mary in the Qur'an are sketchy, without any verbatim attributions. In addition, it is apparent that the Christians Muhammad knew were contentious and seemed confused: the Christianity Muhammad was exposed to was probably embroiled in a debate about the nature of Christ, leaving the impression that Christians mostly disagreed about what their faith meant. Given these factors, Muhammad's exposure to Christianity conjured up more confusion than elucidation.There is no category in Islam for the One true God with a triune nature. "The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a Messenger of God, and His Word that He committed to Mary, and a Spirit from Him," the Qur'an says. "So believe in God and His Messengers, and say not, 'Three.' Refrain: ...

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