Letter 4: Facts and Feelings

Dear Abdallah


It is hardly necessary for me to tell you how I appreciated your last letter. It is good that our personal relationship is so open, despite the fact that our beliefs rest on different foundations. I am glad that you seem to agree on the need for a sober approach to spiritual matters and acknowledge the strong and, to an honest reader, obvious and convincing argument that fulfilled prophecy represents. The same applies to the eyewitness reports and historic sources. Together they are a rock on which we can safely build our trust in the Bible.


While it is decidedly good to have a rich emotional life, our spiritual conversation should never be governed by emotions only. We have to look at the facts too. That can be hurtful at times. That is why we are taught in the Bible to “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). Someone rightly said that truth without love is brutal, while love without truth is sentimentality. As emotions should be built on facts, so truth must be accompanied by love. They belong together.


In your letter you also express the generally accepted view of almost all Muslims, that the Qur’an in its present form is identical to the original. Islamic traditions dating from the time of the first caliphs do not support this assumption, as every scholar should know and acknowledge.


In your letter you mention three reasons why you are convinced that the Qur’an must be a revelation from God. I take it that you list these in response to the evidence for the inspiration of the Bible.