Challenge Response: You Don’t Know the Real Jesus

Posted: February 2, 2012 by Alan Shlemon in Choosing My Religion, Weekly Challenge
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A Muslim has responded to Jefferson Bethke’s spoken-word poem with the claim that Christians don’t know the real Jesus. Here’s my take on the Muslim video.

  1. greeklogic says:

    The response, ‘Prove it,’ is one of the easiest ways to shut down communication with someone who is Muslim. It plays right into a common perception of Christians as arrogant.

    If the scenario is about responding to a Muslim who was truly my friend, odds are that he and I would already know our differences of belief and where we find our proof. More than likely he has already tried to ‘prove’ that Jesus was not God and I have shown from Scripture that Jesus was God. So if he directs me to this video I would probably assume that he resonates with the conviction of the Muslim man in the video…his unyielding ‘faith’. Having a conversation about what the guy in the video means when he says ‘faith’ wouldn’t seem near as arrogant as laying a burden of proof on my friend and might actually let him open up about his own faithfulness and failures.

    Now if this was just some Muslim acquaintance who I didn’t know very well and they direct me to this video, I would definitely put the burden of proof on them. I would not say, ‘Prove it,’ but I would definitely say something like, ‘That guy seems really passionate. How does he get to those conclusions?’

    Talking to Muslims is a lot like talking to Mormons (with respect to their beliefs). Saying, ‘Prove it (or else I know that what you believe is wrong),’ doesn’t usually get you closer to sharing the Gospel. It might make for some wonderful arguments, but if the goal is to get to Jesus then Tact and Patience are your best friends.

    Just some practical advice from my own experience
    – Macellarius Sus

  2. dshimer says:


    You make some really good points, however my take on this never even went in that direction. I don’t think I would ever point a Muslim (friend or not) at this and say “see, take that” (my words not yours).

    The original video was targeting a Christian audience and making the point that our belief system is flawed. It seems to me that this video is targeted at the same audience, especially young people (?) with the message that “Empty claims, no matter how well presented are still empty”.

    I need to know what I believe, and why I believe it if I’m ever going to make a reasoned defense in an increasingly ambivalent world. Some might even say hostile, but I think the sad truth is most people just don’t care.

  3. Meg says:

    Macellarius (greeklogic) and dshimer are pointing out the helpful distinction that Greg Koukl mentions on pg. 99 of Tactics. “The style you adopt in and conversation will depend on your goal. Do you want to persuade the other person, or do you want to refute him?”
    That section of the book was very helpful to me. I need the skills and info for both types of interchanges. I think Alan, here, is focused on refuting but he is clearly skilled in persuasion as well.

  4. David says:

    You should probably put the argument that we worship more then one god under the Islam ideas section. He is stating that we believe in three gods not one. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit requires polytheism according to their system of belief. In fact many of them say that they are the only true monotheistic religion in the world. (Heard it from their lips when I interviewed them for school) Just FYI

    The Qur’an was delivered (and I use that word lightly) in the seventh Century but no existent manuscript is definitively dated before the middle of the eighth into the ninth. That puts another hundred to hundred and fifty years between the Qur’an and Jesus. Although their claims about Jesus were already well established by AD 692 when the Dome of the Rock was built.

    Good Job.