Sunny Days in Heaven
Spiritual/Political/Philosophical Blog on the Nature of Truth and Falsehood and Heaven

Tuesday, June 21, 2005  

Islam can't survive on its own power

In THE GREAT HERESIES by Hilaire Belloc (Chapter Four) on The Great and Enduring Heresy of Mohammed, the author makes a brilliant analysis about Islam and attempts to explain its enduring strength and energy.

He describes it as a simplified Catholicism:

Like all heresies, Mohammedanism lived by the Catholic truths which it had retained. Its insistence on personal immortality, on the Unity and Infinite Majesty of God, on His Justice and Mercy, its insistence on the equality of human souls in the sight of their Creator_these are its strength.

But Belloc fails to notice Islam's hostility to creativity, innovation, individual genius and initiative. He notices instead:

There is nothing in the Mohammedan civilization itself which is hostile to the development of scientific knowledge or of mechanical aptitude. I have seen some good artillery work in the hands of Mohammedan students of that arm; I have seen some of the best driving and maintenance of mechanical road transport conducted by Mohammedans. There is nothing inherent to Mohammedanism to make it incapable of modern science and modern war. Indeed the matter is not worth discussing. It should be self-evident to anyone who has seen the Mohammedan culture at work.

He considers the superiority of the Muslims at one time:

But not so very long ago, (less than a hundred years before the Declaration of Independence), the Mohammedan Government centred at Constantinople had better artillery and better army equipment of every kind than had we Christians in the West.

But this is misleading as Hanson has shown in his book, Culture and Carnage. Islam bought its improvements in armor from the West. They never were able to match what the Arsenal at Venice could do although they tried to copy it.

Islam built its magnificence on the foundation of the Greco-Roman world and the energies it unleashed from peoples freed of onerous taxation and crippling debts. But once that storehouse was empty, it had nothing to build or create with.

Islam only succeeds with immense coercion, and contains the seeds of its destruction as a viable community. Its social structures are unbearably negative. Its sexual psychology is exceptionally perverse, and its customs debilitating. They severely depress the spirit.

Belloc is somewhat amazed at Islam's resistance to conversion by Christianity or other religions, but the religion he sees rejected is Catholicism:

With that denial of the Incarnation went the whole sacramental structure. He refused to know anything of the Eucharist, with its Real Presence; he stopped the sacrifice of the Mass, and therefore the institution of a special priesthood. In other words, he, like so many other lesser heresiarchs, founded his heresy on simplification.

I believe that Muslims would be much more likely to respond to Evangelical Christianity with its simpler focus on the Atonement and Resurrection. American Evangelism is a highly charged and energetic call to the lost. It is an incredibly exciting, dynamic, joyfull, and infectious form of worship and faith.

It is an even greater simplification of Faith than Islam was of Christianity as Belloc describes it which makes it possible to have greater appeal to the lonely, depressed, isolated Muslim soul. It offers a hope that Islam can't begin to provide.

In a sense, the only thing that can save Muslims from evil, despair, and corruption is a dynamic and simple Christianity, for it is a war of religions as Belloc knew.

posted by Mark Butterworth | 11:19 AM |