Islam-Christianity; compare and contrast
In the process of looking at religions first I prefer to observe the similarities.
Islam and Christianity are both monotheistic, though later this turns into the main conflict (Islam sees Christianity as polytheistic)
Both believe in a basic premise of revelation; that mankind needs revelation from God.
Both believe in the nature of God as holy and that judgment for sin is proper.
Both have a foundation built on Judaism and Jewish scriptures.
Both have a community aspect; gathering for mosque or church.
Both have group leadership; imams or pastors.
Now lets look at these similarities but draw out the contrasts.
Monotheism; this is the great distinction of Judaism and religions flowing from it. It is the deity of Jesus that creates the sharpest conflict between Islam and Christianity. In the Quran this teaching on Jesus is repeatedly rebuked by Muhammad (Surah 5:17). Christians should think clearly on the doctrine called the trinity to make sure we are not becoming polytheistic because that would clearly go against the Hebrew scriptures upon which the Christian faith is based.
Revelation; both groups understand that our Creator is far above mankind’s ability to comprehend by our own reasoning and we are therefore dependent upon God for self-revelation. Our Creator has revealed itself in a general way through creation; art reveals the artist. But both groups believe that our Creator has spoken more specifically through prophets and through sacred texts; Quran and Bible.
Quran was spoken and recorded through one prophet Muhammad. The Bible was spoken and recorded by many prophets and writers, over a long span of time. The implication here is choosing to place confidence in one source or placing confidence in a larger source community. Both groups believe that regardless of the human source it is God who is the ultimate source. But for me I see God’s inspiring hand working over a long period of time weaving themes through the many writers.