FOREWORD BY MARVIN OLASKY
Marvin Olasky, Ph.D., is the editor-in-chief of World, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin, and the author of over fifteen books, including The Religions Next Door.
These days, the hills are alive with the sound of musings about Islam. Publisher’s Weekly reported this spring that a spate of new books on the religion are hitting the bookstores, and they’re unlike the critical books that came out after September 11; the new tomes assure readers that Islam is a religion of peace. That, as Alvin Schmidt points out in The Great Divide, is wishful thinking.
Muslims are right to point out that the Bible has its parts (such as the book of Joshua) that sound bloodthirsty to modern readers, but the Quran is Joshua all the way through, without its contextualization in the peaceemphasizing prophetic and New Testament books…
…Professor Schmidt does not hack away at Islam, nor does he attack Christianity because of headlined abuses that arise in it. He doesn’t hyperventilate about the Abu Ghraibs of Christianity—the misogyny of some church fathers, the bloody entry of the Crusaders into Jerusalem, the pro-slavery rhetoric of some antebellum fire-eaters. Instead, he compares the normal practice of Christianity and Islam. He shows how Christianity grew by the blood of its martyrs, but Islam grew by killing those who opposed it. He compares the view of women in the New Testament and the Quran, showing how Christ’s teaching eventually led to the development of complementary roles for men and women but Muhammad’s teaching led to subservience. He shows how Christians looked at slavery critically over the centuries and how many fought for its abolition; Islam, though, has no intrinsic anti-slavery position, so it’s no surprise that some Islamic countries today still allow it…
…Christians who understand these specific differences, delineated in Schmidt’s book, will strengthen their own faith and be ready to enter into discussions with Muslims without offering either appeasement or shotgunblast aggression.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alvin J. Schmidt PhD., (University of Nebraska) retired in 1999 as a professor of sociology at Illinois College. He has contributed to many journals and is the author of several best selling books including: Under the Influence – How Christianity Transformed Civilization and The Menace of Multiculturalism – Trojan Horse in America.
“Dr. Schmidt has produced an informative, instructive, insightful, and very inspiring book. Any reader will be rewarded by this well written, scholarly, and timely book on the subject every American needs to understand.”
Anis Shorrosh, D.Phil.
Author of Islam Revealed
“Alvin J. Schmidt’s The Great Divide: The Failure of Islam and the Triumph of the West elegantly delineates the differences between the Christian and Muslim worldviews. In
a world of obfuscation and “can’t-we-all-just-get-along” indifferentism, this book is a much-needed beacon of theological and moral clarity—as well as common sense.”
Robert Spencer, author of Islam Unveiled
and Onward Muslim Soldiers
Professor Schmidt has not just written an important book— he has written an essential book. Written with passion, this book is a clear defense of our Lord, without becoming meanspirited. In addition, it is written with a scholar’s eye for accuracy and research. It is well worth your time. It will greatly affect your witness.
Ergun Mehmet Caner, Th.D.,
Author of Unveiling Islam
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