As I noted earlier today, I have taken issue in the past with those who confuse the Isa of Islam and the Jesus of Christianity. Willimon writes,
By the way, we do not take it a s compliment that Islam regards Jesus as a great prophet. Jesus is a prophet, but prophets, even the most truthful and courageous of them, cannot save. They can announce salvation, but they can’t do it. Jesus is not just preparing us for the last prophet, Muhammad; Jesus redeems us so that we are free to stop awaiting prophets to tell us what to do because a Savior has already acted in our behalf. Jesus is not simply the one who shows us the way; he is the way.
But, he goes on to note the use of the Qur’an as the intersection of God and Humanity in Islamic theology. And he rightly notes that some Christians have begun to see Scripture in the same light:
It appears that Muslims think of the Qur’an in the same way we think of Jesus. (I’ll admit that there are some Christians whose fundamentalist views of Scripture are more akin to Islam than Orthodox Christianity.) The Holy Qur’an, recited by Muhammad, is the way that Muslims get to a sovereign, majestic, exalted God who intersects history. The Crucifixion, so vehemently denied by the Qur’an (for it is outrageous for a true prophet to suffer such a fate) is for Christians a window into the heart of God. When we see God next to us, stooped toward us, in the much and mire with us in order to have us, that’s what Christians call God.
When we alleviate Scripture to the role of Christ – to the intersection of God and Humanity – then we must decrease the role of Christ. While this is not the main point of the passage here, I think that there is enough of a warning when people come to, unknowingly, worship Scripture as an idol in place of Christ.