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Fall 2007 · Vol. 36 No. 2 · pp. 219–31 

Scholarship and Islamic Sourcebooks: Telling the Truth about Islam

Gordon Nickel

During the past six years, it has become increasingly difficult for non-Muslim scholars of Islam to say publicly what they know about this powerful religion. Already in 2002, one scholar at an American university told the New York Times, “Between fear and political correctness, it’s not possible to say anything other than sugary nonsense about Islam.” 1

Study of religions leads Christian scholars into meaningful reflection on the particulars of other faith traditions in the light of the person of Jesus and the mission of the Church.

This particular scholar asked not to be named, citing worries about threatened violence as well as the widespread reluctance on United States college campuses to say things which could be interpreted as criticizing other cultures. The need for accurate information about Islam has grown since 9/11. However, because they fear for life and career, many qualified scholars have balked at sharing what they know.

Nowhere has the need for answers been greater than to the question of the relationship between Islam and violence. Yet this subject arguably causes the greatest confusion. Daniel Pipes wrote in November 2002 that media statements from American professors of Islam almost uniformly portray the Islamic concept of “jihad” as peaceful inner struggle. 2 Fortunately the scholarly literature is more helpful, as this article will demonstrate. However, Pipes’ claim is representative enough of the most visible scholars of Islam to raise the question of why they have not been more forthcoming.

Scholars who have the opportunity to study religions deeply have a responsibility to share what they learn. All scholars aim to treat the object of their study honestly and to portray religions accurately. Christian scholars have an additional encouragement from their faith to tell the truth.

Study of religions inevitably leads Christian scholars into meaningful reflection on the particulars of other faith traditions in the light of the person of Jesus and the mission of the Church. Paul Hiebert wrote candidly of his determination to study the realities of cross-cultural encounter through the discipline of anthropology for the sake of mission. 3 For a number of Christian scholars, the study of interfaith encounter through the discipline of religious studies is similarly prompted by missionary concern, to better understand the rejection of the Gospel and to learn ways of communicating the Gospel in appropriate terms. This missionary concern poses a constant challenge to understand the religions and portray them accurately.

Islamic violence is a matter of global concern, and those who have the opportunity to research its background can provide timely help for public discourse. Christian scholars of Islam are interested in both the implications of that background for peaceful human coexistence and the theological concepts with which it is intertwined.


In western countries, public discussion of Islamic violence has become deeply polemical. Certainly there are many well-argued approaches that differ from the approach presented here. An important factor is the diversity among Muslims with regard to their own tradition. Modernist Muslims seek to articulate their faith in response to western understandings. Revivalists call for a return to Muhammad’s seventh-century Medina. The majority of the world’s Muslims are traditionalists who basically accept the faith as it has come to them. In western discourse, however, we usually hear only the minority modernist voice.

Modernist Muslims signal the fact that just because a doctrine or practice is part of the Muslim tradition, it does not mean that all Muslims believe in it or even know about it. By the same token, just because particular Muslims may not personally subscribe to a doctrine or practice does not mean it is not part of Muslim tradition. 4

Since the origins of Islam in the seventh century, violence has been a major Islamic theme. When Muslim historians of the eighth through tenth centuries described the beginnings of their faith, they included a great number of stories of raids, battles, assassinations, and massacres. 5 In presenting these accounts, historians were not being critical either of their own religion or the personalities involved. Rather, they saw all these deeds as directed and approved by Allah.

Muslim scripture came together in the midst of this story. The Qur’an contains 12 direct commands to fight and five commands to kill, all using the unambiguous Arabic verb qatala. The Qur’an also contains many apparent descriptions of battle situations in which Allah exhorts believers to get behind the war effort. 6 In the history of Qur’anic commentary and development of Islamic Law, these commands were never thought troublesome or controversial.

Muslim scholars gave each of the 114 sūras of the Qur’an a place in a carefully outlined chronology from first recitation until the death of Muhammad. In their view, the recitations spoken closer to the end of Muhammad’s life took precedence over others. Two commands that have exerted great influence in Islamic Law are Q9.5 (“the sword verse”) and Q9.29 (“the verse of tribute”): “Then, when the sacred months are drawn away, slay the idolaters wherever you find them . . .”; “Fight those who believe not in Allah and the Last Day . . . being of those who have been given the Book—until they pay the tribute out of hand and have been humbled.” 7 Classical Qur’an exegesis and Islamic Law have tended to see the unconditional command to fight unbelievers as abrogating the gentler, more tolerant verses in the Qur’an. 8

The earliest biography of Muhammad is the Sīrat Rasūl Allāh by Ibn Ishāq (d. 767). 9 According to the Sīra, the first Muslim use of violence was an attack on merchant caravans that passed close to Medina on their way to Mecca from Syria. 10 There was some question about the legitimacy of this attack, but in Muslim tradition God not only gave Muslims permission to fight, but commanded them to, by revealing Q22.40-42. 11 Many other raids are reported in the Sīra. Some early Muslim histories of Islam go by the name of maghāzī, meaning “raids.” 12

Traditional Muslim sources also recount that a series of battles occurred during Muhammad’s lifetime. The Sīra reports the battles of Badr, Uhud, and “the Ditch,” 13 and the attacks on the Jewish settlement at Khaybar and on the town of Tabūk 14 as major armed encounters. Muslim exegetes matched various parts of the Qur’an with particular battles. 15

The dealings of the earliest Muslims with the large Jewish clans of Medina is an important theme in Muslim accounts. 16 Two major Jewish clans were banished from Medina. The third clan, the Banū Qurayza, met with a harsher fate: the men of the tribe, numbering in Muslim reports between 400 and 900, were beheaded in the marketplace of Medina; the women and children were taken as slaves; and all Jewish land and possessions were appropriated. 17

The reason why the details of these Muslim biographies are so important is that early in its history the Muslim community centered Islamic authority in the behavior or sunna of the prophet of Islam. Muslims believe that the words and behavior of Muhammad are preserved in collections of traditions or hadīth. 18 The hadīth, in turn, formed the basis for the formulation of Islamic Law. Muhammad came to be seen as the perfect human, to be emulated in all aspects of life.

After the death of Muhammad, according to Muslim histories such as that of al-Tabarī (d. 923), the first Islamic rulers, called caliphs, conquered the Middle East, North Africa and all the way to Spain in the west, and Central Asia all the way to the Indus River in the east. Muslims have seen this astonishing conquest as a sign of Allah’s favor on the people and religion of Islam. 19

Conquest and domination by force of arms is reflected in the development of Islamic Law as well. Islamic jurists divided the world into two spheres, the Dār al-Harb (“Abode of War”) and the Dār al-Islām (“Abode of Islam”). “Peace” can only exist where Islam dominates politically. All remaining territories are objects of military conquest. “This notion stems,” writes E. Tyan, “from the fundamental principle of the universality of Islam: This religion, along with the temporal power which it implies, ought to embrace the whole universe, if necessary by force.” 20

This violence is “Islamic” rather than merely “Islamist” because it belongs to the orthodox tradition of Islam. Violence is an integral part of the sourcebooks and the early history of the religion itself. Violence is not imputed to Islam by outsiders who wish it ill, but rather is part of the self-definition of Islam.

To point out the violence in the sourcebooks is not to accuse our Muslim neighbors and friends of being violent. As already indicated, Muslims have various ways of dealing with their traditions. Some modernist Muslims deny the importance of the hadīth and/or question the historicity of the Sīra, choosing to strip away Muslim tradition and offer their own version of Muhammad and the Qur’an. Revivalists and Traditionalists, however, generally accept the authority of all three Muslim sources.


An authentic approach to the study of the sourcebooks of Islam would combine relating discoveries in the study of the religion with principled personal response to its important themes and practices. It would offer helpful characterizations of the sourcebooks along with accurate information about their historical development. It would provide relevant details from the Muslim tradition as well as a perspective on the whole.

Scholars of Islam are in a position to provide help on questions which non-specialists may find impossible to answer. For example, since the Arabic term “jihad” has come into popular English usage, many have been at a loss to know what it means. Islamicists have access to the Qur’an, the Sīra, the Hadīth, the early Muslim histories, and works of Islamic jurisprudence in the original Arabic. They can report about the use of the term jihād and its corresponding verb jāhada in each of these works. The public can benefit greatly from solid scholarship in this area.

In public discourse, however, one usually hears that jihad means peaceful inner struggle, 21 that Muhammad himself highlighted this meaning as the “greater jihad.” But scholars have pointed out that while these words are attributed to Muhammad, they cannot in fact be found in any of the hadīth collections to which Muslims grant authority. 22 A reading of the contexts of the jihad verses in the Qur’an reveals that many of the occurrences of jāhada must take the meaning of warfare. 23 The earliest Qu’ranic commentaries understand the verb to mean something like “attack.” 24 Interestingly, the great classical exegete al-Tabarī insisted that jihad meant participation in warfare, even in cases where the scriptural context would not seem to warrant this interpretation. 25

Scholars of Islam can also determine whether verses cited from the Qur’an are taken out of context or whether they represent significant scriptural themes. Reuven Firestone has provided a careful study of the commands to fight and kill in the Qur’an and the ways in which Muslims have traditionally understood these verses. 26 Instead of this kind of scholarly presentation, however, public discourse on Islamic violence is usually limited to quoting a few texts which are said to summarize the whole teaching of the Qur’an.

One passage from the Qur’an often cited to argue that there is no violence in Islam is the verse “. . . whoso slays a soul not to retaliate for a soul slain, nor for corruption done in the land, shall be as if he had slain mankind altogether . . .” (Q5.32). A check of context, however, will show that this verse appears after the Qur’anic Cain and Abel story and that the words are directed at the Children of Israel. Immediately afterward comes the verse, “This is the recompense of those who fight against Allah and His Messenger . . . they shall be slaughtered, or crucified, or their hands and feet shall alternately be struck off, or they shall be banished from the land . . .” (Q5.33)

Another popular citation is, “There is no compulsion in religion . . .” Michael Cook explains that though this phrase from Q2.256 has become a “godsend” to modernist Muslims (especially those living in the West), it has in fact greatly troubled Muslim scholars throughout Islam’s history, including some contemporary revivalist exegetes. 27 If commentators did not declare Q2.256 to be abrogated by the “verse of tribute” (Q9.29) or the “sword verse” (Q9.5), they often applied it to a restricted context or audience. 28

Scholars who labor over such materials naturally draw comparisons or contrasts with the scriptural sources of other faiths. Of Muslim political thought, Michael Cook wrote:

These [political] ideas are not notably eirenic, and to anyone brought up on the New Testament they will seem very alien. In the face of persecution, Jesus neither resisted nor emigrated. He created no new polity, at least not in this world, he waged no holy wars, and he gave a most evasive answer when after his resurrection his followers suggested that the time might have come to ‘restore again the kingdom to Israel’ (Acts 1.6). If Christians want to be political activists, they cannot in good faith take their values from the life of their founder. 29

One major Islamicist who supplemented his scholarly description with a personal response was Marshall Hodgson. 30 Having carefully recounted the story of Muhammad from Muslim sources, Hodgson wrote, “It is not just a Christian squeamishness, I think, that points to Muhammad’s military measures as a central problem in his prophethood.” 31 The comment drew predictable criticism. Some critics attempted to disqualify Hodgson on the grounds that he was a Quaker and a pacifist. But Richard C. Martin, another Islamicist, was moved to take up Hodgson’s defense. Martin challenged critics to “direct their refutations toward his argument and not his religious background.” 32 Then he offered this rare academic tribute to scholarly evaluation: “The difference between Hodgson and many of his Western Islamicist critics is that Hodgson dared to believe that moral issues do not disappear when a scholar takes up the study of a civilization other than his or her own.” 33


Interacting deeply with the Muslim tradition will lead Christian scholars of Islam into rich and creative reflections on foundational narratives, the nature of God, and the mission of the Church in the world. David Shenk and Kenneth Cragg are two scholars who highlight Islamic violence in a sensitive and peaceable way. They demonstrate that it is possible—and arguably a requirement of discipleship—to combine telling the truth about religions with respect for their adherents. 34

David Shenk finds that it is precisely in the matter of violence that the Gospel and Islam reveal themselves to be “two journeys that go in opposite directions.” 35 He locates the point of divergence at a crossroads where Jesus sets his face to go to Jerusalem, and where Muhammad is invited to rule in Medina. Responding to the traditional Muslim narrative, Shenk understands the hijrah to be a movement from suffering and largely unfruitful preaching in Mecca to success and political power in Medina. He sharply contrasts this transition with Jesus’ decision to refuse the invitation to become a king in Galilee and instead to move resolutely toward suffering and death in Jerusalem. In Medina, writes Shenk, Muhammad became a statesman and military general. With the instruments of political power, he and his followers established the Muslim ummah. This story has had a profound influence on Muslim ethics. When necessary, violence against the enemy is commanded by both God and his messenger. Shenk contrasts this with Christian ethics, which he characterizes as the way of the cross. 36

Beliefs about the nature of God are integral to these two journeys in opposite directions, Shenk continues. When the Messiah chose the path of vulnerable suffering, he showed humanity what God is like. In the Muslim tradition, vulnerability is not seen as a quality appropriate either to God or to humans. Rather, “political and coercive power are required in order for God’s will to triumph.” 37 For the Church, by contrast, the call of God is to walk in the way of the Messiah in his crucifixion.

No Christian scholar has made greater efforts to understand Islam from within and to nurture the conversation between committed Muslims and Christians than Kenneth Cragg. Cragg similarly locates the crux of difference between Islam and the Gospel at Muhammad’s decision—according to Muslim sources—to combine faith with physical force. 38 Cragg calls this the “power dimension” 39 and identifies it as the source of Muslim confidence that military action can usher in “the way of Allah.” In the Gospel, Cragg notes, Jesus reveals that “the way of God” is suffering love and sacrifice. The goal which both ways claim is the sovereignty of God and universal human obedience. Cragg asks: What is the truly divine way to achieve that goal?

Cragg agrees that meeting human evil with physical force may stop it temporarily, may “safeguard and defend effectively.” 40 But he argues that force is powerless to positively redeem either the evil or the evil-doer. Also, because it is violence, and because it is humans who wield it, it may in the end aggravate or even justify the evil it aims to restrain. Violence immediately arouses a desire for retaliation, which starts a vicious cycle almost impossible to bring under control. Evil is perpetuated if not increased. Part of the problem, Cragg suggests, is a failure to take human evil in its true measure. When humans use violence in the service of God, they expose themselves to temptations that bring out the worst in human nature. Moreover, using force in matters of faith breeds hypocrisy in those coerced. People profess faith out of fear, while in their hearts they keep other commitments. Force is powerless to achieve the goal of true obedience.

Only suffering love can create a situation in which people are free to respond to God in love and obedience, writes Cragg. The love of God, demonstrated in the life and death of Jesus, is a love that forgives and thereby absorbs the evil committed into oneself.

Only ‘taking’ wrong forgivingly, takes it away. The wrong-doer has then no cause to perpetuate his enmity, no reason to despair of himself and no occasion to entrench himself in evil. On the contrary, there is in his neighbour’s ‘peace’ that which closes the account, frees the spirit from enmity and hate, restores the broken community between the persons, and truly ‘overcomes evil with good.’ We cannot have it so, however, without knowing that a cost is borne, is readily and sacrificially paid, by the soul that wills forgiveness, whose ‘peace’ is active, compassionate and ready. 41

Cragg applies this christological insight both to the sovereignty of God and to the behavior of humans who are zealous to bring in God’s way. God’s way is not the Muslim “power equation,” he concludes, but rather the way of the cross. 42 The scholarly studies of Shenk and Cragg add an extra dimension to truth telling: the disciple’s faithfulness to the person of Jesus.


Scholars who emphasize the contrast between Jesus and Muhammad in the area of violence are often challenged to account for Old Testament violence, as well as for the violence committed by Christians during the past two millennia. Christian scholars of Islam will need help from their colleagues in biblical studies, theology, and church history. However, such challenges—though difficult to meet fully—provide further opportunities for creative reflection.

One potential area of fruitful scholarship is the direction of teaching on violence in the scriptures of the respective faiths. The teaching and life of Jesus suggest how Old Testament violence is to be understood. Jesus said that he came not to abrogate the Torah and Prophets, but to fulfill them (Matthew 5:17). He then gave a number of commands that set aside earlier understandings—three of which concerned violence (Matt. 5:21-26, 38-42, 43-48). The New Testament witness to Jesus’ life and teachings suggests that the direction of Jesus’ “fulfillment” of the Torah was toward peacemaking, non-resistance, and suffering love. Significantly, when the New Testament explicitly commands imitation of the sunna of Jesus, it is in relation to suffering patiently for doing good (1 Peter 2:20-23). The contrast with the traditional Islamic concept of abrogation could hardly be more striking. The traditional Islamic view was that the more violent materials in the Qur’an superseded Muhammad’s earlier peaceful recitations. Though the violence of the Old Testament remains, Jesus’ life and teachings do cast a helpful light on the issue.

Similarly, it will not resolve the question to point out that for three centuries followers of Jesus rejected violence, but it is certainly relevant to the discussion. True, many Christians since Constantine have acted violently, as illustrated by the Crusades. However, many Christians around the world would agree with Yale historian Lamin Sanneh when he writes:

The Crusades, late in time, were something of a coup d’état against the teachings of Jesus . . . With the church’s backing, European kingdoms looked upon Jerusalem as “Crown redeemer” territory. Religion became jurisdiction or rulership, and the exhortation to fight the good fight of faith (I Tim. 6:12; 1 Tim. 4:7) in the spirit of the Suffering Servant and to contend against the principalities and powers (Eph. 6:12; Col. 2:15) was superseded by royal prerogative . . . The fact that Western Christians continue to harbor fresh remorse for the Crusades a thousand years after the events shows the Crusades to be a continuing embarrassment and a standing reproach to the church. 43

Sanneh goes on to argue that there is no corresponding sense of remorse among Muslims about the Arab Muslim Conquests of the seventh and eighth centuries, or the Ottoman Muslim Conquests of the fifteenth through seventeenth centuries. Sanneh notes that what he calls “the jihad tradition in Islam” is no aberration of that faith, but rather is prescribed in the Qur’an and in the conduct of Muhammad. He claims that the Christendom concept of “holy war” was actually conceived in response to the Muslim doctrine of jihad in the eleventh century. 44 Such perceptions point to largely unexplored territory in the academic study of the two faiths.


In the West today, people ask many questions about Islam, particularly about its relation to violence. Those who study Islam closely bear a responsibility to share information and insight where it is needed. If the violence in the sourcebooks of Islam has the potential to influence the behavior of Muslims today, it becomes the concern of non-Muslims as well. Scholarly involvement in this discourse thus becomes a public service and potentially a contribution toward peaceful coexistence.

Beyond this, Christian scholars of Islam have the privilege of entering the large creative space stretching out before them. Study of the Muslim tradition in light of the Gospel provides room to probe important questions about who God is, what God’s way is, and how God establishes that way. It gives scholars a chance to articulate the source of ultimate authority and the true model for human behavior. It challenges them to tell the truth as scholars and to respond authentically from conscience and Gospel. Finally, the study of Islam presents an opportunity to clarify the mission of the Church in the world.


  1. Alexander Stille, “Radical New Views of Islam and the Origins of the Koran,” New York Times, March 2, 2002. Accessible online at
  2. Daniel Pipes, “Jihad and the Professors,” Commentary 114 (November 2002): 17-18. Accessible online at
  3. Missiological Implications of Epistemological Shifts: Affirming Truth in a Modern/Postmodern World (Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International, 1999), xiii-xv.
  4. All Muslims share the Qur’an and the traditional accounts of Muhammad. Though Sunni and Shia Muslims give authority to separate collections of prophetic tradition, there is a large area of overlap, and the differences tend not to concern the material presented below. See Andrew Rippin, Muslims: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices, 3d ed. (London: Routledge, 2005), chapter 8.
  5. Martin Hinds, “al-Maghāzī,” Encyclopaedia of Islam, New Edition, ed. C.E. Bosworth et al, (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1986): 1161.
  6. The new Encyclopaedia of the Qur’ān (Jane Dammen McAuliffe, gen. ed., Leiden: Brill) provides a number of focused studies on the vocabulary of violence in the Qur’an: Rizwi Faizer, “Expeditions and Battles”; Reuven Firestone, “Fighting”; Ella Landau-Tasseron, “Jihād”; Dimitry V. Frolov, “Path or Way”; Patricia Crone, “War”.
  7. Many scholars familiar with the original Arabic prefer the Qur’an translation of Arthur Arberry, The Koran Interpreted (Oxford University Press, 1964).
  8. Encyclopaedia of Islam, New Edition, ed. B. Lewis, et al. (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1965), s.v. “Djihād.” Cf. The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995), s.v. “Jihād.”
  9. Available in the English translation of A. Guillaume, The Life of Muhammad (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 1967).
  10. Ibid., 287.
  11. Ibid., 212-13.
  12. The best known of which is the Kitāb al-Maghāzī of al-Wāqidī (d. 822) (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyah, 2004).
  13. Guillaume, 289-360, 370-426, 450-460, respectively.
  14. Ibid., 510-523, 602-614.
  15. For example sūras 8, 9 and 33, and Q3.117-169. Cf. Guillaume, Life of Muhammad, 288.
  16. Guillaume, 363f., 437-82.
  17. Ibid., 461-482. Ibn Ishāq wrote on the number of Jewish men beheaded: “There were 600 or 700 in all, though some put the number as high as 800 or 900.” Guillaume, 464.
  18. The best known of six hadīth collections accepted by Sunni Muslims is the Sahīh of al-Bukhārī (d. 870). English translations of some of these collections are available in university libraries, or have been posted to the Internet. Bukhārī’s “Book of Jihad” is accessible online at But other relevant sections in this hadīth collection include “One fifth of booty to the cause of Allah,” “Military expeditions led by the prophet,” and “Punishment of disbelievers at war with Allah and his messenger.”
  19. Al-Tabarī’s Tarīkh al-rusul wa al-mulūk, the single most important source for the early conquests, is now available in English translation as The History of al-Tabari (Albany, NY: SUNY Press). Volumes 11-14 cover the conquest (1989-1994). Michael Bonner provides a summary of the conquests in Jihad in Islamic History: Doctrines and Practice (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006), 56-71.
  20. Encyclopaedia of Islam, s.v. “Djihād.”
  21. A striking example in the wake of 9/11 was the statement by Rudgers scholar James Turner Johnson that in the Qur’an “. . . the term jihad is used to refer to the believer’s inner struggle for righteousness.” “Jihad and Just War,” First Things no. 124 (June-July 2002): 12.
  22. Reuven Firestone, Jihād: The Origin of Holy War in Islam (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 17, 140-41, n. 19. David Cook, Understanding Jihad (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005), 35-39. Douglas E. Streusand, “What Does Jihad Mean?” Middle East Quarterly 4, (September 1997), accessible online at
  23. Encyclopaedia of the Qur’ān, s.v., “Jihād”. Cf. Fred M. Donner, “The Sources of Islamic Conceptions of War,” in Just War and Jihad: Historical and Theoretical Perspectives on War and Peace in Western and Islamic Traditions, ed. John Kelsay and James Turner Johnson. (NY: Greenwood Press, 1991), 46.
  24. Preliminary results of a concurrent investigation into “Jihād in Context and Commentary.” Cf. Cook, Understanding Jihad, 35: “combat.”
  25. Encyclopaedia of Islam, s.v. “Djihād.”
  26. Firestone, Jihād, 47-65.
  27. Michael Cook, The Koran: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 35-36, 100-103.
  28. Cook, The Koran, p. 101-103. Mahmoud Ayoub provides English translations of a range of classical Muslim interpretations of Q2.256 in The Qur’an and its Interpreters (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1984), 252-55.
  29. Michael Cook, Muhammad (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983), 57-58.
  30. Marshall G.S. Hodgson, The Venture of Islam: Conscience and History in a World Civilization, 3 vols. (University of Chicago Press, 1975).
  31. Ibid., 1: 186.
  32. Richard C. Martin, “The Religious Foundations of War, Peace and Statecraft in Islam,” in Just War and Jihad, 108.
  33. Ibid.
  34. Unfortunately, some of the most popular treatments of violence in Islam by western Christians are books which lack Christ-like attitudes toward Muslims!
  35. David W. Shenk, Journeys of the Muslim Nation and the Christian Church: Exploring the Mission of Two Communities (Waterloo, ON: Herald, 2003), 130.
  36. Ibid., 134.
  37. Ibid., 135.
  38. Kenneth Cragg, Muhammad and the Christian: A Question of Response (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1984), chapters 3, 8, and 9. See also Cragg’s Jesus and the Muslim: An Exploration (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1985), chapters 6 and 11.
  39. Cragg, Muhammad, 31 and passim.
  40. Cragg, Jesus, 179.
  41. Ibid., 182.
  42. Ibid., 297-99.
  43. Lamin Sanneh, Whose Religion is Christianity? The Gospel Beyond the West (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2003), 120-22.
  44. Ibid., 121-122.
Gordon Nickel teaches at ACTS Seminaries in Langley, B.C. as assistant professor of intercultural studies for Ambrose Seminary. Nickel wrote his PhD dissertation on the earliest commentaries on the Qur’an.

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