Islam & Christianity, which religion is more logical?

Which religion is more logical?

God
Islam: God is One.
Christianity: god is one in three?

Jesus
I: The Prophet of God and his Word. He said to him be and he was.
C: god? son of god?

Mary
I: The mother of Jesus. A virgin who gave birth to Jesus by the miracle of God without being touched by any man.
The best woman of all nations.
C: Mother of god?

Creation
I: God is the creator and He created Jesus and the Holy Spirit and the universe, and He is the only one to be worshiped.
C: Is Jesus a creator or a creation?

Quran
I: The word of God revealed to his final messenger Mohammed through Angel Gabriel.
The unchanged book.
A book with no author except God.
C: A false book?
The author is Muhammed?

Bible
I: A revelation sent to Prophet Jesus as the Torah was revealed to Prophet Moses.
Muslims believe in all the revelations of God but follow the Quran only as God preserves it from change and corruption.
C: Was the Bible not changed?

Perfection
I: God is perfect who does not need to eat or sleep or any human needs.
God does not die.
C: god eats and sleeps and dies too?

Forgiveness
I: No one can forgive sins but God.
We seek forgiveness from God directly.
No mediation between a man and God.
C: god forgives sins after confessing to a priest?
Isn’t priest a man who can sin too?

Images and idols
I: It is forbidden to make images and idols of God and his Prophets.
C: Images and idols of god are allowed?

Islam has places in its faith where doctrine is not logical. For instance, let’s take madhabs as an example. The established madhabs are said to all be true and that following any one of them is acceptable for a Sunni muslim, yet many madhabs disagree on certain rules. For instance, in the Hanafi madhab, lobster is haraam. In the Maliki madhab, lobster is halaal. How can lobster be both lawful and unlawful at the same time between two different madhabs who are both said to be 100 percent true and divinely inspired in Sunni Islam? Either it is okay to consume lobster, or it isn’t.

You take the belief that all madhabs lead to God on faith, just as Christians take many of the points you made on faith, though many of them can be refuted and backed up by scripture.

Christianity’s view of the Bible-
-The inspired Word of God that is unchanging in terms of theological truths and not literally an error free 100% correct in all matters work (it’s not a history or science book).
-Written, compiled, and protected from containing theological errors with the guidance of God
-Parallels Judaism’s teachings concerning it’s holy text that it is divinely inspired, compiled, and protected from containing theological errors

Christianity’s view of the Torah-
-see above
-Not corrupted, but misinterpreted

Christianity’s view of the Quran-
-not divinely inspired or written

My own personal issues with the logic of the Quran-
-That it somehow was protected from being corrupted/lost while God’s previous two revelations were not
-That it’s method of creation and delivery does not parallel the method of creation and delivery of the previous two revelations
-That it references and cites the previous two revelations as a means to justify itself, but these two same revelations are no longer available in an uncorrupted form (referencing the two previous revelations would logically dictate that the author holds these two previous revelations can still be accessed in an uncorrupted form)
-That it has to be in Arabic which ignores the fact that God did not use this language for His previous two revelations and that Arabic was not the language of the Jews
-That God’s message is somehow limited to one human tongue- Something is lost when the Quran is translated out of Arabic (i.e. Truth is not universal)
-That the truthfulness of the Quran is somehow linked to it being written well and pleasing to the ear
-That it is without typographical or factual error and yet the original Quran no longer exists for reference (which also reflects back to the idea that it is incorruptible/can’t be lost due to God’s protection)
-That there is no one agreed upon understanding of the Quran. (the work itself is somehow protected from corruption, but God did not bother to ensure it can’t be misinterpreted)

No religious beliefs are logical.

Religious beliefs are based on faith not logic.

We can point all day long at how ludicrously illogical we feel, as Catholics, that Islam is. But if we strip faith away from such assessments, it is quite understandable how non-Catholics view Catholicism as defying logic…the same goes true for assessment by non-followers of any religions of another.

A better question might be which religion is truth…but, because of faith, even that might be subjective.

Sometimes its more fruitful to show, through personal actions, how our faith is truthful and logical than in analyzing the beliefs of others.

-No one has actually made the claim that religious beliefs are/have to be based on logic
-The logic we can use to figure out which faith holds closer to the truth is to examine the faith’s internal logic (how it agrees or contradicts with itself)
-God gave us the ability to use logic and reason and it wasn’t simply so we can explore the wonders of science. There is a long history in both Catholicism and Islam in using logic and reason to explore and develop the theology and understanding of each faith and understanding the theology of other faiths.

You ask which is more logical. There is certainly no problem of logic with respect to the Christian doctrine of the Holy Trinity. The Christian teaching is that God is one in essence (or substance) and three in person. If Christians confessed that God was both one in person and three in person, that would be illogical. But they do not.

Jesus
I: The Prophet of God and his Word. He said to him be and he was.
C: god? son of god?

Jesus is the Word of God, and Jesus is God (John 1:1). In his divinity, uncreated, but begotten of the Father in eternity. This is not illogical. Jesus attested to his divinity many times throughout his ministry. The Word became flesh (John 1:14) at what Christians call the incarnation. He assumed human flesh, and so possesses two natures: divine and human, which remain distinct but are united in the one Person.

Mary
I: The mother of Jesus. A virgin who gave birth to Jesus by the miracle of God without being touched by any man.
The best woman of all nations.
C: Mother of god?

Mother of God is the English translation of the Greek theotokos. This phrase is not meant to exalt Mary but rather to defend the true humanity and divinity of the Son. It means God-bearer.

Creation
I: God is the creator and He created Jesus and the Holy Spirit and the universe, and He is the only one to be worshiped.
C: Is Jesus a creator or a creation?

All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
- John 1:3

The Holy Trinity means that God the Father made the world through the Son (the Word of God) and by the operation of the Holy Spirit. Thus, Jesus Christ (the Word) was the means through which the Father made heaven and earth. This is the Trintiarian way of explaining how gloriously God spoke his creation into existence.

Quran
I: The word of God revealed to his final messenger Mohammed through Angel Gabriel.
The unchanged book.
A book with no author except God.
C: A false book?
The author is Muhammed?

I will leave others to answer this.

Bible
I: A revelation sent to Prophet Jesus as the Torah was revealed to Prophet Moses.
Muslims believe in all the revelations of God but follow the Quran only as God preserves it from change and corruption.
C: Was the Bible not changed?

The original autographs of the biblical texts are inerrant and infallible. The present text we have through textual scholarship has been proved rigorously reliable. They also comport well with extrabiblical historical accounts. The recorded events of Jesus’s life are contemporary to him, and are written by eyewitnesses to these incredible events and their close associates.

Perfection
I: God is perfect who does not need to eat or sleep or any human needs.
God does not die.
C: god eats and sleeps and dies too?

Read the answer above relating to the incarnation and the two natures of Christ. Christ’s humanity (which he assumed) ate, slept, and died, but not his divinity. So God never did these things. But Jesus in his human nature did. There is nothing inherently “imperfect” about eating or sleeping, they are just part of human nature, and so when God assumes human nature (not divinizing it, or humanizing his divinity) he naturally assumes these characteristics too.

Forgiveness
I: No one can forgive sins but God.
We seek forgiveness from God directly.
No mediation between a man and God.
C: god forgives sins after confessing to a priest?
Isn’t priest a man who can sin too?

Why can God forgive sins? Surely someone has to pay the price for sins, in order that God be just (Heb. 9:22)? We believe Jesus became man to live the perfect life (so God could count us as if we had lived the perfect life) and also that he died upon the cross to bear the wrath and curse of God we deserve for our sins. He did so in his human nature. This is how sins are forgiven. God is the only one who can forgive, and God not only forgives, he also gave his only Son that sins might be forgiven in the first place.

Images and idols
I: It is forbidden to make images and idols of God and his Prophets.
C: Images and idols of god are allowed?

I’ll leave this one to others.

Three distinct persons, sharing the same essence. We con’t comprehend it, true, but that doesn’t automatically make it illogical.

Jesus
I: The Prophet of God and his Word. He said to him be and he was.
C: god? son of god?

If he was a prophet of God, and a good an honorable prophet as Islamic teaching seems to suggest, then how do you circumvent the fact that he LITERALLY said “I AM” in reference to himself, using the same language God used in revealing himself to Moses? Either he was not a prophet of God (claiming divinity for himself), which would mean that Muhammad was wrong about him; or he is in fact speaking the Truth, and therefore Muhammad was wrong about him. Either way, Muhammad was wrong about him.

Mary
I: The mother of Jesus. A virgin who gave birth to Jesus by the miracle of God without being touched by any man.
The best woman of all nations.
C: Mother of god?

Referring to the previous issue, if Christ is indeed God as he claimed, then Mary is, in fact, the Mother of God. There is nothing illogical about it; you simply can’t comprehend it. Fortunately, logic and reality are not dictated by a persons ability to understand them.

Creation
I: God is the creator and He created Jesus and the Holy Spirit and the universe, and He is the only one to be worshiped.
C: Is Jesus a creator or a creation?

Christ, being God, played a role in creation. God is still the only one we worship, we simply understand him to have three persons, begotten of a single essence. God the Father, whom begot Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit. There are a great deal of theological texts covering this; and once you’ve accepted that God is capable of anything, it ceases to be illogical, and rather becomes something we just can’t fully comprehend this side of eternity.

Quran
I: The word of God revealed to his final messenger Mohammed through Angel Gabriel.
The unchanged book.
A book with no author except God.
C: A false book?
The author is Muhammed?

A false religious text compiled from the teachings of a false Prophet; marginally better than Hindu scriptures or Buddhist teachings because they still acknowledge the God of Abraham, however imperfectly. OldCatholicGuy gave a much better summation of the issues with the Quran, so I’ll point you towards his post.

Bible
I: A revelation sent to Prophet Jesus as the Torah was revealed to Prophet Moses.
Muslims believe in all the revelations of God but follow the Quran only as God preserves it from change and corruption.
C: Was the Bible not changed?

Again, I refer you to OldCatholicGuy’s post, as it covers this better than I could.

Perfection
I: God is perfect who does not need to eat or sleep or any human needs.
God does not die.
C: god eats and sleeps and dies too?

God, in his love for us and desire to see us redeemed, chose to take on the mantle of humanity and share in our sufferings. Through his perfect sacrifice, we are redeemed, and given the method through which we may enter into His presence for all eternity. Claiming that his choice to enter humanity somehow makes him less perfect is completely illogical, as it has no basis. Just becuase you claim its illogical doesn’t mean it is.

Forgiveness
I: No one can forgive sins but God.
We seek forgiveness from God directly.
No mediation between a man and God.
C: god forgives sins after confessing to a priest?
Isn’t priest a man who can sin too?

Christ, who is God, instituted the system of reconciliation so that we may always have assurance of our forgiveness, and so that we may acknowledge our wrongs and obtain counseling for them. The sinfulness of the priest does not diminish the right and ability that God has instituted in them through their ordination because it is not the priest forgiving us, it is God Himself. He operates through the priest much as he operated through the priests of the OT, which you also accept as valid canon.

Images and idols
I: It is forbidden to make images and idols of God and his Prophets.
C: Images and idols of god are allowed?

Idols (and graven images) are things which were worshiped in the Pagan world. We do not worship our statues, paintings, carvings and other religious artwork; we admire them for their beauty and for the focus on God the inspire in us.

I’d talk about my issues with Islam, and about how abhorrently illogical its moral system is, but I am incapable of doing so without being perceived as uncharitable, so I will refrain.

Not actually true. Both faiths hold idols to be forbidden, but Islam doesn’t actually hold images to be forbidden. There is a long history within Islamic theology and culture over the issue of images with the position going from depicting everything but Allah is allowed to all depictions of living things is forbidden. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depictions_of_Muhammad

To a Muslim, Islam is more logical, while to a Christian, Christianity is more logical. However, to a Jew, Judaism is more logical, to a Hindu, Hinduism is more logical, to a…I think you get the idea. Anyhow, religion is not, and should not, be based solely on logic. It is primarily based on faith.

I totally agree!

Do Muslims believe that the Word of G-d in the Qur’an predates the creation of the universe? I ask this because (some) Jews believe the Torah, as the Word, existed BEFORE it was written by Moses.

It should be based primarily on faith, but it should also follow its own internal logic. Withdraw that internal logic and we end up with a God who is fickle like the pagan gods of Greece and Rome and with contradictory truths.

Also, did I accurately describe how Judaism views the Torah?

Re the Torah, sounds good to me!

Yes, internal contradictions and inconsistencies would detract from its validity. But we must be careful regarding what we interpret as internal inconsistencies, particularly when studying another’s religion.

I find the appeal of Islamic apologists to logic to be interesting given the Islamic belief (which we share) that God is “subhanahu wa ta’ala.” If God is exalted above anything we can understand, we would expect the truth about God to be paradoxical and to violate “common sense.” In a way, your concern with logic should set to rest the concerns many Christians have (expressed for instance in Pope Benedict’s Regensburg lecture) that Muslims don’t see reason as a fundamental attribute of God.

The problem I have with your appeal to logic, fundamentally, is that it seems simplistic and doesn’t go very deep. Again, if God is God and not a creature like us, we would expect the truth about God to be paradoxical. That doesn’t mean that our faith is irrational. Quite the contrary–it’s irrational to expect that our language and categories would apply neatly to God. Nor do Muslim apologists seem very interested in understanding the many ways in which Christian theologians make sense of the paradoxes of our faith. Like atheists, Muslim apologists seem content to make cheap shots and seem unwilling to go any deeper.

God
Islam: God is One.
Christianity: god is one in three?

Right. This is a prime example of a paradox. Again, why would you expect God’s unity to be like the numerical unity of a created thing? If God is the source of everything, wouldn’t it make sense that God is the source of both unity and plurality? In fact, from a Christian perspective your rejection of the Trinity seems potentially linked to the tendency for Muslims, in many instances, to impose uniformity through violence. (Note: if you want to go to the trouble of searching through my posts for references to Islam, you will find that most of the time I have defended Islam against unfair criticisms by fellow Christians on this forum. I am not suggesting that Islam is “inherently violent” or other nonsense of that sort. I’m just suggesting that when there are fairly prominent sectors of Islam that try to force everyone to be exactly the same, it’s reasonable for Christians to say that maybe our doctrine of unity and diversity within God is not something to be ashamed of.)

Jesus
I: The Prophet of God and his Word. He said to him be and he was.
C: god? son of god?

Both:p. God’s Word is the full expression of God. Hence, God’s Word (Jesus) is fully divine and exists eternally, entirely one with God. To say otherwise is to diminish God.

Mary
I: The mother of Jesus. A virgin who gave birth to Jesus by the miracle of God without being touched by any man.
The best woman of all nations.
C: Mother of god?

Both! The virginal conception doesn’t really make sense except as a corollary of the doctrine of the Incarnation. Note that I’m not arguing that the virginal conception is proof for the Incarnation. The virginal conception is, historically, a fairly hard doctrine to support. I have always thought it odd that Muslims believe in the virginal conception, which I myself only accept on the authority of the Church and the Scriptures, and disbelieve in the crucifixion, which is the one thing about Jesus that pretty much all historians agree really happened:p. So the virginal conception can’t prove anything–the only reason to accept it in the first place is that one accepts the whole package. But by the same token, it really only makes sense as part of the whole package. Muslims seem pretty clearly to have accepted a bit of Christian tradition while rejecting the context in which it makes sense. I don’t know if “illogical” is the right word for this, but it certainly isn’t plausible to me.

Creation
I: God is the creator and He created Jesus and the Holy Spirit and the universe, and He is the only one to be worshiped.
C: Is Jesus a creator or a creation?

Both. The Creator became part of His own creation. Paradox again. A God who is mysterious and worth believing in, rather than one who looks very much like a projection of human ideas about power.

Quran
I: The word of God revealed to his final messenger Mohammed through Angel Gabriel.
The unchanged book.
A book with no author except God.
C: A false book?
The author is Muhammed?

The Qur’an looks very much like a document of seventh-century Arabia. Its versions of Biblical stories make sense as garbled accounts based on Jewish and Christian legend (see for instance the Qur’an’s acceptance of the story of the Seven Sleepers). And at times, the author of the Qur’an seems to have the Biblical narrative pretty badly mixed up (Mary the mother of Jesus being identified with Miriam the sister of Aaron, for instance–yes, I’ve read Islamic explanations of this and they don’t make sense).

Obviously the Qur’an is not simply a “false book.” There is much that is good and true in it. But yes, it seems pretty clear to me that the author was Muhammad or some other limited, fallible human or group of humans.

Bible
I: A revelation sent to Prophet Jesus as the Torah was revealed to Prophet Moses.
Muslims believe in all the revelations of God but follow the Quran only as God preserves it from change and corruption.
C: Was the Bible not changed?

There is no evidence whatever that the Bible was changed from some original that corresponds to Islamic belief. This is a Muslim fantasy. Biblical manuscripts vary to some extent. This is a strength, not a weakness, because by comparing the manuscripts we can arrive at reasonable certainty about the original reading. Because (if we accept the standard Islamic narrative) Caliph 'Uthman standardized the text and destroyed the alternatives, it’s harder to be confident that the text as we have it is reliable. (But then, the entire early history of Islam, like the very early history of Christianity, is known almost entirely from internal sources, so it may be that the actual process was quite different than the sources claim.) The persistence of manuscript variations in the Bible, especially the NT, testifies that Christians did not engage in some kind of widespread, deliberate fraud. Again, you speak as if uniformity were a good thing. I don’t think it is.

Perfection
I: God is perfect who does not need to eat or sleep or any human needs.
God does not die.
C: god eats and sleeps and dies too?

The divine nature has no needs and does not die. But God united Himself to human nature. Thus, paradoxically, it is true to say that God died. That means that God wholly identifies with our weakness and suffering and is not a remote monarch. Again, this is a far more believable understanding of God, to me at least, than the one you are presenting.

Forgiveness
I: No one can forgive sins but God.
We seek forgiveness from God directly.
No mediation between a man and God.
C: god forgives sins after confessing to a priest?
Isn’t priest a man who can sin too?

This is an expression of the importance of the Church, the Christian community. The Church is the Body of Christ on earth. Humans are not isolated individuals and do not stand before God alone. But this is a corollary of the Incarnation, which is the real point of difference. Also, of course, not all Christians follow Catholic practice on this point.

Images and idols
I: It is forbidden to make images and idols of God and his Prophets.
C: Images and idols of god are allowed?

Because of the Incarnation, again. God has chosen to unite Himself to human nature, and depictions of this (not of the divine Nature itself) are wholly appropriate.

I have spoken strongly here because of the aggressive way in which you’ve presented yourself on a Christian forum. You seem to think that Islam has the upper hand rationally. I believe that this is an illusion, and have responded accordingly.

Edwin

Untrue.

Religious beliefs are based on faith not logic.

False dichotomy. True religion is above reason but not contrary to it.

We can point all day long at how ludicrously illogical we feel, as Catholics, that Islam is.

I don’t think Islam is inherently illogical. I think that the cheap apologetics/polemics offered by the OP are pretty frivolous and superficial in their “logic,” and conceal some real problems with the version of Islam being defended. But certainly the great Islamic thinkers, particularly the Sufis, show plenty of evidence of being guided by Logos.

But if we strip faith away from such assessments, it is quite understandable how non-Catholics view Catholicism as defying logic…the same goes true for assessment by non-followers of any religions of another.

No. That just isn’t true. That is not how I view other religions at all.

Edwin

Christianity is illogical in that it deals with the nature of God; and God is incomprehensible.

Islam was started by a man, for men; and logic would follow that it would be logical. I too can create an excellent idea of a religion for other men to follow.

For example; in Islam it speaks much of the pleasures of Heaven, especially in the Hadith. Rivers of wine, silk, beautifully “fully breasted” women. Basically all the stuff a man would imagine Heaven to be like; a sweet paradise where all of your wishes come true. Even non-Christians assume that the Islamic Heaven is closer to the Heaven we believe in, because that’s what we, not God, would see as ‘Heaven’.

However, all we know about the Christian Heaven is that there’s a place there for us and we will spend eternity worshiping God… Sound logical? Worshiping God for all of eternity and that’s it? No other real information given. God is there, and that’s enough.

What’s more logical? Our human minds say “pleasure paradise” but God says “I am there”.

You seem to be using “logical” in a way similar to the way the OP is using it. I guess I have problems with this use of the word. It seem to boil down to “common sense” or “what we would naturally expect.” But the beauty of logic, it seems to me, is that it frequently violates our commonsense expectations.

The idea of heaven as the endless contemplation/worship of God seems entirely logical to me.

God is ultimate goodness/beauty/truth.
Heaven is the ultimate enjoyment of that which is best, truest, most beautiful.
Therefore, heaven is best described as the contemplation/enjoyment of God.

Edwin

Certainly you’re correct. I’m just trying to define things using the same process the OP did.

Yes, worshiping God for eternity seems more logical to me as a Christian than having sex concubines and flowing rivers of wine up there.

A Muslim may say “I’m a Muslim, therefore the sex and pleasure is more logical.” Which would make sense if that’s what you believe.

Although, I argue that a place devoid of any mention of sex, pleasure, or any other fleshly things that we lust after on Earth; but rather an eternal focus on Him and not on us seems more like something that would come from God and not man. But I suppose a Muslim could come up with his own ideas on what Heaven should have, just like Muhammad did.

Great apologetic!

I have a question for you and other Christians, and hope it doesn’t divert too much from the topic of the OP. I’ve often wondered what exactly the title Son of G-d means in Christianity? I know it doesn’t mean son in the literal, human sense, and I’ve also heard it expresses the relationship of love between G-d the Father and G-d the Son. But why is Jesus called the Son if He is G-d from the beginning together with the Father. Is it perhaps due to His being also fully HUMAN, as well as fully divine, as G-d Incarnate? IOW, why is Jesus never called G-d the Father if each Person of the Trinity is “contained” in the other Person? Why the distinctiveness of the Persons as revealed in the names given to Them?

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