It seems to me she's interpreting the verse as not advocating a corporal capital punishment of an apostate, but a capital divine punishment in the afterlife of an apostate, in saying "comes down to the mercy of Allah".
I'm sorry to come back to this (I'll drop it after this post, unless she responds herself), but isn't the effect the same? Dead is dead either way, and after death there is no repentance. I've been writing about effects because Poppy wrote about the side-effect of the murder (or some such), so I'm writing about other effects of that mindset that I think reveal something of the wide chasm between Christianity and Islam, which make it difficult to understand where Muslims are seeing this abundance of love and mercy in their religion (don't get me wrong, I would love for it to be there, I just don't see it).
I sympathize with the urge to question those verses. But there's a time and a place for those. At the same time, I really do believe it's more edifying for our souls to defend and clarify our faith, "But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you" (1 Peter 3:15). Let us not make the faith be about what the other religion isn't, but about what the gospel is.
Whatever the case may be, I don't think it's for her benefit that we waste our time on the usual polemics against Islam.
To be frank, I don't it's to anyone's benefit that they convert to Islam in the first place. Call that polemical if you want, but I too have been having these discussions with Muslims (both neophytes and born Muslims) for years, and the only substantial headway I have made has come about when (a) I've alerted them to the native expressions of Christianity as it is in the Middle Eastern land of its birth (which is helpful to dispel the myth that Christianity is somehow a "Western" religion), and (b) they've seen in my approach an uncompromising defense of the faith, as there are likewise some who see us as weak not only theologically, but in terms of our commitment to our religion (this came up a lot in the wake of the Muhammad cartoon debacle a few years ago, when they kept trying to say "But you don't understand the depth of our feelings towards our religion and our prophet, since you're a Christian and Christians don't care about their religion" -- it was then that I first began invoking the idea that Muslims don't have or get to have more feelings than the rest of us, which I have repeated on this board as necessary; either we're both made of the same "stuff", or they're something different and ultimately worse for the violent irrationality displayed by the worst of them in defense of their religion, and therefore all of them should be treated accordingly, since it is not in our interest to wait to be murdered by those who think they are acting in service of God just because not all of them would do that [to be clear, this is a polemic to make a point; I don't believe Muslims are ultimately any different than the rest of us, even if they think they are the best of creatures or whatever the exact Qur'anic wording is]).
I bolded three parts here. The first part is a given. I think Muslims would be just as sad (or violently angry depending on who you talk to) for anyone leaving their faith. It makes no difference to let them know that you're sad they left the faith. Just engage with them anyway. If you can't, you can't, then ignore and pray for them. But what difference does it make when you make known to them how unbeneficial it is for them to join a religion you strongly disagree with? Do you think they don't know that?
The second part you pointed at is of utmost importance! Let them rave about how we don't walk the talk. It's true a lot of the times. I'm convinced that if it wasn't for the schisms of the 5th century, Islam would have a very difficult time growing. We reap what we sow.
I know the urge to lash back and show them how they too have their own bad apples, but fight hard against the urge. Take the humble road, even on the third part I bolded, take the humble road. "Yes, we have our bad apples, and yes, I don't know how it feels to know your religion, but I know how it feels to believe in Christ, and I'd like to share that with you." I would hope the good among them would be impressed by that humble approach. It's more inviting.
And I'm not saying that humble discussions will convert them. I'm not going to leave here in the forums with the hope that I've accomplished a good defense and that I am sure that someone will convert. Please...I'm not that delusional. I only am doing what I feel is a Christian behavior, and only God will stir hearts in the end. In fact, I am convinced it's not the discussions that turns one into a Christian, it's the behavior that I convey. If I act like a Christian, I will surely become fishers of men. But if I condemn someone who is already convinced that my faith is wrong, then I only push them further away.
the most fruitful of discussions are ones that rely on the theological thoughts of the respective religions and more so the defense and clarification of our Christian faith in a loving way and a way that we can try to help a Muslim relate to the faith.
We speak very different theological languages, so while this is great when it is possible, I am not sure that I agree that it is always the source of the most fruitful discussions. You tell a Muslim that we believe in one God, and they just revert to the same Islamic distortion about our faith and how we have associated others with God. They really cannot countenance that the truth may be as the Christian puts it about our own belief, as that would mean that the Qur'an (and hence Muhammad and Allah) are wrong about something, and the whole house of cards just collapses (since Islam is built around "the book"). You've seen it in this very thread, in your own continued attempts to correct Poppy regarding Christian theology. You really think Muslims, particularly neophytes all fired up about their newest unchanging truth, are going to take correction from those they see their new religion as being the supreme corrector of? Please, Mina...
So what if they revert? I tried my best, but I'm not going to revert to the same tactics that they use. What difference does it make that I stoop to the level that continues to misrepresent someone's beliefs (I'm not talking about official beliefs of Islam, but a particular person's beliefs). When you get to the root of it all, you still want to have a discussion with the person, not a discussion with a religion. Let them revert, but I think this is the greatest opportunity where we can show forth our Christian behavior that we don't need to respond to their misrepresentations of our faith by misrepresenting their own PERSONAL beliefs. As much as the urge is there, resist it, because it's our actions, not our arguments, that will win hearts.