Review of Reza Aslan’s testimony,
“Why I Am A Muslim.”
Reza Aslan wrote a book entitled, “Zealot” in which he attacks the historic Christian faith. Among his many slanders and attacks on Jesus Christ are the following points:
He claims Jesus was not born in Bethlehem, was executed as a common criminal, and was more of a rabble-rouser than a man of peace. Jesus, according to Aslan, was more like a revolutionary of the type of Che Guevara rather than the Prince of Peace. When Jesus drove the money changers out of the temple that was “A blatantly criminal act.” Thus he lays sins and crimes on the Savior. His analysis of Jesus was that He was a dangerous seditionist that Rome had no choice but to execute for His stirring up rebellion against the republic. Jesus was not a miracle worker but one of many traveling magicians duping the public. Finally, Jesus was not a humble Son of God but a proud trouble maker who stirred up the masses to riot against Rome.
How many of the main evangelical preachers of our day can you list that wrote or preached publicly about this book that attacks our Lord?
This Iranian born Muslim living in the United States enjoys the freedom of speech in his new country. He can do here what no American can do there (in Iran). He, like many other Muslims, is taking advantage of our liberties and laws to undermine our liberty and laws. Reza Aslan is just one of thousands of Muslim voices that are seeking to destroy the Christian faith. The Apostles in the New Testament called upon all believers to defend the faith that was once delivered to the saints. Sadly, too many believers have been silenced by the pressure put on them by society that calls those who speak the truth about this false religion bigots and racists. The silence of so many millions of Christians in the face of these current religious wars is the shame and disgrace of our generation. Isaac Watts said it better than I can say it:
Am I a soldier of the Cross
A follower of the Lamb,
And shall I fear to own His cause,
Or blush to speak His name?
Must I be carried to the skies
On flowery beds of ease,
While others faught to win the prize
And sailed through bloody seas?
Are there no foes for me to face,
Must I not stem the flood,
Is this vile world a friend to grace,
To lead us on to God?
Sure I must fight if I would reign
increase my courage Lord,
I’ll bear the toil, endure the pain,
Supported by Thy Word.
I am deeply offended by the teaching of every corrupt philosophy, false gospel, and man made cult. I have spent my life defending “The Old Rugged Cross” and the Savior who shed His precious blood there. This is not a time for the Lord’s people to sit back in silence when there are unbiblical and heretical religions attacking our faith, mocking our Lord, and seeking to undermine everything our forefathers labored to achieve.
If the following American preachers were alive today do we even have to guess if they would be silent in the defense of the Christian faith. These men, Cotton Mather, Jonathan Edwards, Lyman Beecher, Charles Hodge, D.L. Moody, Bob Jones Sr. J. Gresham Machen, B.B. Warfield, James Henley Thornwell, B.H. Caroll, John A. Broadus, H.A. Ironside, John Murray, Cornelius Van Tyl, Francis Schaeffer, James Montgomery Boice, D. James Kennedy, Rousas John Rushdooney, W.A. Criswell, M.R. Dehaan, to just name a few of the great preachers and defenders of the faith, would not be on the sidelines during this crucial time in our history. We are failing to follow in their footsteps and proving ourselves unloyal and derelict in our duty to defend and to proclaim our Lord’s gospel.
I want to review the following article by Reza Aslan. That this man is having so much influence on American culture, thought, faith, and life is an indication of how far we have fallen as a nation.
Reza Aslan: Why I am a Muslim
By Reza Aslan
Updated 10:46 AM ET, Wed April 19, 2017
“Reza Aslan is the author of "Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth" and the host of CNN's original series "Believer With Reza Aslan." The views expressed are his own.
(CNN), As a writer and scholar of religions, I am often asked how, knowing all that I know about the religions of the world, I can still call myself a believer, let alone a Muslim.
It's a reasonable question. Considering the role that religion so often plays in fueling conflicts abroad and inspiring bigotry at home, it is not always so easy to defend the value of religion in society. And, in a world in which reason and religion seem to be moving further apart, it is certainly understandable why so many people view religious faith as the hallmark of an irrational mind.
Of course, as someone who has spent the better part of the last two decades studying the world's religions -- and having recently crisscrossed the globe for my new spiritual adventure series "Believer," where I immerse myself in religious traditions both familiar and downright bizarre -- I know better than to take the truth claims of any religion (including my own) too seriously.
But I also know this: Religion and faith are not the same thing.
'A signpost to God’
Faith is mysterious and ineffable. It is an emotional, not necessarily a rational, experience.
Religion is a fairly recent human invention. But faith, as I have elsewhere argued, is embedded in our very evolution as human beings.
And yet, in the end, faith is nothing more or less than a choice. You either believe there is something beyond the physical world (as I do), or you don't. You either believe you are more than the sum of your material parts (as I do), or you don't. You either believe in the existence of a soul (as I do), or you don’t.
No one can prove or disprove these things, not any more than anyone can prove or disprove love or fear or any other human emotion.
Religion, on the other hand, is the language we use to express faith. It is a language made up of symbols and metaphors that allows people to express to each other (and to themselves) what is, almost by definition, inexpressible.
After all, if there is a God, then that God is utterly beyond human comprehension. How would one talk about -- or even think about -- something so completely foreign? We would need some kind of language to help us make sense of it, a set of symbols and metaphors we can all agree upon to help us define what is fundamentally indefinable.
That's where religion comes in. Beyond the doctrines and dogma, the do's and the don't's, religion is simply a framework for thinking about the existential questions we all struggle with as human beings.
It is, as the Sufi mystics say, a "signpost to God."Can you have faith without religion? Of course! But as the Buddha said, if you want to strike water, you don't dig six 1-foot wells; you dig one 6-foot well. In other words, if you want to have a deep and meaningful faith experience, it helps -- though it is by no means necessary -- to have a language with which to do so. So then, pick a well. Different words, same thing
My well is Islam, and in particular, the Sufi tradition. Let me be clear, I am Muslim not because I think Islam is "truer" than other religions (it isn't), but because Islam provides me with the "language" I feel most comfortable with in expressing my faith. It provides me with certain symbols and metaphors for thinking about God that I find useful in making sense of the universe and my place in it.
So... what do you believe?
But I know, just as the Buddha did, that while my personal well may be different and unique, the water I draw from it is the same water drawn from everyone else's wells. Indeed, having drunk from many wells in my spiritual journey, I consider it my mission in life to inform the world that, no matter the well, the water tastes just as sweet. Consider the following parable by the great Sufi master Jalal ad-Din Rumi, which I recount in my book, "No god but God”:
A Persian, a Turk, an Arab and a Greek are traveling to a distant land when they begin arguing over how to spend the single coin they share in common. The Persian wants to spend the coin on angur; the Turk, on uzum; the Arab, on inab; and the Greek, on stafil.
A linguist passing by overhears the argument. "Give the coin to me," he says. Taking the coin, the linguist goes to a nearby shop and buys the travelers four small bunches of grapes.
"This is my angur!" cries the Persian.
"But this is what I call uzum," replies the Turk.
"You have brought me my inab," the Arab says.
"No! This in my language is stafil," says the Greek.
The travelers suddenly realize that they were all asking for the same thing, but in different languages. My goal -- as a scholar, as a person of faith, and now as the host of "Believer" -- is to be the linguist, to demonstrate that, while we may speak in different religions, we are, more often than not, often expressing the same faith.
And that, regardless of whether you, too, are a believer or not, is a lesson worth learning.
A Pastor’s Response To Reza Aslan’s
Testimony As To Why He
Is A Muslim
This is the man who said of president Trump that he was “a piece of sh___t.” What kind of moral example and and ethical picture does this man display to others? His religion evidently allows for profanity, bigotry, and arrogance.
He calls himself a scholar of religions. And yet he says he does not take the truth claims of any religion too seriously, even his own. He writes,
“I know better than to take the truth claims of any religion (including my own) too seriously.”
What good is a person’s religion if you cannot trust it’s truth claims? This is the major problem with all the various religions in the world. They all claim to be true but they all differ so widely on many crucial points. The real issue of studying religion is to recognize that they cannot all be true. Where does the truth lie? Are all religions false or is there one among them that stands out from the rest that can verify its truth claims? If Reza Aslan cannot even trust his own religion how can we trust him on any thing he might say about the rest of the religions of the world?
Reza goes on to say, “Faith is mysterious and ineffable. It is an emotional, not necessarily a rational, experience.” This shows his utter lack of knowledge of the Christian faith that calls on men to make a rational evaluation of the evidence of the resurrection of Christ and calls on all men to repent of their sin and trust in His gospel. The Christian message calls for a rational faith that is based on historical truths that can be verified by historical and biblical evidence.
The article continues with more contradictory nonsense that both Christians and Muslims reject. He writes,
“Religion is a fairly recent human invention. But faith, as I have elsewhere argued, is embedded in our very evolution as human beings.”
Neither Muslims nor Christians believe in evolution and neither would agree that religion is the invention of man. Key to both Islam and Christianity is the claim that the one true God revealed Himself to man. Thus both Christians and Muslims believe that their religion was a revelation from the God of Creation. What kind of Muslim is Reza Aslan? The Quran and the Bible both reject by default the unproven theory of Evolution.
Speaking of eternity beyond this life, of the human soul, and speaking of the value of man’s existence Reza claims,
“No one can prove or disprove these things, not any more than anyone can prove or disprove love or fear or any other human emotion.”
Evidently Reza holds to his religion on the basis of blind faith. The Christian faith never argues for men to accept it on the basis of blind faith. The Christian faith is demonstrated by historical facts and by many evidences found in the Christian Scriptures themselves, which include the miracles of Jesus, His resurrection, the conversion of the Apostle Paul, the unique character of the New Testament and the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. The great doctrines of the Christian faith rest on mountains of God-given evidence both by special and general revelation. Evidently Reza Aslan chooses to believe in Islam based on blind faith while holding to doctrinal views such as evolution and the invention of religion by man which contradict the very Scriptures he claims to revere.
Aslan sees religion as merely a collection of symbols and metaphors to reveal the nature of God to us. After expressing this thought about religion he comes to the real reason he is a Muslim. He states:
“Let me be clear, I am Muslim not because I think Islam is "truer" than other religions (it isn't), but because Islam provides me with the "language" I feel most comfortable with in expressing my faith. It provides me with certain symbols and metaphors for thinking about God that I find useful in making sense of the universe and my place in it.”
His reason for believing in Islam is not because he thinks it is true. Can you imagine such a view? He claims it is not true than any other religion. So why would he hold to Islam if it is not truer than the other religions in the world? In shocking candor he says because, “Islam provides me with the language I feel most comfortable with…” This is an astonishing claim. He continues and says that Islam provides him with symbols that he finds useful in making sense of the universe. In essence what Reza Aslan is saying is that he is not a Muslim because of the conviction of truth, or because there is a moral authority within that religion, or because the Quran provides irrevocable absolutes that command his allegiance. No, he is a Muslim because Islam makes him feel comfortable and seems useful to him. This is hardly the reason for anyone to commit to a faith, and especially a faith like Islam that is so filled with problematic doctrine and has such a terrible record throughout history for violence and bloodshed. And yet this man calls himself an authority on religion and has written a book “Zealot” filled with blasphemies against the historic Christian faith and slanders the Lord Jesus Christ.
Reza Aslan continues and makes another surprising admission. He tells us that all religions are basically the same. This is completely in contradiction with the dogmas of Islam. Aslan uses the analogy of drawing water from a well to describe ones’ faith. It does not matter what well (religion) you draw your water from it is all the same and is still sweet to the soul. He says:
“the water I draw from it is the same water drawn from everyone else's wells. Indeed, having drunk from many wells in my spiritual journey, I consider it my mission in life to inform the world that, no matter the well, the water tastes just as sweet.”
If this man is an expert on world religions, as he claims, he must know that the nonsense he is writing is in conflict with the teachings of his own faith? He has made massive attacks against the Christian faith. Yet he has found a home on national American TV spouting his anti-Christian bigotry and defending Islam at every opportunity that presents itself. The popularity of Reza Aslan is found in the fact that he has tapped into the anti-Christian nerve of secular, atheistic American and Western society. By doing this he can continue his anti-Christian rant and wrap himself up in the respectability of godless American culture while giving credence and support to Islam at every opportunity. This is a clever man. CNN has been duped by his pious platitudes when he claims that all religions are equal and the same. How nicely this fits in with the anti-Christian spirit of our Western world. Reza Aslan is too smart to not know what the Quran stands for. But by his clever embracing of Western sentiments about the equal value of all religions he can continue to mock the Christian faith, criticize any American leader who may be alert to the dangers of Islam, and remain an apologist for his own Muslim faith.
To summarize this testimony briefly it needs to be said that Reza Aslan is proclaiming a false message that contains not even one tiny nugget of spiritual value. He does not give us any surprising insights into the Quran and the Islamic faith that would lead us to want to embrace it. He preaches the age old lie that all religions are equally valid and all lead to the same place. While he plays up to his duped American audience he winks over to the side at his Muslim friends. He knows that they know he is only fooling the uninformed and gullible American public. For Muslims, he serves as a useful tool to advance the Islamic faith, to Americans, he mocks their historic Christian faith and slanders the Lord Jesus Christ. In the words of the Apostle Paul, this man “is an enemy to the cross of Christ.” It is tragic that the American people, once steeped in the historic Christian worldview, cannot recognize this.