No Mere Legal Code: The Harshness of Shari‘a Law

Today, the expression, “shari‘a” – as in “shari‘a law” and “shari‘a finance” – is heard with increasing frequency. It is important to get clear on just what shari‘a is, particularly since some Muslims wish to bring it to prominence and even dominance around the world.

The great Western scholar of Islamic law, Joseph Schacht, once described the shari‘a as “the core and kernel of Islam itself.” The concept appears obliquely in the Qur’an at verse 45:18: “Then We put thee on the (right) Way of Religion [shari‘a]: so follow thou that (Way), and follow not the desires of those who know not.” This passage underpins the common Muslim claim that shari‘a law is divinely sourced, fixed and immutable, a gift to humanity from Allah, designed to show Muslims how to live and govern correctly. Continue reading

More than Knickers and Goatees: Toward Understanding Our World

Francis Schaeffer, twentieth-century pastor, theologian, and author, is best known for founding the L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland in 1955. His many books and lectures sought to educate Christian leaders toward a creation-affirming and culture-challenging message. In this excerpt, taken from his book The God Who Is There, Schaeffer speaks to a fundamental problem in the modern Church—the lack of understanding of the world in which it lives. Continue reading

The Thriller in Rome: Caesar v. Christ, 4th Century

Famine and war had recently afflicted Caesarea, so when the plague hit in the early fourth century, the populace was already weakened and unable to withstand this additional blow. People began fleeing the city, one of the larger ones of the Roman Empire, for safety in the countryside. However, in the midst of the fleeing inhabitants, at least one group was staying behind, the Christians. Bishop of the city and historian of the early church, Eusebius, recorded in his Church History that during the plague, “All day long some of them [the Christians] tended to the dying and to their burial, countless numbers with no one to care for them. Others gathered together from all parts of the city a multitude of those withered from famine and distributed bread to them all.” Continue reading

Biblical Insight: Let No One Take You Captive

8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, …

Colossians 2:8-9 (ESV)

Deservedly notorious are university professors who delight in stripping their students of admiration for “the faith once for all delivered to the saints,” luring them instead toward secular “isms,” such as atheistic existentialism, Marxism, naturalism, hedonism, relativism, and pantheism. So it is common for a parent, pastor, or youth leader to implore the departing freshman to keep his Christian wits about him—even using the exact words of Colossians 2:8-9. Continue reading