Specifically in contrast to Islam, to whatever degree those of us that are Western non-Muslims understand that religion, how does Christianity respond to this question: In God's love for humanity and desire to be known, loved, and obeyed by them, what has God given the world?
My interaction with many Christians suggests that they would say the Bible. Of course they would say that he has given us his Son as well, but this would be understood as God's way of satisfying his justice in forgiving our sins, not making himself known. To make himself known, much of evangelical preaching and teaching suggests, God has given us a divinely inspired and infallible book. If this is true, if the most important thing for us in knowing God is a book, then how is Christianity any better than Islam?
For me, our firm answer to this question must be that he has given us his very Self in coming to us as a man in Jesus Christ and uniting us to him through the Holy Spirit so that we are given to share in his humanity, including his mind so that we may know the Father as the Son knows the Father (1 Cor 2:6-16). Yes, the Bible is totally irreplaceable as the authoritative guide to knowing God in Christ, to test our thoughts and actions in light of Christ, and to guide our hearts to him through the proclamation of his acts of salvation within our history. However, we must say that without knowledge of Jesus Christ the Bible is utterly useless. It gives us absolutely no knowledge of God if we neglect its central exhortation while we read it, the exhortation to follow and worship Christ as Lord. Our reading of the Bible is only meaningful if done in pursuit of knowledge of Christ as Lord. Therefore, it seems to me that by every standard, Christ and his gospel must come first in any statement of Christian faith, whether ordered by importance, procession of logical argument, or protection of orthodoxy. Let Christ be our all in all. Let everything we do, including our reading of the Bible and acknowledgement of its authority, be only in service to him.