The latest episode of Drunk Ex-Pastors deals in part, again, with the issue of ISIS (you can click below to hear our full discussion).
I just read a very interesting article by Sam Harris called “Sleepwalking Toward Armageddon” in which the author argues a few controversial points, among which are (1) the idea that as long as the West is invoking the “true religion” to combat Islam’s false one, we’ll have no choice but to also and forever combat our enemies with missiles as well, and (2) those who deny that ideas like martyrdom, armed jihad, and hatred of infidels are central tenets of the Koran are as misguided as those who would say that the resurrection of Christ is some secondary or tertiary doctrine of Christianity. I would highly recommend the article, it is quite thought-provoking.
For my part, I am loath to trust Harris’s interpretation of the Koran, simply because no atheist I have ever encountered is ever fair with the Bible, so why would they be fair with other holy books?
That said, though, I can totally see how someone would draw a line connecting “extreme” Islam and Christianity, especially to the God of the Old Testament. But as I have said before, in the same way that OT Judaism is, from a Christian standpoint, a religion that is yet unfulfilled or not full-grown, so Islam is truncated and stuck in things like violence, holy war, law, and hatred of one’s enemies.
In short, there’s a reason why Christians don’t behave like ISIS: Jesus. (He was a bit of a game-changer, after all).
I would agree with Harris at least on this much: Any Christian expression of violence in the name of God is sub-Christian, whereas I’m not so sure the same is true when it comes to Islam.
Listen to the full discussion below. . . .