Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God?

A great article by Thomas Kidd here. Kidd discusses Miroslav Volf’s Allah: A Christian Response. Volf, a Yale Professor, is one of the most prominent Christian academicians.

Volf, like George W. Bush, answers the question affirmatively. Kidd seems not so sure. America's "key Founders" (the first 4 Presidents, Ben Franklin) like Volf and Bush, answered the question affirmatively. 

(As noted many times before, these Founders thought uncoverted Great Spirit worshipping Native Americans worshipped the same God they did. And the Great Spirit, unlike Allah, doesn't even claim to be the God of Abraham.) 

I saw Volf speak live last year at the CPS Conference at Gordon College. (Video of said presentation below.)


Tom Van Dyke said...

This is a silly argument. By these standards, Jews don't worship the same God either.

Yet the monotheists’ views of Jesus, the way of salvation, and the Trinity remain starkly different. (Volf also takes for granted that most of the world’s billion and a half Muslims do not endorse terrorism, an assumption I accept. But the relationship between Islam and violence remains more problematic than Volf may wish to admit.) Volf argues that Muslims have routinely misunderstood the doctrine of the Trinity as a form of polytheism, but the fact remains that traditional Muslims do not accept Jesus as the Son of God. For evangelical Christians, worshipping God in spirit and truth would surely require accepting his essential nature as one undivided God revealed in three persons, including the Son of God.

Jonathan Rowe said...

I can't believe when I originally wrote this I called him "Wolf."

I went back and reedited after seeing it on my iPhone. I must have read it 10 times before even noticing.

The mind works in mysterious ways.

Lee said...

If the basic, most fundamental claim of the monotheistic religions is true--that only one supreme being exists--then it seems to me that they do worship the same deity. They just disagree about the content of divine relation and who has possession of it.

If that basic claim if false--if no deity exists or multiple deities exist--then they do not worship the same one. Each deity then is only the product of the imaginations of the founders of each religious tradition.