||2017-11-12 08:18:58, 조회 : 486, 추천 : 109
| Jesus and the JIhadis|
Craig A. Evans and Jeremiah J. Johnston
Conclusion - To Defend Against Muhammad's Faith, Even if You are Unable to Defend Yourself Against His Sword
Hello to another beautiful, beautiful day because our heavenly Father has given it to us! Today we conclude our book, Jesus and the Jihadis, by the authors Craig A. Evans and Jeremiah J. Johnston. And the conclusion is titled To Defend Against Muhammad’s Faith, Even if You are Unable to Defend Yourself Against His Sword, with the sub-title, Martin Luther’s Lesson on Responding to Islam.
Around 500 years ago Martin Luther had to endure what we are going through now. Martin Luther, along with the whole of Europe, faced the terrors of the Ottoman caliphate, led by the bloodthirsty Suleiman the Magnificent. For nearly fifty years Suleiman had gathered the Turks into its golden age. He expanded the caliphate and threatened the whole of Europe. In 1529, in the city of Vienna, roughly 120,000 Turks, led by Suleiman, stormed the city with intention to take over it. Amazingly, the Viennese protectors, numbering less than 20,000, with help from a hostile early winter, was able to defend against the attack. Martin Luther viewed the Ottoman expansion as not only a political move but a move against Christianity.
When we speak of Martin Luther we almost immediately think of his reformation to Christianity as well as his protest against the teachings of the Catholic Church. What we might not have commonly known also about Martin Luther is his voice against Islam as well. In the author’s visit from Berlin to Wittenberg, officially known as Lutherstadt or Luther City, they stumbled upon an ancient book with a Latin title “ALCORANVS.” “ALCORANVS” translates to “the Qur’an.” The story behind Luther’s Qur’an is both fascinating and little known. And Luther’s example of a Christian response to the sixteenth-century Islamic aggression is relevant to our modern day response to the rise of the Islamic State.
At that time, and where Martin Luther was, it was nearly impossible for Martin Luther to actually come face-to-face with another Muslim. And yet, it did not stop Martin Luther from educating himself and others about the threat of Islam. In his lessons on Joel 2, Luther refers to the domination and success of the Turks as the “scourge of God.” Scourge meaning the “curse of God.”
Luther recognized the caliphate as a legitimate threat. In Luther’s preface on Ezekiel, Luther saw the Turkish invasion as the drawing of the last days, as he interpreted the Ottoman caliphate as the Gog told in Ezekiel 38-39. In Ezekiel 38-39, it tells us of an army that will rise against Christendom. And it tells that in the end they will be destroyed by fire from heaven. And Luther considered the Turks to be this army of the Gog. In the preface to Luther’s Book on the Ceremonies of the Turks, Luther states that since the Turks are lurking in their own backyards and knocking at their doors, the Christians must be “warned” and they must “learn” the religion of Muhammad in order to counteract it. It took Luther twelve years to finally receive a Latin copy of the Qur’an so he could verify if all the horrors and tragedies he had heard and read of Islam were actually authorized by Muhammad.
Finally on February 21, 1542, thirteen years after writing his first treatise on Islam Against the Turks, Luther obtained a Latin manuscript of the Qur’an and was finally able to study it. And to his amazement nothing he had previously learned about Islamic treatment of women or the infidel was overstated.
An improved Latin translation of the Qur’an was urgently needed in the sixteenth century. However, printing the Qur’an in Europe at that time was a criminal offense. Johannes Oporinus, a publisher from Basil, Switzerland, was a man who was convicted due to printing the Qur’an. And on December 2, 1542, Martin Luther wrote a letter to the council of Basil urging Oporinus’ release. Luther not only supported the publication of the Qur’an, but he included a preface to be included in its publication. The council agreed and released Oporinus to finish the project. In 1543 “Luther’s Qur’an” was published using Thomas Bibliander’s critical translation, parts of the Hadith, and included other prefaces reacting to Islamic faith and practice.
When we view Luther’s preface to the Qur’an in 1543 he reveals his passion that followers of Jesus are not to be ignorant of the teaching of Muhammad. He does this by giving them an answer to the false claims of Islam based on historical, evidential, and theological findings. In fact, Luther went so far as to say the church was suffering because of their ignorance. Luther’s preface was driven by apologetic goals to give and arm the church to “read the writings of their enemies – so that they may more accurately refute, strike, and overturn those writings, so that they may be able to correct some of them, or at least to fortify our own people with stronger arguments.”
After careful analysis of the Qur’an, Luther wrote a preface to Refutation of the Qur’an, which was originally published in the early fourteenth century by Ricoldo da Monte di Croce and helped Luther form his own repudiations. He writes, “so that we Germans, too, may know what a shameful faith the faith of Mohammad is, and in order to strengthen us in our Christian faith.” Luther explained several contradictions within the Qur’an. After his analysis, he stated, “Mohammed has tormented Christians more horribly than all tyrants.”
Martin Luther also had some words about the mistreatment of women in Islam: “For anyone who, in accordance with Mohammad’s law, takes as many wives as he wants, divorces them again, and takes them back again as often as he wishes, or sells them, etc., is no husband but a genuine pimp or a whoremonger. God has not so created women nor has He appointed them to be treated like this, as, in addition to reason itself, Moses and the Gospel also teach us.”
Even more so inspirational is Martin Luther’s reason for writing this refutation against the Qur’an. Luther states his reason to write this book is so that all “will be able to defend themselves against the faith of Mohammed, even if they were unable to defend themselves against his sword.” Yes, it is the very title of today’s chapter.
In an age of radical skepticism and radical Islamic aggression, Luther still speaks to us today. The church can not be caught off-guard and unprepared. We must follow Luther’s example and understand Islam more clearly to be more effective in introducing Muslims to the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the assurance and hope that can only be found in Him. This concludes the conclusion! Thank you!
1) Who is Martin Luther and what opposition did he face in his time?
2) What important lesson is Martin Luther trying to show to us Christians? How should we respond?