Saturday, May 28, 2011

who owns jesus?

It is an interesting headline. "Jesus: a prophet of Islam" And it will be coming to a billboard or two in Sydney.

I wonder what impact it will have.

Today the Sydney Morning Herald reported (in "He's not the son of God, just the support act") that a Sydney Islamic organisation, MyPeace was beginning a campaign "to educate non-Muslims about Islam". Other billboards will carry the messages 'Holy Quran: the final testament'' and 'Muhammad: mercy to mankind'.

These statements suggest the campaign is aiming to win converts, but spokesperson Diaa Mohamed said the campaign was intended to educate non-Muslims about Islam. "We want to raise awareness that Islam believes in Jesus Christ .... We embrace him and say that he was one of the mightiest prophets of God."

The three great Middle eastern monotheistic religions all accept the historical evidence that Jesus lived and was, at the very least, someone who believed himself to be a prophet. Jews generally think he was either irrelevant or a false prophet; Muslims believe he was a great prophet, but he wasn't the son of God nor was he crucified; while Christians believe he was both son of God and crucified, and also resurrected.

It has to be said that the historical evidence favours either the Jewish or the Christian claim being correct. But it will be interesting to see whether the campaign creates greater interest in Jesus, and whether it breaks down barriers between Muslims and Christians, or increases them.

I can't help thinking it represents an opportunity for the truth. Muslims have their opportunity to present their case. Christians, if they respond positively and constructively, have an opportunity to encourage people to read the gospels and see for themselves.


  1. Hey Uncle E, this campaign reminds me of an Islam Awareness Week a few years ago at university, where photocopied posters were put up everywhere saying "Jesus is a Muslim" - they put on lectures about why this is so. It would have been nice to see a multi-faith debate or dialogue be put on as well. There's a great book called "breaking the islam code" - and if you can get past the cheesy title it has some refreshing ideas for constructive and respectful dialogue about the nature of Christ and faith in general - I particularly like his emphasis on the power of storytelling over "theological wrestling".

  2. Thanks. Phil Parshall's The Cross & the Crescent is similarly thoughtful and respectful - the Christians probably cop more criticism than the Muslims do!


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