‘My name is Muhammad’, the young man said to a fellow student at university in Australia. ‘Muhammad?’, she replied, ‘Where have I heard that name before?’

After he, a Muslim, explained that Muhammad1 is the name of the ‘Great Prophet’ of Islam, the young lady, raised in a church-going family, asked about the differences between Islam and Christianity.

The Muslim man explained that probably the most fundamental difference is that the Koran2 speaks of Jesus as a prophet—definitely not the Son of God.

That evening, the Australian-born student told her father of the encounter, and asked, ‘Dad, I’ve been thinking … our bodies are unclean! Why would God, who is pure, sully himself by coming down to Earth in human form?’

After her father failed to give a reasoned answer, she turned her back on the church, converted to Islam and later married a Muslim.3

Such a question requires only a basic understanding of the Atonement to answer. Salvation required a sacrificial ‘last Adam’ (1 Cor. 15:45) to shed His blood in death, one who was a physical descendant of the first, yet sinless. This could be fulfilled only through God incarnate, Jesus Christ (Hebrews 9:12, 22). Notice, though, how all this is built upon the foundational Genesis truths of the first Adam bringing in sin and death, and the first shedding of blood as a covering for sin (Genesis 3:21). The increasing confusion caused in the church by long-age compromises (which, by putting suffering, death and bloodshed before Adam, undermine these truths) is a major reason why so many today cannot give reasoned answers to basic Gospel-related questions (contravening 1 Peter 3:15). This leaves young people in the church vulnerable to being tossed by winds of false doctrine (Ephesians 4:14).

Following September 11, 2001, the increased prominence of Islam in the media, and public declarations by government (and many church) leaders that Islam is a ‘great’ religion, will likely raise further questions in the minds of many young people in the churches. E.g. ‘Do Jews, Christians and Muslims worship the same God?’ and ‘What does the Koran say about the Bible?’….

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