Today, Catholics recall the Last Supper in the Mass. Christianity started as a Jewish creed in Land of Israel in the mid-1st century. The first Christians were Jewish and the early spread of Christianity was aided by the wide extent of the Jewish diaspora in the Roman Empire.
The Formal Structure of the Argument The rivalry between religions is obvious on a number of fronts: What drives these rivalries?
Social, political, economic, and other factors may play their parts. But underlying them all is a very different and deeper sort of rivalry. It is the logical rivalry, the logical incompatibility, that exists between the doctrines that define each of these religions.
This poses huge problems for any would-be spiritual pilgrim searching for religious truth. Right at the outset, one is faced with a huge number of possible candidates for belief.
To which religion should one pin one's faith? To which should one commit one's life here and now, and perhaps in the hereafter? The list of options does not stop there, of course. No religion is without its schisms and its sects. Settle on a major religion--Christianity, for instance--and the question still remains: Suppose you settle on Protestantism.
Then the question arises: Do you accept the gospel according to the Anglicans, the Unitarians, the Methodists, the Presbyterians, the Baptists, or the Pentecostals? Shall you embrace the "truth" as purveyed by faith healers such as Peter Popoff, whose "messages from the angels" were exposed as clandestine radio broadcasts from a trailer into the tiny hearing aid in his left ear, or the truth purveyed by White House evangelists such as Franklin Graham son of Billy Graham?
Franklin Graham made the doctrinal source of the neoconservative war in Iraq explicit when he claimed: The God of Islam is not the same God.
It's a different God, and I believe it is a very evil and wicked religion.
I knew that my God was a real god and his was an idol. Well over cults are presently active in North America alone. Why should not the truth lie with one or other of them?
Or with one of the older, now-forgotten religions? Mencken's essay " Memorial Service "  lists gods, each of whom was "of the highest standing and dignity And all are dead.
How can we be sure that one of these gods will not come again to reveal himself as the one and only true god? Can anyone, with justified confidence, suppose that the circumstances of his or her own birth, upbringing, or subsequent inquiries, are uniquely privileged so as to yield the correct view as to which of these gods, if any, really exists?
For those who are tradition-bound or otherwise blinkered in their beliefs, the question is easily answered: Don't get caught up in what the nineteenth century American philosopher William James called "the snarling logicality" of trying to decide between rival options.
Consider only that religion which is a "live option" for you--the religion of your fathers, or that of your peers--and bet your life on the possibility that it should turn out to be true. Otherwise, James argues, one might forfeit one's sole chance in life of "getting on the winning side.
How can one prudently place one's bets before one has looked carefully at the credentials of the rival candidates--not just the favorite ones but the dark horses as well?
The snarling logicality cannot so easily be dismissed. Betting on the Gods: Pascal's Wager Although the idea of placing one's bets in matters of religious belief originated with Islamic thinkers, it was presented most persuasively by the founder of probability theory, the seventeenth-century French mathematician Blaise Pascal.
In an argument that has come to be known as " Pascal's Wager ," Pascal argues thus: If we bet our lives on the hypothesis that God exists and this turns out to be true, then we win and will be rewarded with eternal bliss; while if it turns out to be false, we lose the bet but nothing else.
If, on the other hand, we bet our lives on the hypothesis that there is no such God, then we stand to gain little if we are right, but will suffer eternal torment if we are wrong.
Let us estimate these two chances.Jesus appears often in the Qur’an (in a total of 93 verses scattered throughout 15 suras or chapters), but with significant differences. The Qur’an refers to him as the “messiah,” but the word has a different theological import than in Christian thought.
I have long suspected that there has been and continuing sibling rivalry between the children of God, i.e. the eldest – the descendants of Abraham – the Jews through Isaac; the Muslims through Ishmael and the Christians through Jesus.
When I was a 32 year-old secular Sikh, I too came to respect admire the Catholic Church for the same reasons, so much so, that on the day I read John I fell to my knees at the same time, crying out, "My Lord and my God!".
Common knowledge of the Crusades states that it was one long war between Christians and Muslims, when in fact; there were several Crusades, between Christians, and all non-Christians. The first Crusade was the only successful Crusade, and was widely praised in Christian Europe.
“In May , in a joint message to their fellow Christians, the Catholic bishops of Senegal called attention to the ‘real efforts at understanding and dialogue between Christians and Muslims, the meeting between religious leaders’ which have been undertaken in your country.
The Muslims clearly passed on an intellectual heritage, which a number of scholars say laid the foundations for the modern Christian West. For more discussion of this, please see the book " Islam and the Discovery of Freedom by Rose Wilder Lane.
2. Muslim Spain versus Christian Spain. Many Muslims look back at Muslim Spain with pride.