Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Christ or the Qur’an?, Evertt L. Huffard

Christ or the Qur’an?, Evertt L. Huffard

While a student at Freed-Hardeman University, I had the opportunity to take a course entitled Leviticus, Numbers & Deuteronomy under the instruction of Evertt Huffard. There were several fascinating things that I learned from this class and was blessed by brother Huffard’s extensive knowledge from touring Bible Lands. One of the subjects he taught was “The Pillars of Islam” which was requested by the Henderson Church of Christ as well.

That Islam is one of the fastest growing religions in the world and is a threat to Christianity is fact. Sadly, many have only a very limited knowledge of the Muslim religion. Knowing the backgrounds and claims of Judaism, Christianity & Islam will increase one’s understanding of the turmoil in the Middle East. All three religions trace their roots to Abraham. Both Judaism and Islam look at Jerusalem as a holy place in their religion. (Some in Christianity still look to Jerusalem as a religious place while NT Christians realize there is no longer any connection between Jerusalem and Christian worship today.) Since these three religions are incompatible with each other and each has ties with Jerusalem, we should not be surprised about the conflict around this city and surrounding areas.

One may be surprised to learn that Islam traces its roots to Mohammed who was born in Mecca in 570 AD. Mohammed professed he had a series of revelations which were recorded to make the Muslim’s Qur’an, which they consider to be the word of God.

Islam’s view of Jesus is intriguing. Muslims deny that Jesus was crucified and raised from the dead. They believe Jesus was a great teacher and prophet; however, Mohammed was a greater prophet. In addition to deny historical facts surrounding Jesus’ live, they discredit the teachings of the apostles and other New Testament writers claiming that Jesus did not say some of the things they claimed that he said. While outside of the Bible there is evidence testifying to his crucifixion and resurrection, there is little to no evidence demonstrating and proving Jesus was a great teacher and prophet outside of the New Testament. Indeed Jesus Christ is the most controversial figure the world has ever seen! Indeed Jesus’ divinity, goodness, teaching, and New Testament witnesses stand together with the Old Testament.

One of the admirable traits of the Islam religion is their emphasis on living a lifestyle according to their doctrine (even though the doctrine is false). Muslims have five pillars: Shahada (confession of one God and Mohammed as His prophet), Salat (pray five times a day), Zakat (giving of alms), Saum (fasting), and Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca during one’s life).

These and other interesting facts about Islam are presented in this book. The book is recommended as a good early reference to lead to further research if one desires to dig a bit deeper into this major world religion. The book should provide a good perspective of this religion and will provide a framework to guide for further study.

Evertt Huffard graduated from Abilene Christian University in 1946 with a Bachelors Degree in Bible. He received his Masters Degree in Bible from Eastern New Mexico State University. He did local church work in New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas for 15 years before entering mission fields abroad in Jerusalem from 1963 to 1970, Beirut, Lebanon from 1971 to 1974, and Amman, Jordan from 1975 to 1979. He has led several missionary trips and conducted tours of the Holy Land for several years. Everrt Huffard was a minister for the churches of Christ at Independence, Finger, Milan, and Rutherford during his life in Henderson. He retired from Freed-Hardeman as a teacher in 1992, but continued to work with student recruitment for the Bible Department. For his many years of service in various capacities in the kingdom, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Freed-Hardeman University in 1997. He was an able teacher, evangelist, Christian gentleman, and good friend. Brother Huffard passed away March 7, 2004.

Originally printed West Virginia Christian, Vol. 12, No. 10, October 2005, p. 8. Reprinted by permission.

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