Monday, November 26, 2007

Online places to read the Quran in English

If you talk to Muslims on Skype (or off Skype) you know how bewildering it can be to try to find out what Muslims really believe.

It is sometimes helpful to take the conversation back to their source: the Quran.

Here are a few links that I’ve found helpful for reading the Quran in English. (One thing you will discover is that there are not any really clear English translations of the Quran. They are all rather foggy. Maybe that is just the nature of the Quran?) (the most clear translation I’ve found) (compare 4 different English translations simultaneously; it also shows which verses have been abrogated (cancelled) by other verses). – you can download a complete “Study Quran” (called “The Noble Quran”) for free from this site. It has a lot of helpful explanatory footnotes, plus it is produced in Saudi Arabia and seems to be something of a standard reference. The only bad thing is you have to use the free (shareware) WinRar to extract the PDF file.

From talking to Muslims around the world on Skype, I’ve found that most of them are warmhearted, friendly people. I try to focus my conversations with them away from terrorism. Some of them do try to defend terrorism – their news media has been unbelievably skewed to where they see the US and Israel as violent aggressors and they think we are out to take over the world. Instead, I try to focus our conversations on the core difference between our religions, and the primary problem with Islam: how Islam deals with sin versus how Christianity deals with sin. In Islam, as well as all the other major religions of the world, sin is seen as something man can overcome and cancel out by good actions. The religions each have their own “checklist” of “do this and it will cancel out your sins and you can be right with God”… confession, prayer, giving money to the poor, fasting, attending church/mosque, visiting Mecca, etc. Jesus, on the other hand, has a radically different view of sin and atonement. The message of the Bible is consistently that my sin is so serious that nothing I can do could pay back for my sins. In God’s view, my sin is so heinous that only the blood of His perfect Son shed in a horrid death on a cross could atone for my sin. This view is offensive to Muslims (and indeed, to all other religions and the human heart in general). No one wants to believe they’re that bad of a person. But to say otherwise, to say that doing good actions can atone for our bad ones, is to say that Jesus died unnecessarily on the cross.

For a great video explanation of the Christian view of sin and atonement, see Or for a text version, you can visit

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A great reminder of the importance of prayer...

Think your prayers for suffering Christians don’t matter? Check out this 6 minute documentary movie from Open Doors to be encouraged that your prayers are vital for our persecuted brothers and sisters!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Great singing by a Christian Welsh tenor

Thanks to Gail Pate for sending me a link to a secular Welsh tenor singing. That reminded me of a Christian Welsh tenor, Huw Priday, whose music I thought you’d enjoy.

To watch a few samples, go to:

Just think how great the music will be in heaven!