From (Jeremiah McAuliffe)
Newsgroups: soc.religion.islam,alt.religion.islam
Subject: Geisler-Saleeb Anti-Islam Book, Part 1 (1/3)
Date: 1996/8/31
Message-Id: <50b9e5$>

Bism Allah, Al-Rahman, Al- Raheem...

Responses to "Answering Islam: The Crescent in the Light of the
Cross" by Norman L. Geisler & Abdul Saleeb. Baker Books, Box 6287
Grand Rapids MI 49516-6287, ISBN 0-8010-3859-6

by Jeremiah D. McAuliffe, Jr., Ph.D.

I have been challenged by Jochen Katz to back-up my negative
statements regarding this book. Specifically, that Geisler does a
very poor job. Muslims have permission to reprint this as long as it
is unchanged and with proper attribution and you tell me that you
have done so. If, by some bizarre chance, you make money off doing so
all money has to go to pay off my student loans. Call for account
information.  Here goes....

The purpose of this book is to refute Islam and support Christianity.
Geisler is the dean of Southern Evangelical Seminary while
pseudonymous Abdul Saleeb is a "former Muslim". Please note, this
does NOT say that Saleeb is now a Christian.

There is something odd about the book in general. The first part--
introducing Islam quite well actually-- seems strangely disconnected
from the second part supposedly refuting Islam in favor of
Evangelical Christianity. There is little, if any, correspondence
between the two. It is as if they were written separately. It is
impossible to tell how the co-authoring proceeded, but it seems as if
"Saleeb" wrote the "intro to Islam" part (which is really good) while
Geisler wrote the refutation-- though without any reference
whatsoever to what was actually written in the first part. Its like
two different books.

The refutation is severely problematic-- confused and inconsistent in
its thinking, and intellectually manipulative. Without a
philosophical background one may not be able to see through or
identify the manipulation. Let me just say that if Geisler was my
student, and handed this in, he would flunk. His thinking is just too
confused and intellectually disingenuous. So confused is his
thinking, so essentially dishonest, that it has to be taken apart
almost line by line and requires extensive quoting from the book.
Surely a daunting task.... insha Allah, I won't actually have to do
the whole thing before people get tired of it all and I have
supported my opinion of the book sufficiently! It would be much
easier to do this verbally-- reading lines and passages and then
explaining what is wrong with them.

Also, while the "intro to Islam" part is extensively footnoted with
classic Muslim writers and other writers on Islam-- names known to
all-- with the refutation part the footnotes and classic citations
essentially come to a stop. Again, odd and inconsistent.

However, we can identify the essence of Geisler's problem: he does
NOT refer to the Qur'an, nor to Muslim scholars, but to Medieval
Christian theology and Hellenistic philosophy. Islamic intellectual
history, we know, encountered, processed and rejected Hellenistic
philosophy as a basis for theology or Qur'anic hermeneutics. The
Hellenists in Islam are the Mu'tazilites-- the speculative
philosophers-- which has, at heart, been soundly rejected by us.
Unfortunately for Evangelical Christians, Geisler does not seem to
know this, much less take it into account, and so immediately his
arguments are *completely* misplaced! Such a glaring error is why,
were I his teacher, he would get an "F". In addition, with all the
advances in Christian theology since Aquinas I simply cannot believe
that Geisler would argue from such outdated neo-Thomist concepts! I
mean, didn't he ever at least read Kant, or, God-forbid, some
contemporary philosophy or theology? Probably not. He IS an
Evangelical Christian after all-- not a group known for intellectual
rigor or consistency, but rather its fundamentalism in the negative
sense of that word.

I'll begin on page 134 "Problems of Islamic Monotheism". This is
where the refutation begins.

"Islamic monotheism is rigid and inflexible." This statement is a
tautological rhetorical device that, in essence, only says that
Muslims believe what they believe, and do not believe what they do
not believe. Such a statement could be said about any religion or
ideology, including Christianity. Every ideological system is "rigid
and inflexible" in certain basic concepts. Now, Geisler does not go
on to state that Christian monotheism is flexible and superior
because of that flexibility, as one would expect after such a
statement. Rather, he immediately changes the subject and presents as
standard the view of some uneducated Muslims that trinitarian
monotheism is the same as tritheism, and the equally uneducated view
among some Muslims that the Christian father-son description of God
and Jesus is an anthropomorphized relationship derived from

Of course, any Muslim of minimal education and intelligence--
knowledgeable of a minimum of Christian theology-- knows this is not
accurate. Geisler himself is either ignorant, or intellectually
dishonest, to present this as standard Islam. While he will go on to
refer to people such as Plotinus and Aquinas he is "dialoging" here
with extremely low-level understandings of Islam. Sort of like a
university professor arguing with a five-year old. So, he is going to
take high-level Christian theology and use it to argue against
uneducated Muslim opinions. I consider this dishonest and

Jeremiah McAuliffe/
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