Thursday, February 28, 2008

Do Muslims Worship the Same God as Christians?

One of the first questions in the Q&A time at O.U. was posed by a sociology professor who had done work among Muslims in Indonesia. Her question was simple: "Do Muslims worship the same God as Christians?"

My summary answer was this: the short answer is no. I gave two brief reasons: (1) the NT insists that the one who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father (John 5:23); (2) the NT claims that Jesus is God. Since Muslims do not worship Jesus as God, I think it is misleading at best and damaging at worst to say that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.

Now admittedly that was a simple and short answer; there are more issues to be addressed. That is why I want to point your attention to a recent post by my friend Justin Taylor. He traces the recent important discussion of this question, complete with links to statements by Rick Love (former international director for Frontiers) and the responses by John Piper. These are crucial issues for us as evangelicals to undertstand and to be able to articulate.

5 comments:

danny2 said...

thankful you gave the short, clear answer.

obviously, we want to answer with grace, but you're right...we dare not confuse anyone into thinking there is a difference.

Tony said...

Those are two good answers. I have found that the central issues is defining words as all too often we assume we have the same definitions of "God" and "Jesus." Eve in talking to some Mormon guys that stopped by it took a lot longer than two answers to convince them that we were not talking about the same God or Jesus when we used those words. It is also not helpful when men who are perceived as knowledgeable confuse the definitions.

Keith said...

Thanks for the link to Justin Taylor's article. It is a very good analysis.

I'd like to chime in here with just four thoughts: (1) God, Who is at essence trinitarian cannot be the same god who is in essence unitarian - impossible! (2) Whenever I have used the Hebrew name Yahweh for God in conversation with Moslems they are the ones who tell me that is not their god. Maybe the ones I have been with are not a large enough sample to be representative, but I do think a survey of the Biblical names for God teaches us something about the difference. (3) On my recent trip to Africa I had occasion to ask a group of former Moslems who have trusted in Christ this same question. All of them, without exception, answered that the god of Islam is not the same God as the God of the Bible. They know they now have a different God than they previously acknowledged. (4) When the Biblical attributes of God are compared to the attributes of Allah in the Quran and Islamic tradition, it is obvious that Allah bears more resemblance to Satan than to God.

The_Alien said...

While I agree with you, I don't find your answers sufficient.

1. Do the Jews, then, worship a different G-d? Certainly not- though they do not honor our G-d, they speak of the same as we do. You have only demonstrated that there are two options- they worship G-d incorrectly, or they worship another G-d.

2. You didn't list a verse for your second point, for good reason- it's never just outright said, only seemingly implied (at least, according to this layman's research thus far).

I find it very western to so easily call Jesus, G-d, and find it only a product of systematic theology- while there is certainly an interesting intermingling of Jesus identity with our G-d, it is very mysterious. Simply calling Jesus G-d oversimplifies a mystery, to make it palpable.

It cannot be grasped; why not just accept it for the mystery it is?
================================

For us, we can know that Mohammad did not worship our G-d; he was truly a vile man, and did terrible things. The Koran does not line up with the bible, this is plainly evident. If Muslims then claim to follow the G-d of Mohammad, we can be sure we follow a different G-d, because Mohammad did not honor our G-d.

K

Gabriel said...

Allah is a God that Mohammad chose from 360 lunar gods. the God they serve is the god Satan,lucifer,the devil, that old deceiver which will take them to a eternal hell forever one religion is not as good as another.There is only one way and thats Gods way through his only begotten Son Jesus Christ.Jesus said I am the way, the truth and the life no man cometh to the father but by me .False gods ,false gospel,leads to a real hell