THE SHARIA OF GOD
This letter concerns Bradford Greer’s “The Sharia of God: A Contextual Bridge for Islamic Contexts” (July 2008).
THE SHARIA OF GOD
This letter concerns Bradford Greer’s “The Sharia of God: A Contextual Bridge for Islamic Contexts” (July 2008). Islam is correct when it teaches that God requires all people everywhere to conduct their lives in submission to his law, his Sharia. Muslims could readily say “Amen” to the part of the Lord’s Prayer that beseeches God: “May your kingdom come, may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” However, what they have failed to understand is that this prayer will never be completely answered in this fallen world and must await the advent of Christ’s kingdom on the new earth. Yet, what many Christians have forgotten (or never realized) is that the primary goal of God’s plan of redemption is not simply to rescue individuals from hell, but to “purify for himself a people who are his very own, eager to do what is good,” (Tit. 2:14), who are “created in Christ Jesus to do good works” (Eph. 2:10), all for the praise of God’s own glory (Matt. 5:16; 1 Pet. 2:12). The Old Testament prophets repeatedly predicted a future righteous people of God, a people who would have God’s law written on their hearts (Isa. 60:21; Jer. 31:33). Furthermore, God’s New Testament people (like his OT people) are called to be vigilant to preserve the purity (holiness) of his body, and to judge and expel those who refuse to live in submission to his will (1 Cor. 5:12-13). This finds an echo in Islam’s belief that it is the responsibility of the Ummah, the community of believers, to encourage the individuals in it to submit to God’s law and to correct those who resist. Finally, both Christians and Muslims believe that God’s law applies to every aspect of life (1 Cor. 10:31).
Thus, the concept of Sharia can indeed be used as a natural bridge between Islam and Christianity. The evangelist must show how Jesus perfectly obeyed God’s law in the place of sinners (not merely dying for their sins), so that those same redeemed sinners might in turn submit to God’s Sharia simply out of love for him. The evangelist will then go on to explain that the Christian community is required to encourage one another to love and good deeds (Heb. 10:24)—and that God’s obsession with obedience to his law, and his plan for all people to submit to his will (a plan which spans all of scripture), will ultimately find its fulfillment when Jesus returns and every knee bows before the throne of God.
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