Posted: March 12th, 2023
Help with World Religions
In your replies, you must:
Replies of at least 200 words. Each reply must incorporate at least one scholarly citation in
current Turabian format, also while avoiding extended quotes. Acceptable sources include the
textbooks and the Bible.
Emphasize why you agree or disagree with your classmates' threads.
Articulate important ideas in your classmates' threads (that are not in your thread) that are related to the ideas presented in the prompt.
Expand on the main points being made in your classmates' threads.
Your intent is to give a well-thought-out reply that furthers the conversation and adds substance to the discussion.
Reply 1 - Judaism Critique and Christianity
There are some obvious and subtle differences between the Christian Worldview and the view of someone who is considered Jewish. Although one may try to reason that the Religions are both derived from the Holy Scriptures and therefore must be the same. However, through careful study and analysis of the Religions, one will come to know the distinctions between the two major religions.
For starters, one of the main aspects of Judaism is the mediation between God and man. The figure and person of Moses are extremely significant to the Jewish religion as he is the one that ushered in the Covenant and the Laws which distinguished the Jewish nation. The Jews are a chosen people that are meant to be God's treasure and representatives, (Sweis and Meister 2012). The figure of Moses can be parallel to Christ in regards to establishing a covenant and exemplifying how to serve God. Also, Moses was the one who was elected to bring the Jewish nation into the promised land and out of captivity, and this is similar to the role in which Jesus has as Messiah in that he is called to restore and redeem mankind.
Furthermore, the aspects of atonement are considerably different in the Jewish belief system because the orthodox Jew still has not accepted Jesus as Messiah. The expectation of the Messiah is still before the Jewish Nation as a future hope, along with the expectation of God to rebuild the temple and draw them back to Israel. The aspect of atonement can be traced back to the Old Testament under the Levitical priesthood and covenant where animals were sacrificed upon altars. The Book of Leviticus in the Bible describes the meticulous method of obtaining purification, sanctification, and forgiveness of sins. The elaborate detailing of the temple and the rules for the priesthood were only a part of how they would offer sacrifices to God.
Moreover, Jesus was sent to the Jewish nation yet, extended salvation and redemption to the gentiles after being rejected as the Messiah as revealed in the New Testament. The connections of Jesus to the Israel nation were mainly due to his bloodline, yet his sacrifice on the cross causes unbelievers and those who were far off to draw nigh as a redeemed people. The main connection between the Jewish nation to their religion can best be described as tribalism, (Korchin, Paul. 2020).
Finally, the Christian Faith upholds Jesus Christ as the atonement or propitiation for the sins of mankind. Jesus is how we access the father and he is the mediator between mankind and God. Jesus is the lamb of God that was symbolically depicted throughout the ancient prophecies and scriptures directed to the Jewish nation. Jesus is how a man approaches and fellowships with God the Father as mentioned in this passage of scripture, "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me (John 14:6 King James Version).”
Korchin, Paul. 2020. “God’s Favorites: Judaism, Christianity, and the Myth of Divine Chosenness by Michael Coogan.” The Catholic Biblical Quarterly 82, no. 3: 477–79. https://doi.org/10.1353/cbq.2020.0118.
Sweis, Khaldoun A., and Chad V. Meister. 2012. Christian Apologetics: An Anthology of Primary Sources. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
 Khaldoun A. Sweis, and Chad V. Meister. 2012. Christian Apologetics: An Anthology of Primary Sources. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
 Paul Korchin. 2020. “God’s Favorites: Judaism, Christianity, and the Myth of Divine Chosenness by Michael Coogan.” The Catholic Biblical Quarterly 82, no. 3: 477–79. https://doi.org/10.1353/cbq.2020.0118.
 John 14: 16 (KJV)
Reply 2 Islam Critique and Christianity
Many of the practices within Islam would be welcomed among those professing Christianity. Of the five pillars of Islam, confession (shahada), daily prayer (salat), fasting (sawm), and giving (sakat) all bear some similarity to the practices of Bible-believing Christians. The one pillar of Islam that is distinctly different from Christianity is that of the pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj) , if possible.  However, even this pilgrimage could be compared to the desire many Christians have to visit Jerusalem. Although some of the general practices which Christians and Muslims are called to participate in are somewhat similar, the two faith systems couldn't be more different in one specific respect, that is the deity of Jesus Christ. For Muslims, Jesus was "no more than God's apostle" and "God forbid that he should have a son!" (Qur'an 4:171) Conversely, Christians hold that the historical Jesus was God in the flesh (incarnate) and the only begotten Son of the one true God.
Jesus did not leave himself open to this kind of critique of his deity. He claimed to be God when he said things like: "I and the father are one" (John 10:30 ESV), and "before Abraham was, I am." (John 8:58) The deity of Jesus Christ was made evident though his life with more than 300 fulfilled prophesies, many of which he had no control over which include examples such as being born in Bethlehem to a virgin mother, or being hung on a cross (a form of torture and death that had not even been invented at the time it was prophesied), and the ultimate, being raised from the dead on the third day! So if a man claimed to be God, claimed to be the Son of God, and told people that he was the only way, truth, and life but was not actually who he said he was, then we are left with C.S. Lewis' famous Lord, liar, or lunatic argument. He either is who said he was or he is either out of his mind or worse. Jesus cannot be simply a prophet, a teacher, or an apostle. Further, if a man performed miraculous signs and wonders, and even prophesied his own death and resurrection after three days, and then actually did it; this man cannot even be a great miracle worker (no other "miracle worker" ever woke up from the dead) but has to be God in the flesh.
 Paul Gould, Travis Dickinson, and Keith Loftin, Stand Firm: Apologetics and the Brilliance of the Gospel, (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Academic, 2018), 167.
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