Authors Preface to the Second Edition
Rediscovering the commonalities between Islam and Christianity
Dr. David J. Liepert
I wish I could better express my gratitude for this opportunity to serve God. Allahu
Akhbar!!! In it's first permutation my book was written to help my family, all of whom
are Christians (and rather devout), come to terms with the reasons for my own change in
doctrine, and hopefully to understand its inevitability, given what they knew of my
character. I've always been intransigent about things that I think are right (My mother
sometimes uses other words!). After I had written it and shown it to some Muslim
friends, they encouraged me to consider that it might have some broader appeal, and so
we published it in booklet form for free distribution at their expense, an act whose
generosity to me is indescribable. I didn't want to pay to publish my own book, because
even my own vanity only goes so far (I would appreciate any donations made to the
Saskatoon Mosque by those of you who have enjoyed reading it). I am happy to hear that
it is helping dialogue between adherents of Islam and Christianity, and I am even happier
that it is helping some people to be more curious about exploring their own Faith in the
One God who made us all.
In his foreword, my friend Rob asks some very good questions about why anyone would
read the book. I've been told that every story is about a journey, and that good stories are
about interesting trips. My book was about my travel from Faith, to Doctrine, to Faith
and back again, but I realized after I read it in its completed form that I didn't actually end
it where travelogues are supposed to, with a description of me back home again. In this
second edition, I have tried to correct that by adding another chapter. I hope that it brings
tha balance that I want it to.
I have never written a foreword. David did not ask me to write a foreword. In fact, I'm
not entirely certain what a foreword actually is or should be! However, for whatever
reason, I felt strongly compelled to say something regarding "Choosing Faith".
I do not intend to comment on the author's scholastic approach to his subject, nor do I
intend to produce a dissertation critical of the manuscript in the context of similar bodies
of work. I do wish to bring to the reader's attention a hint of what is to come (a
forewarning may be the most appropriate term) with ideas to foster, appreciation of the
arguments presented, and most importantly an understanding of the process.
In this book, David courageously takes us through his journey of self-discovery, but with
a twist. Unlike similar stories which begin with ignorance and hypocrisy and ultimately
come to a rebirth of sorts, David starts and ends with a daunting fund of knowledge and a
strong moral center. Where then is the journey? Where is the conflict that drives an
author to write and the reader to read?
In this story you will see anger, oblivion, hope and dread. You will see confusion. You
will see joy. You will see a man who struggles with his spiritual masters, asking
questions of himself and others about things that he previously had deemed
unquestionable. These are not new questions. History is filled with men and women who
have wrestled over a lifetime with similar ideas.
What you will see is a very personal account of one man who has chosen from the
beginning to walk with God, and who is seeking reconciliation and truth. David takes
intellectually strong but spiritually painstakingly fragile steps toward his choice. In
reading this book I challenge you to walk with David and through his eyes to see what he
sees, see what he believes, and wonder.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. First Steps
Chapter 2. My Life as a Baptist
Chapter 3. Bringing Light to the Heathen
Chapter 4. The Divinity of Jesus
Chapter 5. The Nature of the Messiah
Chapter 6. The Claims of Jesus
Chapter 7. The Spirit of Wisdom
Chapter 8. Jesus as a Divine Sacrifice
Chapter 9. Jesus's Promise
Chapter 10. The Epistles
Chapter 11. Saint Paul
Chapter 12. Why I am A Muslim
Chapter 13. Why Islam?
Chapter 14. End Notes
Bringing Light to the Heathen
I decided that if I really cared about them, I would have to change my Muslim friends into
Christians. Since I made no distinction between faith and doctrine, I felt that by
correcting their system of belief, I would be saving Muslim souls from the eternal torment
of hell! I knew that although they were concerned about variations in the Bible's
translation, Muslims still revered the Bible and considered it to have been divinely
inspired. I knew as well that Muslims sought to worship and serve the God of Abraham,
the same God as Christians and Jews did. I was certain that it would be easy to find in the
Bible the specific chapters and verses that would show my friends where they had been
taught incorrectly and so lead them to true knowledge and faith in Jesus. My task seemed
to become even easier to me when I discovered that Jesus was already given the titles of
Messiah and Christ in the book of Islam, The Holy Quran. Muslims, in my opinion, were
all only one step away from Christianity!
The first thing I did was read an english translation of the meaning of their Book. I still
remember the fear that I felt every day when I would sit down, prepared for spiritual
combat. I expected with every turn of a page that I would read some horrible blasphemy
that would test my faith. Instead, I saw worship and respect for God and the teachings of
all of the Prophets. I had always been taught that “Allah” was the name of a false God,
but one of the first things I learned was that to Muslims, “Allah” simply meant “The
Lord” and that Muslims gave no more reverence to this name than they did to any of
Gods other titles, such as “The Most Gracious” or “The Most Merciful”. In fact, I learned
that some Muslim scholars had recommended in the past that “Allah” not be used to refer
to God at all in any language but Arabic. This had been done in an attempt to avoid
exactly what had happened; non-Muslims believing that Muslims thought that "Allah"
was God’s name! I remember thinking that the more I learned, the easier converting
Muslims to Christianity seemed to become!
The first Prayer that I read, instead of being some Satanic invocation said simply:
“In the name of Allah, Most Gracious and Most Merciful”
“Praise be to Allah, The Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds:
Most Gracious, Most Merciful; Master of the Day of Judgment.
Thee do we worship, and Thine Aid we seek.
Show us the straight way, The way of those on whom Thou has bestowed Thy
Grace. Those whose (portion) is not wrath, and who go not astray.” (Surah 1:1-7
I was surprised. If I substituted “The Lord” for “Allah” as I was supposed to do, this
prayer seemed the most “Christian” of supplications. This first Surah even talked about
Grace, a concept that I was very familiar with from my Christian education. Since I was
sure that I knew everything that I needed to know on the subject of God's Grace, I
concluded that Muslims simply didn’t understand their own book and just needed to have
it explained to them by someone familiar with the Bible, like me