Piper opines in part in “Burning the Qur’an and Crucifying Christ”:
Walls draws our attention to the fact that one of the differences between Islam and Christianity is how translatable Christianity is by its incarnational nature, and how resistant Islam is to translation:
“Christian faith must go on being translated, must continuously enter into vernacular culture and interact with it, or it withers and fades…
Much misunderstanding between Christians and Muslims has arisen from the assumption that the Qur’an is for Muslims what the Bible is for Christians.
It would be truer to say that the Qur’an is for Muslims what is for Christians.”
The giving of the Qur’an is in Islam what the incarnation of Christ is to Christianity.
If this is so, then Qur’an-burning is parallel to Christ-crucifying.
So the Qur’an has been burned and the Christ has been crucified—and continues to be crucified.
The test is in the response.
Remember, this is John Piper, who got a degree in philosophy (which is against the mandate of Scripture),the one who is entrenched in the Lausanne Congress; who's mentor was Ralph Winter (the inter-faith man who believed its possible to be a Muslim Christian. Piper and Rick Warren both gave tribute to Winter at his memorial service), the man who finds truth in the Roman Catholic philosopher, GK Chesterton.
Besides being heavily philosophical in his Post-modern nonsense, there's a lot wrong with Piper's view.
1) "Incarnational" is a word heavily used by the Emergent Church Movement. This should be a red flag to anyone who's familiar with the truth about that movement and how it speaks and acts.
2) The Emergent view of Christian needing to change with the times to relate to the modern culture is also very Emergent/Post-Modern. Biblical Christianity (notice I said "Biblical") is timeless because its based on the timeless truths of Scripture and the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. This too, is a red flag.
3) I see no "misunderstanding" arising "from the assumption that what the quran is for Muslims, the Bible is for Christians." What's to misunderstand? The quran is the foundation of Islam, along with the Haddith. The quran gives the command to Muslims to go and slaughter all non-Muslims, particularly the Jews and the Christians ("the People of the Book"). In fact, not 11 years after our Independance (1786) did Islam start terrorizing America:
America's two main diplomats at the time were John Adams in London and Jefferson in Paris.Together they called upon Ambassador Abdrahaman, the envoy of Tripoli in London, in March 1786. This dignitary mentioned a tariff of three payments--for the ransom of slaves and hostages, for cheap terms of temporary peace and for more costly terms of "perpetual peace." He did not forget to add his own commission as a percentage. Adams and Jefferson asked to know by what right he was exacting these levies. The U.S. had never menaced or quarreled with any of the Muslim powers. As Jefferson later reported to the State Department and Congress, "The Ambassador answered us that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners."
~ Christopher Hitches in “Time Magazine”
This statement is an example of how the quran is authoritative for behavior. Scripture is the sole authority for all things pertaining to life and godliness for biblical Christians (2Peter 2:1; 2Tim. 3:16-17).
4) "The giving of the Qur’an is in Islam what the incarnation of Christ is to Christianity."
This is in error. I don't know where Walls gets this from. No source is cited. Why he comes to that idea is beyond me. In doing some research myself, I don't see this comparison at all. Instead, its very similar: the quran is their book of authority as the Bible is for the Biblical Christian. Jesus Christ is the founder of Christianity. Muhammad is their founder and prophet whom they uphold in greatest esteem, without which there would be no Islam. There's a reason why they used to call Islam "Muhammadanism".
"Muslims refer to the Qur'an and the Sunnah of Muhammad as the basis for their religion. The Qur'an instructs Muslims to pattern their lives after Muhammad because he is thought to be the perfect pattern of conduct. To accomplish this task, Muslims study many volumes of the hadiths, because these books contain his sayings and behavior (Sunnah).
The prophet of Islam is considered by Muslims to have been the most perfect of men, in fact the most noble and perfect of all of Allah's creation, ashraf al-makhluqat. Allah bestowed upon him all the virtues and all the perfections which the human state is capable of possessing. As the Noble Qur'an states, he did not acquire the state of prophethood by himself but was chosen by Allah; furthermore, all of the virtues became perfectly actualized in him.
In fact, Muslims obey Muhammad as if they were obeying Allah. This shows the elevated place that Muhammad occupies: 'He who obeys the Messenger, obeys Allah. Sura An-Nisa 4:80' "
So you see, without Muhammad there is no Islam. Without Christ Jesus there is no Christianity. (Hebrews 12 says HE is the Author and Finisher of our faith.) Christianity follows Christ; moreover the biblical Christian worships Christ Jesus because He is eternally God the Son and deserves all worship.
A cartoon of Muhammad and the Muslim world riots for days which ends in death. But when the cross is placed in a jar of urine at an art gallery, its protected as "art" and no riots or worldwide threats of violence break out.
5) "If this is so, then Qur’an-burning is parallel to Christ-crucifying. So the Qur’an has been burned and the Christ has been crucified—and continues to be crucified." ~ Piper
The problem here is that the parallel is not accurate, as I have shown. Ironically for Halls, Noll, and Piper, its the quran that actually denies the crucifixion of Christ Jesus the resurrected Lord (Surah 4:157)!
Do I have to even state the obvious? To try to make any parallel between quaran burning and the Crucifixion of Christ is absolutely unfathomable. Jesus Christ IS God; the quran is a demonic book from Hell. Its to make the wrong assertion that the quran's importance to the Muslims is equivilant to the importance of Christ's crucifixion to Christians. Not only does it not make sense, its not even consistant with Islam and the Muslim world. Why not compare (if you really think you have to), apples to apples: the quran to the Bible; Muhammad to Christ; Jehovah to Allah?
6) Piper makes the comparison of the offense of Muslims at the burning of the quran to the crucifixion of Jesus. So I need to ask: How many Western "Christians" really are horrified at the Crucifixion of Christ? Muslims of course, are highly offended at the burning of their book or even a cartoon of Muhammad. But mindset of "Christians" regarding the Cross is: “Jesus loved me so much, He stretched out His hands…and died”. They see the Cross as about love; Scripture first portrays it as about the WRATH OF GOD (Is. 53; Matt. 27:45-46 for instance). Only when we see the real horror of the Cross, can we then get a glimpse into the price He paid and the love of Christ toward those He chose to purchase on that Cross. The Cross shows how HORRIFIC WE AND OUR SIN ARE, not how loveable, how valuable we are! So I don't see the comparison of the rage at the quran burning, to that of the crucifixion.
Lastly, I'm not against the burning of the quran. To burn that book just to raise the ire of the Muslims is unnecessary: one can just pass around a cartoon of Muhammad to do that. Of course, raising the ire of the Muslims deliberately by either action is unnecessary: proclamation of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and the thrice Holy Triune God is offensive enough to them. But let me show you something:
Act 19:18 Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. 19 And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So the word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily.
Those who CAME OUT of the occult/magic arts had such holy wrath against that which was idolatry and rebellion against the true God of creation, that they would have absolutely NOTHING to do with their old pagan religions. Moreover, they wanted to make a public display of their loyalty to the King who ransomed them, showing they'd rather give up the world and its religion and money, for the cause of the One Who died for them. That kind of quran burning would be acceptable, I believe; those saved OUT OF Islam should burn their qurans and haddiths and prayer rugs.