by Hannah Day
The Center for Biblical Apologetics and Public Christianity of Cedarville University has been organizing and hosting several apologetics seminars allowing students to engage during the academic year.
Topics so far have included “Is Christianity Good for the World?,” “Is Christianity Rational?,” “The Christian View of Artistry,” and “Christianity and Race.” The next seminar, “Do Muslims and Christians Worship the Same God?” will be held on Thursday, January 25, at 8 p.m. in room 152 of the Dixon Ministry Center.
Dr. Daniel DeWitt, professor of applied theology and apologetics and the center’s director, said the center will continue to hosts these seminars monthly. The seminars, he said, are to allow students to hear professors from Cedarville, as well as other colleges, speak on some major issues that are relevant in today’s culture and to help the students to be able to really think critically about their own faith.
“I think that there are three major worldviews that Christians constantly need to be thinking about and evaluating,” DeWitt said, “and that’s Christianity, of course for us to be growing in our own understanding of the truth, but then secularism and Islam are the two major competing worldviews in the west.”
Because of this, Thursday’s seminar will focus on common questions and misconceptions regarding the relationship between Christianity and Islam. The speakers for the evening will include Dr. Matt Bennett,a Missions and Theology Instructor at Cedarville, Dr. Ayman Ibraham, a former professor of Islamic Studies at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. David Bosch, a professor of business administration at Southern, and Dr. John Klaassan, a professor of Global Studies at Southern. These speakers will address the seeming similarities and the major differences between the messages contained in the Bible and those which are in the Quran. Each member of the panel has a thorough understanding of the topic, as well as a personal connection that helps to aid in their knowledge of the material. The panel members were chosen for their expertise, and each individual has lived and served in areas that are known for their high Muslim populations.
People who attend the seminar can expect to hear well-informed viewpoints to help them better understand the difference in these two religions. At the end of the evening, there will be a 30 minute time where the floor will be opened up for questions from the audience. Dr. Bennett, one of the speakers who served five years in Egypt, said one of his main goals from the event is to raise awareness concerning central points to Islam that are incompatible with Christianity.
“Some of the ways we may be inclined to share the Gospel actually can end up exacerbating, or at least missing, some of those points of divergence,” Bennet said, “especially in the language we use and the way that we tend not to always tell the whole story of the Scripture, which in fact is quite a different story than the Quran tells about the universe.”
Hannah Day is a freshman forensic science major from Pennsylvania and campus reporter for Cedars. She enjoys theatre, music, and correcting people.