Islam and Christianity, by James F. Gauss
Islam and Christianity: A Revealing Contrast, by James F. Gauss, Ph.D. is a side-by-side comparison between the two religions. Doctor Gauss writes from a Christian perspective. He has obviously made a life-long study of the Bible and has used this background as a means for investigating the Koran. He delves deep into claims that are made by modern adherents of Islam as well as elements in the press, especially regarding its pacific nature.
The book explores areas of the Koran and other Muslim texts about which readers in the West often hear, but never get any cogent analysis. For example Gauss explains the infamous "Satanic Verses" when Mohammed said it was permissible to pray to certain pagan gods in intercession with Allah. Then he reversed himself a short time later saying he had been told to allow the pagan gods by Satan.
Muslim treatment of women is also discussed. It is important to note that in Muslim teaching, women have a second class status. In Muslim texts women are depicted as being less intelligent, and almost chattel for men. Women are not even allowed in a mosque, where they are considered to be a distraction.
Interestingly, the Muslim religion is a successor to the Jewish and Muslim religions. Muslims see themselves as descended from Abraham through his son Ishmael. They believe Ishmael was the legitimate heir of God's covenant. Mohammed is considered the last in a long line of prophets which included Jesus. Many of the sayings of Mohammed are filled with talk about Jesus, Mary, and other familiar biblical figures.
As "Islam and Christianity" is written from a Christian perspective, Christian readers will find it most interesting. Even so, readers who do not consider themselves Christian will find the book informative on many levels. Theologically, sociologically, and practically, Islam and Christianity are compared and analyzed. Dr. Gauss writes in an engaging and convincing style. He has considerable command of the subject matter. His arguments are clear concise and intelligent.
Ultimately, Dr. Gauss presents fanatical Islam as an aggressive force that must be confronted. In the closing chapters he presents practical things that Christians can do. "Islam and Christianity" is an excellent work for anyone who wants to learn more about Mohammed, the Koran, and Islam, as they relate to current events in the world at large.