First of all, my thanks to Paul Williams for allowing me to blog on this site. Hopefully some great Christian-Muslim dialogue can go on, and I and others can grow in our understanding. As well as posting from time to time, I plan on responding in the comments section to my fellow bloggers – so keep an eye out for that if you’re interested.
I have explained the following to Paul (and indeed another Muslim present), but they weren’t sure where the problem was. So I’m going to write it here to see what the readers of this website think. I am aware that premise 1 may be quite contested – I may well discuss this elsewhere, but I ask for the sake of argument, that it be accepted here. What I want discussion on is the soundness of the argument itself.
Premise 1) The Qur’an tells Christians to judge Islam in the light of the true Injil of the historical Jesus (i.e. the real Jesus, not including the misrepresentations of Jesus in the four Gospels).
Premise 2) The true Injil can be determined by reading the Gospels in the light of the Qur’an. If something of Jesus’ preaching in the Gospels disagrees with the Qur’an, it is not the true Injil.
Conclusion) This approach assumes its conclusion. By defining the Injil as that within the Gospel which agrees with the Qur’an, of course the true Injil is going to agree with the Qur’an. Such an argument for the truth of Islam would be meaningless.
To provide an analogy, let us say I am applying for a job, and I need a character reference. I say: ‘I am a good candidate for this job, because my former employer Bob will tell you how great I am.’ If Bob does indeed say I am great, then all well and good. But imagine I say: ‘But hold on now… Bob gets some things wrong about me. All of the good stuff he says about me is true, but any bad stuff he says about me, well Bob is making that up.’ Would it be wise for the employer to accept this? No, because by this methodology, of only accepting things that support you and rejecting anything that does not, of course you will only receive a good testimony. The method itself fixes the conclusion.
Now Paul did also bring into the discussion modern New Testament scholarship, and how its conclusions allegedly concur with the Islamic view of Jesus and his message. For the sake of brevity, I will save that for another post.
I hope I have understood and represented Paul correctly – if not I will edit this post accordingly.