From email@example.com (Jeremiah McAuliffe) Newsgroups: soc.religion.islam,alt.religion.islam Subject: Geisler-Saleeb Anti-Islam Book, Part 1 (1/3) Date: 1996/8/31 Message-Id: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Bism Allah, Al-Rahman, Al- Raheem... Responses to "Answering Islam: The Crescent in the Light of the Cross" by Norman L. Geisler & Abdul Saleeb. Baker Books, Box 6287 Grand Rapids MI 49516-6287, ISBN 0-8010-3859-6 by Jeremiah D. McAuliffe, Jr., Ph.D. email@example.com I have been challenged by Jochen Katz to back-up my negative statements regarding this book. Specifically, that Geisler does a very poor job. Muslims have permission to reprint this as long as it is unchanged and with proper attribution and you tell me that you have done so. If, by some bizarre chance, you make money off doing so all money has to go to pay off my student loans. Call for account information.
Here goes.... The purpose of this book is to refute Islam and support Christianity. Geisler is the dean of Southern Evangelical Seminary while pseudonymous Abdul Saleeb is a "former Muslim". Please note, this does NOT say that Saleeb is now a Christian. There is something odd about the book in general. The first part-- introducing Islam quite well actually-- seems strangely disconnected from the second part supposedly refuting Islam in favor of Evangelical Christianity. There is little, if any, correspondence between the two. It is as if they were written separately. It is impossible to tell how the co-authoring proceeded, but it seems as if "Saleeb" wrote the "intro to Islam" part (which is really good) while Geisler wrote the refutation-- though without any reference whatsoever to what was actually written in the first part. Its like two different books. The refutation is severely problematic-- confused and inconsistent in its thinking, and intellectually manipulative. Without a philosophical background one may not be able to see through or identify the manipulation. Let me just say that if Geisler was my student, and handed this in, he would flunk. His thinking is just too confused and intellectually disingenuous. So confused is his thinking, so essentially dishonest, that it has to be taken apart almost line by line and requires extensive quoting from the book. Surely a daunting task.... insha Allah, I won't actually have to do the whole thing before people get tired of it all and I have supported my opinion of the book sufficiently! It would be much easier to do this verbally-- reading lines and passages and then explaining what is wrong with them. Also, while the "intro to Islam" part is extensively footnoted with classic Muslim writers and other writers on Islam-- names known to all-- with the refutation part the footnotes and classic citations essentially come to a stop. Again, odd and inconsistent. However, we can identify the essence of Geisler's problem: he does NOT refer to the Qur'an, nor to Muslim scholars, but to Medieval Christian theology and Hellenistic philosophy. Islamic intellectual history, we know, encountered, processed and rejected Hellenistic philosophy as a basis for theology or Qur'anic hermeneutics. The Hellenists in Islam are the Mu'tazilites-- the speculative philosophers-- which has, at heart, been soundly rejected by us. Unfortunately for Evangelical Christians, Geisler does not seem to know this, much less take it into account, and so immediately his arguments are *completely* misplaced! Such a glaring error is why, were I his teacher, he would get an "F". In addition, with all the advances in Christian theology since Aquinas I simply cannot believe that Geisler would argue from such outdated neo-Thomist concepts! I mean, didn't he ever at least read Kant, or, God-forbid, some contemporary philosophy or theology? Probably not. He IS an Evangelical Christian after all-- not a group known for intellectual rigor or consistency, but rather its fundamentalism in the negative sense of that word. I'll begin on page 134 "Problems of Islamic Monotheism". This is where the refutation begins. "Islamic monotheism is rigid and inflexible." This statement is a tautological rhetorical device that, in essence, only says that Muslims believe what they believe, and do not believe what they do not believe. Such a statement could be said about any religion or ideology, including Christianity. Every ideological system is "rigid and inflexible" in certain basic concepts. Now, Geisler does not go on to state that Christian monotheism is flexible and superior because of that flexibility, as one would expect after such a statement. Rather, he immediately changes the subject and presents as standard the view of some uneducated Muslims that trinitarian monotheism is the same as tritheism, and the equally uneducated view among some Muslims that the Christian father-son description of God and Jesus is an anthropomorphized relationship derived from sexuality. Of course, any Muslim of minimal education and intelligence-- knowledgeable of a minimum of Christian theology-- knows this is not accurate. Geisler himself is either ignorant, or intellectually dishonest, to present this as standard Islam. While he will go on to refer to people such as Plotinus and Aquinas he is "dialoging" here with extremely low-level understandings of Islam. Sort of like a university professor arguing with a five-year old. So, he is going to take high-level Christian theology and use it to argue against uneducated Muslim opinions. I consider this dishonest and manipulative. Jeremiah McAuliffefirstname.lastname@example.org *************************************** Visit Dr. Jihad's! Page 'O Heavy Issues http://www.city-net.com/~alimhaq/miaha.html *************************************** WOW! Major Upgrade Comin' Soon!
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