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Melvind

Schaff on the Sublimity of Islamic Monotheism

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Despite Philip Schaff's* coarse comments on the origins of Islam, he, nonetheless, recognises the fact that Islam succeeded where Christianity failed in completely obliterating the stubborn idolatry of Arabia and single-handedly propelling that ancient community of heathens into pure monotheistic adherence of such firm devotion never before seen in the annals of history.

"Islam is not a new religion, nor can we expect a new one after the appearance of that religion which is perfect and intended for all nations and ages. It is a compound of mosaic of preexisting elements, a rude attempt to combine heathenism, Judaism and Christianity, which Mohammed found in Arabia, but in a very imperfect form. It is professedly, a restoration of the faith of Abraham, the common father of Isaac and of Ishmael. But it is not the genuine faith of Abraham with its Messianic hopes and aspirations looking directly to the gospel dispensation as its goal and fulfillment, but a [Edited Out] Judaism of Ishmael, and the post-Christian and anti-Christian Judaism of the Talmud. Stll less did Mohammed know the pure religion of Jesus as laid down in the New Testament, but only a perversion and caricature of it such as we find in the wretched apocryphal and heretical Gospels. This ignorance of the Bible and the corruptions of Eastern Christianity with which he Mohammedans came in contact, furnish some excuse for their misbelief and stubborn prejudices. And yet even the poor pseudo-Jewish and pseudo-Christian elements of the Koran were strong enough to reform the old heathenism of Arabia and Africa and to lift it to a much higher level. The great and unquestionable merit of Islam is the breaking up of idolatry and the diffusion of monotheism." [1]

Schaff's comments above do indeed reveal much: if pure and unadulterated truth found in the supposedly unadulterated teachings of Jesus in the supposedly unadulterated New Testament was impotent in the face of Arabian heathenism and idolatry, how rational is it to propose that the salad bowl of error, that is Islam, brimming with a mixture of truth and falsehood was powerful enough to subdue falsehood, that is, idolatry? Falsehood overcomes falsehood? Evidently, a careful reassessment of things is in order.

Perhaps the utter failure of Christianity to reach and reform the heathenous Arabs was due to the fact that it was as equally false as heathenism in its teachings and doctrines whilst Islam, invigorated with truth and devoid of error, repaired and restored the original truth that was lost amongst the Arabs, bringing them out of the darkness of idolatry into the simple truth that God is One?

Whereas Christianity tried and failed for hundreds of years to purify the idolarous Arabs and Africans, Islam succeeded in just a couple of decades. Therein lies the truth of the matter. Islam as truth won and Christianity as falsehood lost.

Notes:

*Philip Schaff (1819-1893) was a Swiss-born American Protestant theologian and historian.

[1] Schaff, P. (1968). History of the Christian Church, Volume 4. Grand Rapids, Michigan: W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. p. 183

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6 hours ago, Melvind said:

Despite Philip Schaff's* coarse comments on the origins of Islam, he, nonetheless, recognises the fact that Islam succeeded where Christianity failed in completely obliterating the stubborn idolatry of Arabia and single-handedly propelling that ancient community of heathens into pure monotheistic adherence of such firm devotion never before seen in the annals of history.

"Islam is not a new religion, nor can we expect a new one after the appearance of that religion which is perfect and intended for all nations and ages. It is a compound of mosaic of preexisting elements, a rude attempt to combine heathenism, Judaism and Christianity, which Mohammed found in Arabia, but in a very imperfect form. It is professedly, a restoration of the faith of Abraham, the common father of Isaac and of Ishmael. But it is not the genuine faith of Abraham with its Messianic hopes and aspirations looking directly to the gospel dispensation as its goal and fulfillment, but a [Edited Out] Judaism of Ishmael, and the post-Christian and anti-Christian Judaism of the Talmud. Stll less did Mohammed know the pure religion of Jesus as laid down in the New Testament, but only a perversion and caricature of it such as we find in the wretched apocryphal and heretical Gospels. This ignorance of the Bible and the corruptions of Eastern Christianity with which he Mohammedans came in contact, furnish some excuse for their misbelief and stubborn prejudices. And yet even the poor pseudo-Jewish and pseudo-Christian elements of the Koran were strong enough to reform the old heathenism of Arabia and Africa and to lift it to a much higher level. The great and unquestionable merit of Islam is the breaking up of idolatry and the diffusion of monotheism." [1]

Schaff's comments above do indeed reveal much: if pure and unadulterated truth found in the supposedly unadulterated teachings of Jesus in the supposedly unadulterated New Testament was impotent in the face of Arabian heathenism and idolatry, how rational is it to propose that the salad bowl of error, that is Islam, brimming with a mixture of truth and falsehood was powerful enough to subdue falsehood, that is, idolatry? Falsehood overcomes falsehood? Evidently, a careful reassessment of things is in order.

Perhaps the utter failure of Christianity to reach and reform the heathenous Arabs was due to the fact that it was as equally false as heathenism in its teachings and doctrines whilst Islam, invigorated with truth and devoid of error, repaired and restored the original truth that was lost amongst the Arabs, bringing them out of the darkness of idolatry into the simple truth that God is One?

Whereas Christianity tried and failed for hundreds of years to purify the idolarous Arabs and Africans, Islam succeeded in just a couple of decades. Therein lies the truth of the matter. Islam as truth won and Christianity as falsehood lost.

Notes:

*Philip Schaff (1819-1893) was a Swiss-born American Protestant theologian and historian.

[1] Schaff, P. (1968). History of the Christian Church, Volume 4. Grand Rapids, Michigan: W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. p. 183

Salam,
Thanks for the post, brother !!
And moreover, it must also be pointed out that it is the Qur'anic monotheism which is more perfectly harmonious with the Abrahamic doctrine of monotheism.....of there being one, Omipotent, Omniscient God with whom none of His creation  has any parity with regards to power or being partners in worship. Since he claims that [protestant] Christianity is the true and logical culmination of the monotheism preached by Abraham (asws), Schaff must also explain how the Christocentrism of his own Protestant theology(see their ideas on "justification through faith") is rationally NOT at odds with the monotheistic Abrahamic doctrine of a partnerless God, or even monotheism in general.

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