Telling the Truth: Responding to Common Muslim Objections to Christianity

If you have talked with a Muslim for any length of time about your faith and theirs, you have probably encountered one or more of the following objections to Christianity. While you will want to be prepared to answer these objections, remember that your goal is not to win an argument, but to share Jesus. So be prepared to give a simple answer, offering a way around the particular barrier raised, and continue to share and live your faith before your Muslim friends, whether or not they accept your explanation.

“The Bible has been changed.”

Author Thabiti Anyabwile writes that he cannot “think of one conversation with a Muslim friend where the reliability and authority of the Bible were not in question.”[1] Muslims often claim that the Bible has been changed.

How can followers of Jesus respond to this claim? One way is to ask your Muslim friend what parts of the Bible were changed, and when. He or she may simply  be repeating something heard from another source.

The Bible attests to its own enduring trustworthiness in Isaiah 40:8, “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” Matthew 24:35 attests,“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”

Interestingly, the Quran agrees, saying that “There is none that can alter the Words of God…” (Q. 6.34) and “No change can there be in the Words of God.” (Q. 10:64)

In fact, the Quran urges Jews and Christians to depend on the Bible: “Say, ‘O People of the Book [the Bible]! Ye have no ground to stand upon unless ye stand fast by the Law, the Gospel, and all the revelation that has come to you from your Lord.’”  (Q. 5:71)

Our own trust in the Bible is a testimony to our Muslim friends. When we share from the Scriptures, whether or not our Muslim friends accept their reliability, we demonstrate our reliance on the Word of God.

So regardless of whether or not your Muslim friend accepts your defense of the Bible’s trustworthiness, continue to share Truth from the Bible in your conversations. For more information and ideas, see Chapter 31 of Healing the Broken Family of Abraham: New Life for Muslims, by Don McCurry.

“The Trinity is heresy.”

Mohammad’s mission involved preaching God’s oneness to a polytheistic Arab society. So the concept of the Trinity, as misunderstood by Muslims, is very offensive. You may have already discovered that many Muslims think Christians believe God had a physical relationship with Mary and so fathered Jesus; many think that the Trinity is made up of three deities: God, Mary and Jesus.

For some Muslims, simply clarifying that we do not believe in three gods and that we do not believe God the Father had a physical relationship with Mary is helpful. In fact, Christians do not believe in three Gods, but believe in one God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.[2]

For others, a more in-depth examination may be helpful. One excellent resource for looking at this concept with a Muslim is the chapter entitled “Is Jesus the Son of God?” in Chawkat Moucarry’s book, The Prophet and the Messiah. Chawkat expresses the view that the Quran doesn’t argue that Jesus is not God’s son; instead it opposes a wrong interpretation of Jesus’ sonship.

“Jesus is just a prophet.”

Muslims believe Jesus was a prophet, but that Mohammad was the last and greatest prophet. Some believe the Comforter promised in Acts was not the Holy Spirit, but Mohammad. Don’t expect to resolve such disagreements in an hour of Bible study and sharing. Instead, consider studying one of the Gospels with your Muslim friend, which will allow them to catch a glimpse of the uniqueness of Jesus Christ.

God can use His Word to vividly illustrate who Jesus is and what He has done on man’s behalf. Sharing with your Muslim friend will take time and patience. Trust God–He can and does use the testimony and love of believers to draw Muslims to faith in Christ.

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

[1] Anyabwile, Thabiti. The Gospel for Muslims: An Encouragement to Share Christ with Confidence. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2010.

[2] Moucarry, Chawkat. The Prophet and the Messiah: An Arab Christian’s Perspective on Islam and Christianity. Downers Grove: Intervarsity Press, 2002.

Conversation Points:

Building Relationships and Sharing Christ

  • What’s your family like?
  • What do you like to do for fun?
  • What do you miss most about your home country?
  • What is most challenging about living as a Muslim in the West?
  • Have you ever faced discrimination for your faith?
  • What do you believe is necessary to go to heaven?
  • Do you know for sure if you were to die that you would go to heaven?
  • What do you believe about the prophet Jesus?
  • Have you read Jesus’ biography in the Injil (the Gospels)?
  • What things can I pray for you about?