There were Arabs at Pentecost
There was evidence of Christianity in the Arabian Peninsula
We know that Christianity went west, but forget it also went as far as India
Muhammad’s source of Christianity was probably mostly from the Church Of Syria
– Two Tier Christianity ‘monks’ and ‘nuns’ and common people.
– He also encountered a Christianity from Axum, the Kingdom of Axum crossed over to Yemen and planted Christianity there.
– He knew both versions of Christianity.
– Syriac Christianity exalted celibacy, and was divided on the incarnation.
– Axumite Kingdom was regarded as an alien religion.
Arabs generally remained polytheistic
Muhammad would engage in conversation with Syriac monks.
610 Muhammad has a vision where The Angel Gabriel visited him calling him to be The Last Prophet
– There is one true God
– Main attributes are omnipotence, omniscience and stresses his transcendence
– It’s a monotrous religion
– There is no idea of God suffering in Islam
Muslims believe Muhammad is the seal of the prophets.
Muslims believe Christianity has been abrogated by Islam.
The New Testament came about in a world that deeply valued literacy, the Quran comes in a world that is by and large illiterate. There is no evidence of pre-Islamic Arabic writing. The Quran would transform that, it would turn Arabs into a people passionate about literacy.
Early Muslims conquests were religiously motivated.
The power of religion, and religious convictions are a very deep motivator – we should recognize this even as Christians.
The Quran does urge Muslims to be gentle in the presentation of Muhammad’s teachings; there is however, no doubt that violence is also present.
The successor of Muhammad is Abu Bakr followed by a series of Caliphs, political leaders for the Muslim community.
Byzantine was Christian, Sassanian Empire was Zoroastrian –
Muslims were drawn into conflict with both of the empires. Would obliterate the Sassanian Empire, and take large chunks of the Byzantine.
Islam fractures after the death of the last caliph; Shia, and Sunni…
Alexandria, Damascus, Antioch, all fell to Islamic hands – all were Christian theological centers.
Leaving Rome alone to make the claims that they were the mother church.
Islam had an appeal – its simplicity – there is One God and Muhammad is his prophet.
The Trinity is a great area of complexity; and our great prophet is God & Man