“When you look at the war passages of the Old Testament, they are first not prescriptive. Secondly, they are after serious amounts of God’s grace.”

Dr. Jeremiah Johnston has stood in front of thousands of people and offered evidence for the Christian faith. A common question he responds to is one of comparison – how are the wars in the Old Testament any different from the wars ISIS is fighting now?

The implicit question being, how is the God of the Bible any different from the god of the Koran?

Jeremiah has written extensively on this topic and he shares what he has learned.

“In Islam, there is a standing ‘kill order’ to kill the kafir [a nonbeliever or an infidel]. A kafir can be abused; the kafir can be mocked; a kafir can be raped. You can do anything to a kafir. Allah does not love a kafir.”

Jeremiah also points out that the Koran has several passages that advocate for sex slavery, violence, and domestic abuse, which ties directly into the life of the man who inspired it.

“If Mohammed were alive today, he would not only join the Islamic State, he would be leading it. The Islamic State finds motivation for every single thing they do in the Koran.”

When we compare that to the accounts in the Old Testament, what do we find?

“What we see is certainly not prescriptive; it’s descriptive.”

God ordered His people to kill the Canaanites after hundreds of years of calling them back to repentance. Because He promised His people an inheritance of a specific land, He needed them to drive out those who were occupying it. While we can learn many things from this account, it is not a practice we as Christians are meant to imitate today.

What about the story of the Philistines?

“The Philistines were people that had set themselves up against God. God had tried to redeem them year after year after year.”

When we look at the character of Allah and the character of God, there is no comparison between the two. We see a final contrast set up between the ministry of Jesus and the teachings of Islam – when Jesus reigns, the vulnerable are protected and cared for. When Islam reigns, the poor, the disenfranchised, the meek, are used and abused.

You can read more in Jeremiah’s books, Unanswered and Jesus and the Jihadis.

Key Scriptures: 2 Corinthians 10:5; 2 Timothy 1:7; 2 Chronicles 32:30-31

Featured Songs: The Truth is Still True by Chris August; Impossible by Meredith Andrews; Sovereign by Chris Tomlin

Highlight : Allah or Jesus?

Challenging questions about faith