Monday, February 27, 2017

BookPastor >> "No God But One" (Nabeel Qureshi)

This review was first published on Aug 17th, 2016 at Panorama of a Book Saint.


TITLE: No God but One: Allah or Jesus?: A Former Muslim Investigates the Evidence for Islam and Christianity
AUTHOR: Nabeel Qureshi
PUBLISHER: Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2016, (320 pages).

Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God? Is Allah the same as Jesus? This issue costs a tenured professor her job and puts her seminary at the center of a controversy. For the rest of us, it highlights the confusion behind the differences and the similarities between Christianity and Islam. On the one hand, there is a lot of similarities in the Old Testament with the Quran. On the other hand, there are distinct differences in the theology of the person of God. As a convert from Islam, author and speaker Nabeel Qureshi has a personal interest in this one issue, partly because of his acute background understanding of Islam, and also because of his new found faith in Jesus. Having struggled with the differences between Christianity and Islam in a very personal level, he knows why and how people are confused about the whole matter. This book is his attempt to tell the differences between the two great religions and to investigate who God is. For over a decade, he has struggled with the issue, together with thousands of people he have met caught between the theologies of the two faiths. It is hoped that the book will not only clarify the differences but will enable us to pray more knowledgeably for the people caught between the two faiths.

Qureshi explains the usage of 'God,' 'Allah,' and 'Yahweh,' widely used by Christians, Muslims, and Jews, respectively. Semantics and accurate terminology matters, which is why he takes time at the Preface to define and to describe the meaning of each word used. The three core questions that he deals with are:

  1. What are the Differences Between Islam and Christianity?
  2. Can We know whether Islam or Christianity is True?
  3. Is the Truth Worth Dying for?

After giving his own story of conversion, he plunges into the two different streams comparing the sharia and the gospel. Differences range from the meaning of Islam to the differing usage of prophet. The key difference is that the gospel is all about God and what God has done. This is not the same for Islam. What makes the discussion interesting is because many of the issues brought up are the very ones that the author has struggled with. Issues like:

  • Tawhid (absolutely one) vs Trinity
  • Muhammad vs Jesus
  • Messenger vs Messiah
  • The Quran vs the Bible
  • The Jihad vs the Crusade
  • The claims of Jesus
  • The Prophet Muhummad
  • Which is true?
So What?

Qureshi's position is very clear. The two religions are very different and incompatible. Those who claim that the similarities outweigh the differences are oblivious of the central tenets of both religions. Having experienced the grace of God in Jesus, he is called to preach Christ and to enlighten those of us who have yet to ask serious questions about the differences. Among all that are discussed, the biggest challenge and stumbling block is none other than Jesus Christ. Using historical sources, traditions, and testimonies, he argues that there are ample evidence of Jesus' death on the cross.

Eventually, we must all make a decision for truth. Whether we believe or not, the truth is not going to sway according to our intellectual capacities or emotional moods. Some of the things shared by Qureshi have been previously taught in his earlier works like "Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus" and "Answering Jihad." I have in mind four groups of potential readers of this book. The first would be Muslims curious about how Qureshi compares Islam with Christianity. Given how entrenched Muslims are about the way they cling on to Islam and their typical re-interpretations of Christianity, it is hard for this book to convince them. In fact, some of them may even be looking for loopholes to push forth their own theologies. The second group are Christians who don't know much about Islam. With the easy to follow comparisons, this book should give them some fodder to chew on. At the same time, it strengthens their understanding of basic faith. The third group are non-believers or people supporting neither Islam nor Christianity. They would probably be interested in this issue because of the controversy stirred up recently by the Wheaton College situation. The fourth represents the rest of us who wanted a better grasp of what the two religions stand for and to make an informed decision about each.

In summary, this is a popular level book comparing the two religions and emphasizing that the differences far outweigh any perceived similarities. Qureshi cuts through all the details and has given us a book where he deals with the fundamental tenets of faith for both.

Rating: 4 stars of 5.


This book is provided to me courtesy of Zondervan Academic and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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