“‘Was Jesus a Muslim?” asks Prof. Robert F. Shedinger in the beginning of a book he published this year entitled Was Jesus a Muslim? ” I will answer with a very qualified yes.”
In a recent interview Shedinger also defended his controversial thesis explaining that a Muslim undergraduate student had sent him on academic odyssey that culminated with him asking himself “Was Jesus a Muslim?”
“Even as a Christian I have to answer yes to that,” said Shedinger, who is the head of the religion department at Luther College in Iowa.
Shedinger also argued that Islam is a better fit for Jesus since it is not a religion but a “social justice movement.”
First off Islam is 600 years younger than Christianity so this, this just doesn’t make sense. Secondly I’m sure Muslims would argue against his statement that they are a social justice movement, not a religion. Third, we have this…
“I had to rethink what Islam is… I came to the conclusion that it was a social justice movement and I think that’s who Jesus was in the first century so I conclude Jesus is more like a Muslim,” he said.
The whole social justice aspect to his idea could take up a different post. It diminishes the real purpose Christ came to earth and that was to “seek and to save the lost,” (Luke 19:10), and of course we know that was through His death, burial and resurrection. That message, the Apostle Paul explains, was of “first importance,” (1 Corinthians 15:3). Since Christ came to die on a Roman cross to say Jesus was a Muslim doesn’t “jive” not only because it is a younger religion than Christianity, but for the primary reason that Islam rejects the crucifixion of Christ.
In the Qur’an, Surah 4. 156-57 reads:
And for their saying, ‘Verily we have slain the Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary, an Apostle of God.’ Yet they slew him not, and they crucified him not, but they had only his likeness. And they who differed about him were in doubt concerning him: No sure knowledge had they about him, but followed only an opinion, and they did not really slay him, but God took him up to Himself. And God is Mighty, Wise! (emphasis mine)
Muslims would agree with Professor Shedinger as they believe he was a prophet, not the Son of God. It would seem even though Shedinger claims to be a Christian, he rejects the core of the Gospel, which isn’t unusual for liberal scholars. Unfortunately, Luther College which is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, supports his scholarship (what scholarship?).