Four Things Christians Should Understand About Islam

A veteran shares what he learned while building relationships and having spiritual conversations with Muslims in Iraq.

by Thane Keller

Politically motivated narratives make Islam a challenge to decipher. Further complicating our understanding are the myriad of well-meaning opinions, various Islamic sects, and numerous scholars who all proclaim their own opinions on what is the truth. Here are four fundamental aspects of Islam that everyone should understand — not from a scholar, but from a layman who has spent years of his daily life learning to know Muslims.

1. Isaac and Ishmael

A fundamental backdrop of my book series “The Conquests of Brokk,” is this question: Who is Isaac, who is Ishmael, and which one of them is the son of promise?

As a scout platoon leader in Iraq, I have made many dear friends. The Iraqi people are warm and generous. While on a security patrol, one local leader invited my platoon in to eat with him. We accepted, of course, and our conversation quickly turned to family, customs and traditions. Shia Iraqis were preparing to celebrate the holiday Eid, and this became my first introduction to the nuanced differences between Islam, Judaism and Christianity…

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Four Things Christians Should Understand About Islam