Catholic Answers Press

Not Peace, But A Sword: The Great Chasm Between Christianity and Islam (Softcover Book)

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Islam...Is it a religion of peace?...Are Muslims an easy ally in the fight against global secularization and the culture of death?...Are their beliefs really so different than our own?

Some Christians view Islam as a sister religion, a branch of the same Abrahamic tree—lacking the fullness of revelation but nonetheless a religion of peace. Others are more critical of Islamic teachings but still see Muslims as valuable partners in the global fight against secularization and the Culture of Death.

 In Not Peace but a Sword, Robert Spencer argues they’re both wrong—and warns Christians against the danger of thinking that Islam is an easy ally.

Many Christian groups, including the Catholic Church, do recognize whatever is good and true in Islam, and their leaders rightly pursue peaceful accord and common ground with all religions. Spencer argues, however, that real peace can come only from truth. Where there is falsehood in Islamic doctrine, morals, and practice, papering over the truth actually hurts the cause of peace.

And so Spencer, the New York Times best-selling author of more than a dozen books dealing with Islam and the West, shines the light of truth on areas where Christians and Muslims don’t just quibble over small details but fundamentally disagree, including:

  • The character of God, Jesus, and divine revelation
  • The nature of truth and the source of moral law
  • Religious freedom and other basic human rights
  • Life issues, marriage, and sexual morality
  • The rights and dignity of women

He demonstrates how these differences are not academic but real-world. They are critical and drive Muslim behavior toward Christians and others. If we fail to open our eyes to these differences, we do so at our peril.


"Robert Spencer is a careful observer of Islam and a courageous voice on behalf of Christians. In his new book, Not Peace But a Sword, he shows Catholics how to take Islam seriously without falling into alarmism, hatred, or bigotry. He provides a needed corrective to the misinformation and disinformation propagated by so many media today."  —Scott Hahn, author of The Lamb's Supper, Understanding the Scriptures and many other books

"In Not Peace but a Sword, Robert Spencer carefully examines the multifaceted challenge posed to Christianity by an increasingly militant Islam. His case is calm, lucid, accurate, and uncompromising in its presentation of the facts of history. He provides an honest and unflinching account of the roots of Christian/Muslim tensions, a robust defense of Jesus Christ and Christianity in response to Muslim claims, and a sobering wake-up call to all Christians everywhere that objects in the mirror are closer (much closer) than they appear."Patrick Madrid, author of Envoy for Christ and host of The Patrick Madrid Show

"Dialogue with Islam may be the order of the day, but what exactly should we talk about? Before we can discuss what we, as Catholics, might have in common with Muslims, we had better be aware of the defining differences as they are understood by Muslims themselves. This is the invaluable service Spencer provides in this book, which directs our attention to what the Islamic revelational texts actually say and how they are understood by the majority of Muslims today. With his usual clarity and insight, Spencer gets to the essence of the problems that anyone who thinks we can talk our way out of the challenge Islam presents must face. Catholics need to know this material."Robert Reilly, author of The Closing of the Muslim Mind

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Additional Information

Robert Spencer
Softcover, 252 pages
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3 Reviews

  • 5
    Not Peace but a Sword

    Posted by El;aine Olden on Sep 20th 2023

    Makes the logical point I have always made on this subject: A good Muslim is a bad Muslim and vice versa.

  • 5

    Posted by Paul Curry on Jun 10th 2022

    If you still think Islam is the religion of peace, then you should read this book. Of course, as Catholics, we should treat all people with respect regardless of religion, but this book teaches you why you should use caution when entering into dialogue with Muslims when trying to 'build bridges'. As Christians, we want to build bridges, of course, but we also shouldn't be naive about the great chasm between Christianity and Islam, despite many similarities between the Bible and the Quran. I particularly liked the added debate at the end of the book between the author and Catholic professor of philosophy, Peter Kraft. It gives you an opportunity to see two different perspectives of Islam and definitely makes you ponder the realities of this 'mysterious' religion. Excellent and enjoyable read, if shocking at times. Recommended!

  • 4

    Posted by Jonathan V on Mar 13th 2021

    This book presents the clear differences between Christianity and Islam. It was well done, but at times I felt was a bit harsh. I understand why the author did that because he made his point well. But to me, it came off kind of the same way anti-Catholic protestant books portray the Catholic Church. At the same time though the author isn't lying about anything as anti-Catholic books do. He presents the truth of the violent and misogynistic history of Islam. The chapter on how men are able to marry girls as young as 9 years old was hard to get through. If you do purchase this be ready because it is eye-opening.

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