Thursday, January 14, 2010

Allah and Islam

I was browsing the blogs when I saw the following Q/A on Beggars All:
Do you think the Muslims worship the same God as Christians - that is, YHWH?

Many people have these same questions.

The short answer is no; the god of Islam is not the one true God of the Bible, who is a Tri-une (Latin: Tri – Unitas = “three in one”) God. Doctrinally, Islam rejects the Trinity and the Deity of Christ, so the doctrine of who Allah is in Islam is not the God of the Bible. They do not worship the same God because they don’t have the one mediator (I Timothy 2:5; John 14:6; Acts 4:12), Jesus the Messiah, the word of God from all eternity who became flesh. 


The fact of the matter is Muslims worship the God of Abraham.  The God of Abraham IS the same God Christians worship.  If we are going to distinguish gods "doctrinally" as Ken has done here, then we end up excluding everyone who does not worship and/or hold to the same "doctrines" as we do from worshiping the God of Abraham.  For example, Ken's "Jesus" does not give His physical body and blood in Holy Communion, so by Ken's standard we would have to say Ken worships a different god than True Christians worship, because Jesus did indeed declare the bread to BE His body and the wine to BE His blood.  These are not mere memorials in some 21st century rendering of "remembrance" - but moreso, in the 1st century and Judaic meaning of "remembrance."  (See earlier article on remembrance here).  So, if we use Ken's logic, then we, Catholics, should reject that Ken even worships the same Jesus as we do - and there is some merit to taking that stance, but in the bigger picture most Catholics (I would assume) would consider Ken to be a "separated brethren" and a Christian.

In Islam they do recognize Abraham and the story of him offering his son - and God sparing his son by providing the "scapegoat" at the last second before Abraham slays his son.  Where they begin to part from the Judaeo-Christian history is in the son whom Abraham is offering!  In Islam the son is Ishmael, not Isaac!  There is no historical precedence for changing this prior to the birth of Islam by the (false) prophet Mohammad in the 7th century after Christ, the Messiah, comes to "the Chosen People" of Israel.  However, the point here is that while they get the details wrong - they teach the same story!  The people of Islam have been lied to and after living that lie for some 1400 years now - it is so much part of their culture that it will not be easily done away with or just dismissed - as Ken apparently has done.

Ken continues:
However, Muslims are referring to the same concept (same referent) as the one Sovereign, Invisible creator of all things, who revealed Himself through prophets and books. (Monotheism with basis on the previous Scriptures, the Torah and the Gospel) They are claiming to worship the God of the Bible; but in reality they are not. They think they are worshiping the one true creator God, but they are not.
The Roman Catholic Catechism that says “the Muslims . . . together with us they adore the one, merciful God"; is wrong. (Catechism, # 841) They think they do because it is monotheism and has revelation and books, but without the Incarnation and the redemption of the atonement and resurrection, they cannot know God. They do not adore the God of Bible, because they cannot approach Him, nor come to know Him and His holiness without faith in Jesus Christ as the one mediator and Savior and Lord; God in the flesh. 

They (Islam) worship the God of Abraham.  Yes, doctrinally they go off on a tangent and get many of the facts wrong.  As for "getting facts wrong" too, what Ken cites is not the "Roman Catholic Catechism" (I'm not aware of a catechism with that title) but the "Catechism of the Catholic Church," commonly abreviated to "CCC."  It seems Ken may be obsessed with including "Roman" where it is not necessary (we cover that discussion in other articles).  Islam does indeed worship/adore the one, merciful God, regardless of Ken's denials and regardless of the fact that Islams has other doctrinal problems.

In the comments section related to that article, Ken says:
The Trinity is One God, from all eternity in three persons. Nothing physical; all Spiritual.
I have to take issue with that!  God IS physical as well as spiritual, especially in the Incarnation.  Ken then states:
The second person of the Trinity, the Word of God, the eternal Son of God, Jesus Christ, became flesh and dwelt among us. ( John 1:1-5; 1:14; Philippians 2:5-8)
So I don't know why he would say "nothing physical; all Spiritual."  Becoming flesh and dwelling among us explicitly states physical, unless Ken is denying the deity of Jesus Christ - but I believe he does not do that, so Ken apparently contradicts himself.

Back to the point here...  I repeat that if we're going to make distinctions on the doctrinal level, then we end up excluding all from worshiping the same God who do not share with us all our doctrines regarding God.  Ken paints himself into a corner here, or puts himself on a very small island theologically speaking.  It would be a much better approach to come to those entrapped in Islam with the fact that they DO possess a portion of the Truth and reach out to them with the fullness of truth and invite them to that fullness.  I also extend that invitation to Ken and the other hosts of Beggars All.

In JMJ,
Scott<<<

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for pointing that out; on "Nothing physical; all Spiritual" I obviously meant before the Incarnation in eternity past.

    I was trying to help Muslims understand; remember the context of my whole article. When we say Jesus is God or the Son of God; Muslims think we mean "a man became God", which is blasphemous, or that God has sex with Mary, which is also blasphemous.

    Better -
    "The Trinity is One God, from all eternity in three persons. There is nothing physical in God before the incarnation of Christ; all Spiritual in eternity past, and before Jesus was incarnated." Jesus did not have a body in eternity; God is Spirit, those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth".

    The second person of the Trinity, the Word of God, the eternal Son of God, Jesus Christ, became flesh and dwelt among us. ( John 1:1-5; 1:14; Philippians 2:5-8)

    Again, the CCC # 841 is wrong - they don't worship the true God; but they claim to and want to and think they are.

    He who does not honor the Son, does not honor the Father. John 5:23

    He who does not love the Son, does not love the Father. see John 5:42-43

    He who does not know the Son, does not know the Father. See John 8:18-19

    As for the Lord's supper, we respectfully believe you are wrong and Jesus does not incarnate again thousands of times a day all over the world and physically come into the bread and wine (or changes the elements into Himself) at RC churches when the priest says the words; sorry. That is just not what the Biblical text says at all.

    Anyway, thanks for challenging me and I will probably write another post that deals with some of your objections.

    Sincerely,
    Ken

    ReplyDelete
  2. > K: Thanks for pointing that out;
    > on "Nothing physical; all
    > Spiritual" I obviously meant
    > before the Incarnation in
    > eternity past.

    sw: I would still beg to differ with you. God is the ultimate in "physical" - as He created everything, physically.

    > K: I was trying to help Muslims
    > understand; remember the context
    > of my whole article. When we say
    > Jesus is God or the Son of God;
    > Muslims think we mean "a man
    > became God", which is
    > blasphemous, or that God has sex
    > with Mary, which is also
    > blasphemous.

    sw: I do understand what you're trying to do, and I hope to do more of that myself in coming days, weeks, months. My point is that you're losing your audience right off the bat when you start in with "your god is not the same as our God" argument. Certainly, there are doctrinal arguments which support you (and me) here, but again, if we're going to the "doctrinal level" then I can just as easily argue that your god is not my God too - for your Jesus doesn't DO what my Jesus DID and promises to DO.

    > K: Better -
    > "The Trinity is One God, from
    > all eternity in three persons.
    > There is nothing physical in God
    > before the incarnation of
    > Christ; all Spiritual in
    > eternity past, and before Jesus
    > was incarnated." Jesus did not
    > have a body in eternity; God is
    > Spirit, those who worship Him
    > must worship in spirit and
    > truth".

    sw: Again I assert that God IS physical and omnipresent in everything physical. I don't take that to the level of Earth-worship, but denying God physicality is to deny even our own existence. Yes, God IS a spiritual being, but He is not limited to that.

    > K: The second person of the
    > Trinity, the Word of God, the
    > eternal Son of God, Jesus
    > Christ, became flesh and dwelt
    > among us. ( John 1:1-5; 1:14;
    > Philippians 2:5-8)

    sw: No arguments there.

    (continued in next comment)

    ReplyDelete
  3. (Continued from previous comment)

    > K: Again, the CCC # 841 is wrong
    > - they don't worship the true
    > God; but they claim to and want
    > to and think they are.

    sw: Again, if you wish to take it to that "doctrinal level," then I should not even consider you to be a Christian nor worshiping the same Jesus I worship. You may "claim to and think you are," but at that level of doctrinal argument, you do not - for reasons already stated.

    > K: He who does not honor the
    > Son, does not honor the Father.
    > John 5:23
    >
    > He who does not love the Son,
    > does not love the Father. see
    > John 5:42-43
    >
    > He who does not know the Son,
    > does not know the Father. See
    > John 8:18-19

    sw: Again, no argument, but you're going at a different doctrinal level - and if you're truly trying to reach Muslims, all you're doing is pushing them away.

    > K: As for the Lord's supper, we
    > respectfully believe you are
    > wrong and Jesus does not
    > incarnate again thousands of
    > times a day all over the world
    > and physically come into the
    > bread and wine (or changes the
    > elements into Himself) at RC
    > churches when the priest says
    > the words; sorry. That is just
    > not what the Biblical text says
    > at all.

    sw: Well, it IS what the biblical text says, but you're proving my point here! You and I disagree on this "doctrinal level" - and therefore if you're going at THAT level, I should not even consider you to be a Christian or worshiping the same God I worship. I do not view you that way, but if I were to be taking the "doctrinal" stand you're taking, I would be forced to. Do you see my point?

    > K: Anyway, thanks for
    > challenging me and I will
    > probably write another post that
    > deals with some of your
    > objections.
    > Sincerely,
    > Ken

    sw: And I will probably respond! :-)

    I want to say, if I haven't made that clear - I'm not "opposing" you on this, as we're "on the same side" when it comes to dealing with Islam. Perhaps through constructive criticism we can help each other have better arguments.

    In JMJ,
    Scott<<<

    ReplyDelete

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