I received a requested Christmas present of a book titled “Making Sense of Your World – A Biblical World View” by W. Gary Phillips, William E. Brown, and John Stonestreet with a Foreward by Norman Geisler. This is a book that compares several categories of world views - Naturalism, Transcendentalism, Theism (which includes Islam) and Postmodernism – with the Biblical world view.
Now I don’t know which of the several authors of this book wrote the passages I cite below, but they are all complicit in their collective failure to describe the nature and evils of Islam, however much I otherwise respect Norman Geisler.
Starting on pages 46-48, several Islam-indulging statements are made. First, the title of Diagram 2.5 reads “Comparing the Three Great Theistic Religions”. This statement presumes that Allah is legitimately Theistic to begin with. That is a poor assumption on which to base a book on “world views.” The authors failed to give any account of the pagan origin of the Allah myth. Even putting Islam in the same category with Christianity as one of the great theistic religions does a gross disservice to Christianity. If a religion as false and evil as Islam can be proclaimed side by side with Christianity, what does that say of Christianity? The authors are mired in a centuries old lie.
Second, that same table states that scripture used by Muslims includes Psalms and the Gospels. Virtually every scripture quoted in the Qur’an is a distortion of what has been proclaimed by Christianity and Judaism for 3,000 years. It is a misleading stretch to claim that Islam takes any part of the Bible seriously, never mind providing accurate quotes or interpretations from the Bible.
Third, the author claims that Islam means “surrender” when in fact most Islamic experts define Islam as “submission.” Similar words, yes, but submission has a more coercive meaning and is more accurate.
Fourth, Islam is stated to “share a common understanding of God as a single, personal Being.” Allah is no more “personal” than the “moon god” from which the Allah myth is derived. Allah is an impersonal tyrant that convinces the ignorant, the naïve, and the politically motivated tyrants to commit horrible acts.
The author could have at least added these or similar qualifications to their overly vague and casual descriptions of Islam. These erroneous or misleading statements alone should cause the reader pause about the author’s grasp of Islam. But there is more.
On page 97 the authors repeat the Islamic charge of “tri-theism” against Christianity without adequately explaining that Islam itself is a pagan fictional construct and has no legitimate claim to any sort of deity. Islam’s complaint about the Christian God is more audacious than Obama’s claim of audacity for “hope.”
Page 150: Again the book raises the fraud of Islam to the heights of one of “the…great theistic worldviews of Christianity…” without bothering to analyze the pagan basis of Islam and its supposed “god”. In this section’s discussion of why there is evil, the authors could have at least touched on the facts that throughout Islamic history, the orthodox doctrines of Islam promoted intolerance, terror, and massacre to this very day. Islam has a “god” that sponsors and promotes evil among its followers.
Page 173 with regard to the “particularly significant” growth of Islam, the authors write of Islam’s “more aggressive expressions worldwide” without describing what they mean by “more aggressive expressions.” Why couldn’t they describe the carnage, intolerance and terror promoted by Islamic ideology to assure submission to the will of Allah and that facilitates Islam’s “aggressive expressions worldwide?” The authors missed another opportunity to correctly portray Islam as an anti-Christ, if not THE anti-Christ. This is another milquetoast description of Islam.
Page 180 the authors correctly admit that “almost every religion has the ethical equivalent of the Golden Rule…” They fail to mention that the exception is Islam that has no equivalent whatsoever.
I would think that if an author wished to contrast their beloved religion, Christianity, with other world views, especially those that wish to eradicate Judaism and Christianity from the face of the earth as Islam promotes, they would at least provide a more accurate, emotional, spirited and complete portrayal of that evil.
This failure on the part of these authors represents the typical failure of the Christian Church today. The Church is not responding as if our faith and freedoms are being threatened at all. I don’t understand such a passive, academic, matter of fact approach.
As this critique is also an Amazon.com book review, here are several other comments that explain my 2 out of 5 stars.
[Speaking of the Amazon reviews, it appears that the very complementary but shallow reviews that garner this book 4.5 stars were offered up by college students given extra credit for their reviews. I have read thousands of reviews on Amazon and the sponsored reviews stand out very clearly.]
One other criticism, resulting from my hope and expectation for the book, is that it is written in a more academic style than I anticipated. It is written more in the style of a text book – dry and detached.
Further, the selection of the rather arcane world view categories seems a bit out of touch with the nature of challenges Christianity faces today. Transcendentalism and Modernism? Really? More relevant categories would be atheism (including Communism), Islam, progressivism (big government in lieu of personal responsibility and God), and naturalism (which includes politicized science worship). All four categories have significant overlap, especially with atheism.
The book does have its strong points. It covers naturalism quite well and goes into a lot of detail promoting the logic and benefits of Christianity compared to the other world views it compares. I just wish it didn’t minimize the gross deceptions and evils of Islam.