Editor’s note: I have gotten dozens of questions from disingenuous Muslim sources recently, so I decided to publish this Q & A as an article for your consideration.
What would you tell someone who was having trouble figuring out which religion is the one true religion? What would you tell him if he said he believes it must be Christianity, Islam or Zoroastrianism but he isn’t sure which of these three is the one true religion and isn’t sure how he can find out?
This is a big question that deserves a big answer, but I will keep it very simple. First of all, because the universe (obviously) exists, and because it (apparently from the evidence for the big bang) was created, and because it obeys natural laws which are 1. The same everywhere. 2. The same over all time and 3. unchanging, I conclude that the universe was created by a single, intelligent, unchanging and very powerful Creator.
Therefore, I conclude that monotheism is the only worldview which correctly explains the reality of the universe we live in. If this is true, then Zoroastrianism, which is dualistic and proposes two opposing forces or Gods is eliminated. If Zoroastrianism were true, then the universe should be chaotic, but it is not.
Now we are down to the two principal monotheisms, Christianity and Islam. I am assuming here that Judaism is more or less contained in Christianity. So, which monotheism is true? (Of course, we should allow that possibly neither is true) This is an easy question. The Bible is supported in its reliability by incredible evidence, none of which is found in the Qur’an. The Bible is confirmed to be reliable because of its accurate representation of history, as shown by much archaeological evidence, including the Tel Dan Inscription, the Moabite Stone, the Sennacherib Obelisk, the Cyrus Cylinder and much more. For more on this, I am attaching a document on history, archaeology and the Bible. History, Archaeology and the Bible
The Qur’an literally has no history associated with it. There is no historical material in the Qur’an, other than some repeated from the Hebrew Bible, which is confirmed by archaeological discovery. None. From a historical perspective the Bible is vastly superior to the Qur’an.
Then there are the miracles of the Bible, such as the resurrection of Christ, the raising of Lazarus and thousands of healings. That Jesus had a miracle ministry is well established by historical sources, including some outside the scriptures. There is also the fulfilled prophecies of the Messiah, such as Isaiah 53, Zechariah 9:9, Micah 5:2, Psalm 22:16-18, Zechariah 11:12-13, 9:24-25 and so much more. I am attaching a document on that topic. Evidence for Jesus
There is the consistency of the Bible in its message, despite so many different authors. There is the scientific reliability of the Bible and so much more. The Qur’an has no such evidence supporting our belief that it might be inspired. None. Not any. The only “evidence” that Muslims have is that they claim it is amazing poetry that an illiterate man could not have written. I agree that it is beautiful poetry, but this is not sufficient reason to support Islam. In a debate we sponsored a few years ago between a Christian, Douglas Jacoby, a Jew, Shmuley Boteach and a Muslim, Shabir Ally, the Muslim imam was asked for evidence supporting the Qur’an. The only “evidence” he had was numerological claims surrounding the way the number 19 appears so many time in the Qur’an. That is all. Some numerology. Here is a link to find this debate: Judaism, Christianity Islam Debate
Add to this, let us look at the relative character of Jesus of Nazareth, the founder of Christianity and of Muhammad, founder of Islam. Even non-Christians will agree that Jesus is one of the greatest persons to live, because of his character, his compassion, his commitment to peace, to love, to serving the poor and so much more. Muhammad was a raider of caravans. He ordered the execution of hundreds of Jews in Medina. He had multiple wives, including teenagers when he was in his forties. He was a man of war, not of peace. He did not work miracles. I will concede that he improved the religious scene in Arabia—turning the Arabs from polytheism toward monotheism, which is a good thing, and promoting a relative moral lifestyle, which is also a good thing. I do not deny that Muhammad had some positive qualities. However, if I compare Jesus to Muhammad, Jesus is by far the greater person, even if we use the world’s standards. They are not even in the same league.
Christianity is the only option that agrees with what we know about the physical universe, and which has vast amount of confirmatory material of the veracity of its Scripture. Islam is not even in the same league with Christianity. This is why Muslims spend a lot more time cutting down the Bible (unsuccessfully) that trying to prove the inspiration of the Qur’an, because they recognize the evidence behind the inspiration of the Bible and also recognize that their religion does not have such evidence.
I just finished writing a book on this topic, which will be published in the next six months or so. It is tentatively titled, True, Right, Better. It proposes that of all the worldviews, Christianity is true, it is right and it is better, by far than the others, and that certainly includes Islam! Here is a short essay on this topic: The Christian and Other Worldviews
For much more on these topics, please read my two books, Reasons for Belief
and Is There a God
, at www.ipibooks.com