10. Thinking on the Death of Jesus

Dear Abdullah,


I thank God that your response to my last letter showed me that, besides the faith in your heart, you also see the need to apply your mind, your intelligence, and with it sound judgment, to matters of faith. I strongly believe it to be necessary to stand firmly on both legs (heart and mind) in this world of lies and deception.


Using one of these ‘legs’ alone, makes us vulnerable. We can easily topple over, become one-sided, or unbalanced. In addition we may well become unteachable, simplistic, and even fanatic. To protect us from such, God has given us an intellect and the ability to scrutinise, compare, and draw conclusions. So let us then honestly investigate the matter of truth and then let us yield ourselves in obedience and worship to the only true God.


Apart from the controversial concept of the divinity of Jesus, at which we looked earlier, the cross is likely to be the most emotionally loaded topic in conversations between Christians and Muslims. As I stated before, I like you to remember that everything I say is not done to hurt you or to win an argument. The possibility that I might hurt your feelings, and the possibility that you might misunderstand the Gospel because of my poor communication, weighs heavily on me. Even so, we must not avoid ‘hot’ subjects, but rather tackle them in love.


We are both aware of the contradicting statements in our respective ‘Books’. The Qur’an clearly states: