Christianity and Islam: are they more similar than they are different, or vice versa? Both believe in one God, right? Both religions believe in rewards for the good and punishments for the bad. Also, both religions believe in a life after death. Do the two religions of Christianity and Islam have many more similarities, however? When you are trying to make comparisons, it helps to first establish a clear definition of the two positions that you are trying to compare. In comparing Christianity and Islam, it will also be helpful to see what a prominent Christian theologian has to say about Islam.
First, to define Christianity: Christians believe in a father-figure God who has a son Jesus Christ. This Jesus was born to a human mother – a young virgin named Mary – and to His father, the father-figure God. Most Christians also believe in the Trinity, which is made up of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. Christians believe that there are certain things that they must do, including following the two greatest commandments: to love God and obey Him, and to love your neighbor as yourself. Another important belief held by Christians is that even though they are supposed to lead good lives and obey the injunctions given to them by Jesus Christ, that Jesus is a God of infinite forgiveness. Christians believe that they can only be saved through the love and grace of Jesus, not through anything they can do.
Muslims believe in one God, Allah. They do not believe in any other persons having a part in that god family. Instead of Allah having a son he has the most revered prophet in history as his own – Mohamed. A core tenant of Islam is the belief in a bodily resurrection to a judgment day in which all people will be judged according to the acts that they have committed. Islamics, though they believe that the Koran is the only literal and inspired word of God – Allah – they also believe that the Christian Bible and the Jewish Torah have some corrupted truth in them.
Martin Luther King, Jr. actually questioned Christianity when he was a teenager. Biography.com records that, “young Martin questioned religion in general and felt uncomfortable with overly emotional displays of religious worship. This discomfort continued through much of his adolescence.” Martin Luther King, Jr. continued to favor less emotional displays of worship. He would have liked that aspect of Islam. However, King urged for non-violence, for the people who were racially oppressed to no longer “be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence” (I Have a Dream). King would not have liked the Muslim’s belief in Jihad, or a holy war that will send the fighter directly into paradise.
“I Have a Dream.” American Rhetoric. Web.
“Martin Luther King Jr.” Biography.com. Web.