Muhammad was "the Prophet with the sword," and was commanded to "fight in the way of God." Each did what was right, because the latter command abrogated the former.

C. The question is not what God can do but what God has done. You cannot bring a single proof that the Bible was abrogated by the Qur'an. Muhammad's assertion that he was commissioned to spread his religion with the sword is rather a proof against his claim than in favour of it.

75. M. Why? Did not Moses do the same by God's command?

C. No. Joshua was commanded to overthrow and punish the Canaanites, but he was not commanded to convert them by the sword. Moreover, you who appeal so much to Reason should be able to explain how the command which you say was given to Muhammad was consonant with reason and justice. You assert that God hates hypocrites so much that the lowest pit of hell has been assigned to them; and yet you tell us that God sent Muhammad with the sword to make men hypocrites. For a man who embraces Islam without proof, and merely to save his life, must evidently be a hypocrite. In this respect the Qur'an is contrary to the Gospel, and also to the reason and conscience which God has given us.

76. M. The Qur'an preserves and re-imposes upon men the essential parts of the Law and the Gospel, and abrogates the rest.


C. If I am to accept this, I must do so on your authority alone, since you cannot prove it from the Qur'an. But I notice that now you admit that part at least of earlier revelations have not been abrogated by the Qur'an. Reason teaches us that what the Bible says of (1) the Nature and Attributes of God, (2) Historical facts, (3) the Moral Law, (4) Prophecies, and (5) the Plan of Salvation, cannot possibly be abrogated.

77. M. Some of these may be. Why should not the way of salvation be altered from time to time? In Moses' time it was necessary to believe in him, in Jesus' time in Him, in Muhammad's time in him. So it is necessary to obey successive kings, each in his own time.

C. This is contrary to Reason, for it represents God as fickle and changeable. He is the one King in religious matters, so the analogy does not exist. Moses did not claim to be the Saviour, nor did any other prophet. They all bore witness to Christ, in whom alone can salvation be found (John xvii. 2, 3; Acts iv. 12). The Messianic prophecies are the essence of the Old Testament, and that of the New is contained in John iii. 16. Moreover, Christ declares "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away" (Matt. xxiv. 35). He states that at His second coming He is to be the judge of living and dead (Matt. xxv. 31-46; cf. Acts iv. 12). Reason shows us that these things can never be annulled. Your