Friday, January 19, 2007

It should come as no surprise that I believe in miracles. Reading the Koran has gotten me interested specifically in the miracles of Jesus. Most Christians can discount the Koranic accounts of miracles of Jesus because they are not Biblical. I can't give myself that luxury. I believe that Jesus appeared to the Nephites shortly after his resurrection, and I believe that Jesus appeared to Joseph Smith in upstate New York. It leaves my mind quite open to the question of what else Jesus did.

The Koran mentions three miracles of Jesus that are not found in the Bible or for that matter in the Book of Mormon.

1) "Jesus... remember... when thou createst out of clay, by My leave, as the likeness of a bird, and thou breathest into it, and it is a bird..." (Surah 5:110 TKI)

This is the easiest of the three miracles for me to both comprehend and accept. It does not dramatically alter the Gospel accounts of the life of Jesus if it is true, and even if the Koran is in error about it, it hardly seems a point worth arguing. I respect the Koran's interpretation of Jesus so I'll believe this account without further consideration.

2) "'I (Mary) have vowed to the All-merciful a fast, and today I will not speak to any man'... Mary pointed to the child then; but they (her folk) said, 'How shall we speak to one who is still in the cradle, a little child?' He (Jesus) said 'Lo, I am God's servant;...'" (Surah 19:25-30 TKI)

This second miracle is more difficult to reconcile with the Gospel accounts of Jesus' first days. I am left to wonder where is Joseph? Why did he not speak for Mary if she vowed a fast? While I can not completely discount the possibility that Jesus spoke shortly after his birth, it seems that such a miracle wouldn't be left out of the Gospel if it had occurred. I find myself unconvinced by the Koranic account this miracle.

3) "'We (unbelievers) slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, the Messenger of God' -- yet they did not slay him, neither crucified him, only a likeness of that was shown to them." (Surah 4:155 TKI)

This is perhaps one of the most difficult passages in the Koran for me to understand and accept. If another miracle occurred on the cross than the one I've been taught all my life to believe in then it is of monumental importance to grasp it. But the Koranic account is far more brief than the account of the Gospel so it is very unsatisfying. The claim that Jesus wasn't actually crucified needs further evidence which the Koran does not to my knowledge provide. Without the preconceived notion that the Koran is infallible which I of course do not adhere to, this last miracle is to my mind untenable. If I had to point to proof that the Koran was not perfect I would feel confident that this passage which utterly refutes the Gospel demonstrates a mistake made by Mohamed. I find some of the assertions that the Koran makes about Jesus thought provoking and believable but this one I simply do not.

My respect for the Koran has not been diminish by these inconsistancies, but my assertion that Scripture is an imperfect representation of the mind and will of God is strengthened by them. I guess I will just have to wait to meet Jesus to find out exactly what he did and didn't do.


Thursday, January 04, 2007

First of all happy new year everybody - lets hope 2007 is a good one.

This post will not be primarily spiritual as I try to make most of my blogging. There are a number of reasons for this. Among them are the fact that I haven't picked up my Koran since before Christmas and have only read a little in the Book of Mormon in the past few weeks. That has been primarily due to several presents that I have very much enjoyed but have taken up a lot of my time. I received the first two seasons of Stargate SG-1 which I have watched in there entirety (about 40 hours of material). I've also also been playing a new video game called Star Wars: Jedi Academy. So my mind has not been on God much of late, and I can only hope that He appreciates science fiction.

But another reason this is not a spiritual post is because I have been challenged by my wife to reveal five things you probably don't know about me. So here goes:

1) Of the Ten Commandments "Thou shalt not kill" is the only one I have never broken.

2) My favorite food is chocolate and if I ever get diabetes I would consider ending it all with Whitman's Samplers.

3) I am a fan of the Green Bay Packers (even in their off seasons) and for this reason have an irrational attachment to LDS general authority Boyd K. Packer. For me the phrase "Packer Backer" is double entendre.

4) I'm also a big "Weird" Al Yankovic fan. He is one of my friends on Myspace, and when I was a teenager I even performed one of his songs with a jazz band.

5) Again when I was young I played a lot of Dungeons and Dragons. I recently got a collection of first edition D&D books which I don't use but will probably retain as keepsakes.

So now you have some trivia about me. If you have enjoyed it go and do likewise.