Apologetics Books Islam

Do Muslims and Christians Worship the Same God – AP

This weeks AP column is a sort of review of Andy Bannisters excellent new book Do Muslims and Christians Worship the Same God. 

Do Muslims and Christians Worship the Same God?

The woman in the hijab was surprised.  She approached me after a Muslim/Christian debate and asked if she could talk to me.  I jokingly asked if her husband was present and would she be allowed to. ‘Yes, he’s over there, but he’s not that smart’ was the somewhat stereotype-breaking reply!   ‘Do you really believe that there is one God,  that He is the Creator of heaven and earth, that the Bible is the Word of God, that there is a heaven and hell?”   “Yes – of course”.  “You are the most unusual Christian I have ever met – you are almost a Muslim!”.   She had been to many such debates and her impression from the Christians who were present is that they were so wet, confused and unsure of their faith, that she wondered whether they believed in God at all.

Another time I was in a similar debate when I was angrily attacked by a ‘Christian’ from the audience, who said I was a disgrace to Christianity for not accepting that Christianity and Islam were in essence the same.  Before I could respond, my Islamic opponent stood up and said to my accuser;  “Sir, I know what David believes; I know what I believe.  We agree to disagree.  But I haven’t a clue what you believe.  We are not the same.”

It’s a commonplace in society and amongst more ‘liberal’ Christians that Muslims and Christians worship the same God.   Andy Bannister in his new book Do Muslims and Christians Worship the Same God? gives a couple of examples of this thinking.  The journalist Giles Fraser, who is also an Anglican vicar, states: ‘Christians should remind themselves that Muslims are our brothers and sisters with whom we share a faith in the living God.”   President Joe Biden argued during his election campaign: ‘I wish we taught more in our schools about the Islamic faith . . . [What people] don’t realize is that we all come from the same root here in terms of our fundamental, basic beliefs’.

I share President Biden’s desire that we should learn more about the Islamic faith. The less you know about Islam, the easier it is to assume that we worship the same God.  Which is why I would highly commend Dr Andy Bannister’s book.  It’s written with his usual clear style and dry wit, but is a mine of information. It presents a consistent and biblical argument, which clearly demonstrates that we do not worship the same God.

I suspect that Joe Biden was not thinking about educating people to think for themselves and to examine the primary sources (i.e., the Koran, hadith and the Bible), but rather to accept a sanitised ‘made for/by the progressive West’ version of Islam and indeed a sanitisied made for/by the progressive West’ version of Christianity.  But as Christians we have a different methodology.  We don’t start with what we would like to be true, and then make things fit into that.  We look for what is true – irrespective of what we feel or want.

Andy summarises the key question well. “In a similar way, it is perfectly possible for Muslims and Christians to agree entirely that God exists – even to agree on some of God’s functions (creating, ruling, judging). But that’s not enough; rather, we must ask about the identity of the god that Muslims and Christians believe in and see how well the descriptions line up.”

There are many differences in the kind of God that we believe in.  But by far the biggest is the contrast between the Islamic doctrine of Tahweed and the Christian teaching of the Trinity.   Islam teaches not only that there is but one God but that this God is oneness.   They regard the Christian idea of distinctions within God – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – as blasphemous.  It is the very heart of the Christian faith to follow Jesus Christ as Lord (God).  It is the very heart of the Islamic faith to deny that.   How then can it be logically or coherently argued that we worship the same God?

Andy Bannister was on a recent version of the Unbelievable podcast where he had a fascinating debate with Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon from Nigeria on this question.  It is revealing to see how the Archbishop argues his unbiblical case. There were so many contradictions.

The Archbishop states that “It’s not my job to judge”, but then goes on to say that we are to judge people by their fruits – not facts or doctrines.  He disparages education, but then it becomes apparent that his education at the University of Durham is what drives his confused theology.  He says we are to be ‘witnesses’, but witnesses to which God?  The Triune God who sent his Son, or the Islamic God who condemns all those who say that he has a son?   The Archbishop accuses Andy: “You are judging me from your Christian understanding”.  To which the obvious reply is “Yes, of course.  What else would you expect a Christian to do?  You are a Christian Archbishop – are you not supposed to proclaim the Word of God and judge, i.e., take your doctrines and standards from that?”.

The Archbishop tells us that Christians and Muslims in Nigeria have a mutual position of respect.  Yet in the past 5 years more than 11,500 Christians have been killed by Islamist militants, four million displaced and 2,000 churches burnt?  It’s a strange concept of ‘respect’!

If the Archbishop worships Jesus as God, then he is not worshipping the same God as Muslims; if he does not worship Jesus as God, then he is not a Christian.    “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved”  (Acts 4:12).

One time I was asked to take part in a debate in a local mosque with an Imam, a pagan and a Bahai (sadly this reflects somewhat accurately the Islamic view of the state of religion in Scotland).  After the debate a number of young Islamic men approached. “David…you believe in one God.  You are not a pagan.  You destroyed the pagan and the Bahai.  If it were not for Jesus, you would be a Muslim”.  To which my response was “Thank Allah for Jesus!”.   At which point the senior Imam, hurried his young men away – lest they be corrupted by this ‘idolater’.

Christians do not, and should not, hate Muslims.  Our desire is to love our Islamic neighbours and friends.  Which is why we want to share the greatest gift we have to offer – the Lord Jesus Christ.  Islam offers no forgiveness, no assurance and no God of love.  Christ does.  And we should offer Christ.

In addition to Andy Bannister’s new book I would highly recommend a book by the Australian writer and evangelist, Samuel Green.  Where to Start with Islam – a new Approach to Engaging with Muslim Friendsis the best and most helpful I have ever read on this subject.

We want to engage in respectful and loving dialogue with our Islamic friends.  But to do so does not mean that we confuse, change or distort the truth of Christ.  It does mean that we listen, understand and present Christ.  In many parts of the world, Muslims are turning to Christ.  Some regard the presence of so many Muslims (around 700,000) in Australia as a threat.   The Church should regard it as an opportunity to show the love of Christ to Muslims and to introduce them to the God they worship as unknowable.

A.S.K 35 – Islam and Love

Islamaphobia – Christian Today

Martyn Iles and the Opportunity of the Tweets of Prejudice -AP

59 comments

  1. A (conservative, evangelical) Anglican minister I heard once argued this way: we both worship the same God in the sense that it is the God of Abraham but our relationships with this God are very different. They do not know God through Christ and do not therefore have the same personal relationship with God and understand Him as Father as we do.

      1. Would you say we worship a different God to the Jews? – who also do not worship Jesus and would disagree strongly with the idea The Trinity. Jesus called the religious leaders of his day ‘sons of their father the devil’ made it clear he thought they had not entered the kingdom – but never said they worshipped a different God.

      2. Would you care to disclose who you think that ‘different being’ actually is?

      3. On second thoughts that minght be unnecessarily dangerous, so forget I asked.

      4. There are similarities between Jehovah and Baal. Elijah was very much against regarding them as the same being.

        To claim that Muslim allah and the God of the Bible are the same, is logically identical to saying that Jehovah and Baal are the same. There are similarities – but there is no identity.

    1. I understand what you are saying, Pastor.

      By extension, would you say the same thing about unitarian “Christians”?

  2. I would like to suggest two other books by Australians… Mosques and Miracles, by Stuart Robinson and ‘Which God? Jesus, Holy Spirit, God in Christianity & Islam’, by Mark Durie
    Both writers have extensive experience in reaching out to Muslims.

  3. “Islam teaches not only that there is but one God but that this God is oneness. They regard the Christian idea of distinctions within God – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – as blasphemous. It is the very heart of the Christian faith to follow Jesus Christ as Lord (God). It is the very heart of the Islamic faith to deny that. How then can it be logically or coherently argued that we worship the same God?

    … He says we are to be ‘witnesses’, but witnesses to which God? The Triune God who sent his Son, or the Islamic God who condemns all those who say that he has a son?…

    If the Archbishop worships Jesus as God, then he is not worshipping the same God as Muslims; if he does not worship Jesus as God, then he is not a Christian.”

    I am not trying to be controversial or a smart-aleck here but doesn’t all of this apply to Judaism too?

    Surely we would say we worship the same God as the Jews though, even though we have a Trinitarian understanding of Him and accept Jesus as His Son and Messiah, whom they tragically reject.

    What, if anything, prevents you from applying yhese same arguments to the Jews? Genuinely curious. Thanks.

    1. I would apply those same arguments as does Jesus, you are of your Father the devil. The point is that although there are hints of the Trinity in the NT, it is only through Jesus that that is fully known. This is why he was crucified. For claiming to be the Son of God.

  4. Isn’t this question a bit of a distraction from the main issue ?
    If a Muslim were to say to me : “I believe in the God who created the world, created Adam and Eve, sent Abraham, Noah, David and Jesus and will one day judge the world. Do you believe in this God or a different one, what would you say?”
    I would say : “Yes, I believe in that God. But I believe that Islamic doctrine gives a distorted view of him, which underplays his love, denies the complexity of his being as eternally three-in-one, and denies the gospel of Jesus Christ, which alone can offer us hope of salvation and eternal life.”
    I therefore answer “Yes” to the basic question, because I don’t want my muslim friend to go away thinking I worship some sort of less-than-the-Creator idol or demon. I believe there are some true things that Muslims believe about God which we can affirm before we get on to the very fundamental things which divide us. If some other Christians think that it’s clearer or more persuasive to go straight into confrontation, by denying that we worship the same God, that’s not a big problem for me. But why make such a big deal of it ?
    Isn’t the much more important question : “Can we be reconciled to God through Islam?”

    1. No – the question of who God is is central. Which ‘god’ you are reconciled to. Muslims understand that. Sadly many Christians don’t

      1. Then why are you unable to demonstrate, with irrefutable evidence, to Muslims that Jesus is also God, and the Trinity is fact rather than a concocted doctrine based on the beliefs of some, but not all, Christians?

  5. Well put David. I agree. And if Christians knew nothing else at all, Acts 4:12 is the definitive clincher.

  6. Steve Turner summed up the zeitgeist in his poem “Creed” back in the 70s:

    “We believe that all religions are basically the same,
    at least the one that we read was.
    They all believe in love and goodness.
    They only differ on matters of
    creation sin heaven hell God and salvation.”

  7. This is the previous send – with some typos corrected:-
    Thank you.

    There is one truth in Christianity, that stands alone from all religions: God loves all mankind enough to die for each and every one of us human beings. * This divine love that would die for us is true of God even more than it is true for earthly parents loving our children enough to die for them. God’s creatures and the whole creation and universe are to feel very safe for eternity with such a God of such love as this, and have hearts fully converted by such love. For this truth of the God of the universe to be revealed and become visible to the creation it was only possible through the Incarnation and the Cross. The outcome is victory across the entire universe: the whole universe has now seen the incarnation and Calvary take place on this earth, and it brings peace to the whole universe.
    The Apostle Paul says: “For God was pleased to have all his (God’s) fullness dwell in him (Christ) and through him to reconcile all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace though his blood, shed on the cross.” (Colossians 1:20). The Apostle Paul stated: “For Christ’s love compels us, because we (Christians) are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died (for their sins)” and: “God was in Christ not counting men’s (all mankind’s) sins against them.” (2 Corinthians 5:14,19). The Apostle says: “while we (humans) were still sinners (and enemies of God) Christ died for us”. (Romans 5:8,10). This love that would die for us (and forgive us) while we were still enemies of God is a singular and glorious truth of Christianity and is the wondrous Good News at its core. All of the human race for all of human history has been died for by God, whether atheists or Muslims, or Jews, or pagans, and whether they know or knew about it (none did before Calvary) or believe it or not. All Muslims are loved enough by God to be died for by the Creator of the universe. This is the belief of Christians about God’s love for Muslims, and indeed about God’s love for all of mankind. The kingdom of darkness consists of killing enemies, the Kingdom of God’s glorious light is loving enemies enough to die for them. Calvary calls the whole universe into God’s kingdom of light, where God dies for us in Christ. Christ said “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. … because God is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” (Luke 6:27,35) God is kind to the wicked! WHOSE GOD IS THIS? Is it an invented god? Who would invent such a God? Christianity’s core truth is that God loves enough to die for all mankind in Christ, every human being on earth who has ever lived. The Son of God through His death, with forgiveness on his lips for his torturers and killers while he was dying, has changed all human history into eternity to come and also the whole future of the universe, into the safety of divine love. John the Baptist seeing Jesus coming towards him said to the crowd: “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29). Feeling loved enough to be died for is God’s goal for every creature in His creation, men and angels. The victory for God’s goal was achieved at Calvary. We are now invited to become believers in such a love, and not to doubt through all life’s troubles and hardships. (*Note: – This makes it the impossible religion for humans to invent or make up – or to live up to?) (- Footnote to fellow Christians: – all died for does not necessitate universalism.)

    1. God loves all mankind enough to die for each and every one of us human beings.” Two questions. Is that true? (where do you get it from?)…and secondly why do you think that this statement is impossible for humans to invent or make up?

      1. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TWO QUESTIONS. “God loves all mankind enough to die for each and every one of us human beings.” Two questions. Is that true? (where do you get it from?)…and secondly why do you think that this statement is impossible for humans to invent or make up?”
        Your first question:
        2 Corinthians 5:14 “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all.”
        John 3:16 “God so loved the world.
        1 John 2:2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins ( Christians’), and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”
        Islam does not have such a God, even Judaism does not have God doing such an unthinkable action of love.

        Your second question: “Impossible for any humans to invent or make up” – this might be more helpfully worded: “impossible for anyone to ever imagine.” Even the Jewish people worshipping the true God, did not imagine that God would love us enough to die for us incarnated, and no Jewish prophet or priest or king in the old Testament ever prayed or thought of praying: “God send your son to die for our sins.” The pagans with their invented god’s of superstition had god’s who punished us for our evil, not who died for us for our sins.
        The famous sermon of Jonathan Edwards: “Sinners in the hands of an angry God” had the reverse happening at Calvary” – at Calvary it was “God in the hands of angry sinners”, and doing the unimaginable – forgiving them, -unimaginable, and unable to ever be invented.
        Has any religion on earth among any tribe on earth had a god who would die for us when/after we did wrong?” Islam does not have such a God, even Judaism does not have God doing such an unthinkable action of love.
        David in the Old Testament had God as a caring loving God looking after his sheep: “The Lord is my shepherd”. Christ then went further and said “I am the good shepherd , the good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.”
        All religions apart from Christianity worship God or gods who do not die for the people of this world “while we are sinners and enemies of God”.
        This could not be invented by the human mind, but only revealed in history by God actually doing this in Christ Jesus at the Cross.
        Atheists, and good honest and honourable atheist say that all religion is superstition and invented, but the truth at the centre of Christianity – God dying for sinners – could never be invented, or be the product of superstition; and Christians themselves find it hard to believe that all mankind is loved enough to be died for by God in Christ, in divine love. This is beyond human comprehension and beyond inventing even as some idea of an ideal god, let alone coming from a “superstition”.

      2. There are Christians who argue that world does not mean every single individual and that those for whom Christ died (and suffered their Hell) will always come to him.

  8. MC: Dear ladies and gentlemen, welcome to our special dialogue between leading Islamic Scholar (insert name) and Free Presbyterian Minister David Robertson. Thank you both for joining us as we look at the very important topic of whether Muslims and Christians worship the same God?

    Islamic Scholar: Thank you for having me. It is an honour.
    DR: Likewise. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak.

    MC: I am so glad you are both here. To start the discussion, I would like to begin by asking you both the same question. The question is this:

    “Is Jesus God?”

    Islamic Scholar and DR both answer at the same time …

    Islamic Scholar: “No!”
    DR: “Yes!”

    MC: Well thank you both once again for taking the time to speak with us and answering the question “Do Muslims and Christians Worship the Same God” so clearly.

    Islamic Scholar: Thank you for having me. It is an honour.
    DR: Likewise. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak.

  9. Central to this is surelly what God says about himself “I am the Lord, and beside me there is no other”
    The Lord created the world, Abraham etc, and not Allah. Allah does not exist, and believing he does alters nothing. Islam has misunderstood the nature and character of the Lord. So has Judaism, in its own way.

  10. Part of the confusion/ Satan’s sleight of hand seems to be this. The Lord is God’s name. God is his job description. Allah doesn’t seem to have a name. Allah just means God. He is depersonalised.

  11. Unitarian Christians are not Christians – they are deists.

    And Catholics consider you, David are not a true Christian either, but rather a heretic.
    Odd how the world works, isn’t it?
    🙂

    1. That shows how little you know Catholics – every Catholic I have met – from ordinary punter to Archbishops have no problem in recognising I am a Christian….Perhaps you should refrain from commenting in ignorance…?

      1. Here we go … from the horse’s mouth as it were.

        However, in the second half of the century, and especially in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church, in the spirit of ecumenism, tended to diminish the effects of Protestantism as a formal heresy by referring to many Protestants who, as material heretics, “through no fault of their own do not know Christ and his Church”,[34] even though the teachings of Protestantism are indeed formally heretical from a Catholic perspective. Modern usage in ecumenical contexts favors referring to Protestants as “separated brethren”

        I’ll accept your apology if you are man enough to offer one.

      2. You’ve just literally posted something which says that Catholics accept us as Christian brothers in order to prove that Catholics do not accept us as Christians – sometimes I wonder if you read what you post!?

  12. Hello. I have read some of the other comments and they are not particularly useful or intelligent. What we need to remember is that Islam is a religion started by the self appointed prophet Muhammed in the early 7 century. There is no way that you can say that both Jews and Muhammed share Abraham as common ancestor. There is no historical or other evidence that Muhammed is a descendent of Abraham. Therefore Islam is a manufactured religion that does not worship our God.

    1. It is normally accepted by most people that the Arab people (including Mohamed) are descendants of Ishmael and so – sons of Abraham

      1. Even so, see Galatians 4 and Isaiah 54. Being “in Christ” makes us part of the spiritual family of God, whilst the physical descendants are not.

  13. I mentioned the question about the Jewish religious leaders at the time of Jesus because I thought (!) it was obvious that Jesus was not saying that the God that was His Father and that He spoke of (and clearly claimed to be) was NOT different to the one that they claimed to worship. He says that their scriptures are all about Him. The apostles argument is not that the Jews were so wrong in their thinking about God that they had to say – We are preaching a different God” but “God who made Heaven and earth has come to us and revealed Himself perfectly in Jesus”. This has enough conflict within it without us having to say we worship a different God!

    All of us have views of God that fall short – He is Greater, more Holy, more Loving, Wiser, and Terrifying than we have possible imagined – we will all be wrong in some way in our understanding of his sovereignty or His essential unity (we too as Christians believe God is One and cannot be separated into parts, and we too believe that God dwells in unapproachable light). Our falling short in these things does not mean we will meet a ‘different’ God when at last we see Him – it only means we see in part, through a glass dimly. Christians, because of the light of the revelation of Jesus, see clearer than Muslims (and Jews) and it is our great privilege and joy to be able to lovingly share that.

    1. When Muslims state that those who believe that Jesus is God are blaphemers and denying God – are they wrong? Are they claiming we worship the same God?

      1. I suppose that is why I brought up the Jews in the time of Jesus. They called his claims blasphemous and killed him for it. But clearly Jesus’ message was not “I’m talking about a different God “. I think it is enough to say “No God is not like that – He is like this”

      2. Really – would you like to name the Muslims that think Jesus is God?

        – Clearly no Muslims think Jesus is God. No Jews (in the sense of those following Judaism) think Jesus is God. Yet we worship the same God as the Jews. In my experience (living in a Muslim country) most Muslims think that Christians worship the same God as they do – but that we are fundamentally wrong about Jesus.

    2. – but that we are fundamentally wrong about Jesus.

      Hello, Tim.
      Do you consider the character Jesus of Nazareth to be Yahweh (God) in human form?

  14. Wow !!! This is heavy David !!!!

    It’s a difficult one …

    There are two masters to believe in = Jesus or Satan.

    I remember studying about what Jehovah Witnesses believe while attending Bible College ….I called out to God ….crying because these people can be so devout ,so loyal and I cried to God it’s not fair they were born into these ,beliefs,cultures etc especially Muslims …

    I remember realising if we accept Jesus as our personal Saviour then all the rest serve the other master .

    We must Respect the Muslim as you have suggested David ,no one is better than anyone else .However we must preach the gospel and LOVE in CHRIST.

    Romans 1 v16 – Salvation first to the Jew and then the Gentile ♥️

  15. Not to mention locking them up in prison, denying them food aid, killing them and banning the bible. Oh and killing muslim converts to christianty.

  16. Here’s another discussion:

    https://www.npr.org/2015/12/20/460480698/do-christians-and-muslims-worship-the-same-god

    “Most mainstream Muslims would generally agree they worship the same God that Christians — or Jews — worship. Zeki Saritoprak, a professor of Islamic studies at John Carroll University in Cleveland, points out that in the Quran there’s the Biblical story of Jacob asking his sons whom they’ll worship after his death.

    “Jacob’s sons replied, ‘We will worship the God of your fathers’ — Abraham, Ishmael and Isaac. He is the God,” Saritoprak says. “So this God that Jacob worshipped, this God that Abraham, Isaac worshipped, is the same God that Muslims worship today.”

    Christians, however, believe in a triune God: God the father, God the son (Jesus Christ) and the Holy Spirit. And many evangelicals will say that means Muslims and Jews do not worship the same god as Christians.

    “The question basically comes down to whether one can reject Jesus Christ as the Son and truly know God the Father,” says Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. “And it’s Christ himself who answered that question, most classically in the Gospel of John, and he said that to reject the Son means that one does not know the Father.””

    1. Hi, Alan
      Of course, this depends on whether one accepts the veracity of the claim in gJohn.
      This is where it becomes tricky as the text is anonymous and verifiable evidence is completely lacking.

      1. I do not know for sure how I would, as a Christian, have responded to the Emperor’s demand to treat him as a god. Being eaten by a lion is not a very pleasant prospect. Nor is being crucified. Nor any of the other delights that the Romans, from time to time, inflicted on Christians who would not offer sacrificies to the emperor. But I think it is beyond dispute that there were many Christians who were prepared to be eaten by lions, etc. And that goes for many of the earliest Christians, including several apostles. If I am convinced that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and I am not 100 percent certain I would be prepared to undego the torments of martyrdom (since nobody can be sure unless they actually face the prospect) I can be pretty certain that nobody is going to suffer martyrdom if they KNOW that the whole thing is a fiction.

  17. Re this topic , the Falklands War quip by an Argentinian intellectual comes to mind , viz., ” two bald men fighting over a comb,”

  18. To the liberal Christian (if that is not an oxymoron) God is simply love. He then wants to jettison all the dogmas of Christianity. But only by believing in the Trinity can God be held as love since who could God love before he created human beings? The Son, of course. So throw out the Trinity and you can’t have ‘God is love’. If God IS love, He must exercised that love for all eternity, not just since he created Adam. And this is the fundamental difference between Christianity and Islam. For the Christian, God is a Father (Abba) and we are His sons. For the Moslem, God is a Master (Allah) and we are his slaves. As Scott Hahn puts it, Christianity and Islam aren’t simply different routes up the same mountain. They are ascending different mountains. “We’re talking about ascending into a Heaven where we experience the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, not each man being given 70 virgins.”
    “Slaves and Sons” Dr. Scott Hahn
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbr-T5DE9vg

    Rod Bennett, in his book, “The Apostasy That Wasn’t” sees Islam as a religion that can be traced back to fourth century Arianism. (Arianism was the denial of the Incarnation.) The same idea is to be found in Hilaire Belloc’s book, ‘The Great Heresies’.

  19. So I don’t disagree regarding the God of the Bible being different from Allah in Islam.
    I do think the argument about Jews is a bit more nuanced than it is here.
    The key points are simple:
    1) Jesus Himself was a Jew
    2) The heroes of the faith pre Jesus weren’t necessarily even Jewish but they directly led to the Jewish people, if they weren’t Jewish themselves. Examples being Noah, Abraham, Moses, David etc. We of course know salvation is by faith not animal sacrifices.
    3) The church for the first 90 years or so was considered a Jewish sect.
    4) The OT, Jewish Bible, mentions God, Yahweh, The Spirit and it’s clear from prophecy they are awaiting a redeemer. They somehow missed Jesus.
    So what does this mean? Well I think it’s clear that the God of the OT is the same God as the NT. The problem isn’t what God they worship but how they worship him and how they know Him. God hasn’t changed so the question remains if some of the OT giants of the faith knew God then we have to assume there is something wrong post Jesus.
    Essentially they know who God is (much like I know who Tom Cruise is but I don’t know him) but they deny who His totality is. It’s like believing 1 man is a family despite him having a wife and child. They expect him to marry and have a child but reject the current wife and child.

  20. The Jews really are like the Prodigal Son, aren’t they? Beloved by God but living in prideful rebellion. Let us pray they return to the Father soon.

    If the Muslims do not worship the same God as us, is it possible/likely that the al-Aqsa Mosque on Temple Mount is the Abomination of the Desolation spoken of that will appear there before the Second Coming?

  21. Lady Bracknell: “Is this Miss Prism a female of repellent aspect, remotely connected with education?”

    The Rector (Somewhat indignantly): “She is the most cultivated of ladies, and the very picture of respectability.”

    Lady Bracknell: “It is obviously the same person.”

    (Oscar Wilde, “The Importance of Being Earnest”)

  22. David – although you DON’T need to print this first part of my comment, you DO need to go back and correct your typo – (whether you choose to use “ee” or “i” for the vowel is your choice),
    But the “w” comes BEFORE the “h”!! – The usual form is “tawhid” NOT “tahweed”(sic!)

    (i.e., where you wrote: “There are many differences in the kind of God that we believe in. But by far the biggest is the contrast between the Islamic doctrine of Tahweed and the Christian teaching of the Trinity.”)

    ——————————————————————————–
    ——————————————————————————–

    „Judaism“ (in its modern sense) is not the religion of the Old Testament!

    By it’s own admission, modern (rabbinic; Orthodox) Judaism is the direct linear descendant of the teaching of the Pharisees, a tradition which was already developing by the time of Jesus, and which human traditions Jesus condemned on multiple occasions in the strongest possible terms, as being a corruption, and a negation, and a nullification of the Word of God!
    Cf. Mark 7:8,9,13

    Of the two modern religions, Christianity and Judaism, which both added significant new doctrine to that explicitly contained in the Old Testament / (comprehended by believers in Old Testament times), Christianity is the older, more original of the two, it’s canon having been closed (writing completed) by around 100 A.D.

    Whereas the tradition of the Pharisees, which became encoded in the Talmud, wasn’t completed until roughly 600 A.D. (It of course claims to be the oral Torah, which it is claimed was given to Moses SIMULTANEOUSLY with the written Torah of the Old Testament. In those regions where there is freedom of religion, you are of course free to believe that if you choose, but hey, if you believe that, then I can also get you a FANTASTIC deal on the Brooklyn Bridge!)

    But modern Judaism is NOT the religion of the Old Testament, preserved in amber, as it were, that simply hasn’t accepted Jesus. And modern Judaism is not the “elder brother” or “origin” of Christianity!

    Islam is a heretical, post-Christian cult, just like the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Mormons – but much older and much larger – but arising out of, (or on the fringes of), and deliberately rejecting central tenets of Christianity.

    There is only one true God. Many people – including some who falsely claim to be Christians – have false conceptions about Who God actually is / concerning His nature and attributes, character, characteristics.

    Claiming that “Allah” is not God is a red herring.

    “Allah” is simply the Arabic word for “God”. (A Semitic language cognate of “El”, as in “Elohim”.) Used for centuries by Arabic-speaking Christians BEFORE Muhammad ever came upon the scene. (And still used by Arabic-speaking Christians, also in all the standard Arabic translations of the Bible. (Specious claims that Allah is actually a demon, or was originally a moon god, or whatever are irresponsible, but are frequently repeated by ignorant Christians.)

    The Germanic cognate words for “God” (English; “Gud” in Scandinavian; “Gott” in German, etc.) supposedly had to be invented (or adopted, and filled with new meaning) at the time of the first missions work among the Germanic peoples, because the two extant terms (for the two different types of deities, the Æsir, and the Vanir), which the Germanic peoples were familiar with up to that time, were both felt to be unsuitable and inadequate for communicating the Biblical concept of God.

    However, Muhammad’s / the Quran’s / Islam’s definition and concept of God / of Allah is a false understanding of the nature and character of God, and Who God is!

    So the content which many people associate with the word “Allah” is false, because their thoughts have been polluted by the false teaching of Islam. But many people in the “Christian” West also have completely false concepts of “God”. And many Jews, who refuse to write the vowel in English (viz. “G-d”), or only refer to Him as “Ha-Shem” (“the Name”) also now have a completely distorted concept of Who the God of the Bible is.

    While the Quran / Islam does not believe that Christ is God, or died on the cross, it is not anywhere near as violently, virulently, specifically (blasphemously) anti-Christ as is the Talmud!

    ————————-

    Some sincere seekers of God are to be found in various false religions, and anti-Christian cults, such as Judaism, Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Islam.

    It’s interesting that Jesus Himself did not accuse the Samaritans of worshipping a false God, but merely of worshipping God in a false manner, and with incomplete knowledge… re-read John 4!

    John 4:20-24 “Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.”
    (21) Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. (22) You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. (23) But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.(24) God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

    Jesus does NOT here say that the worship of the Samaritans was IN VAIN, because of their ignorance! He does, however, say that the worship of the Pharisees (and hence, similarly, of those who today follow the Talmud!) IS in vain, because of their substitution of human traditions for the Word of God: Mark 7:7; Matthew 15:9

    – The former Anglican Bishop of Iran, Hassan Dehqani-Tafti (b. 1920, d. 2008), in one of his autobiographical writings (I believe it was “Design of My World”; sorry, I don’t have it at hand to quote exactly, so am forced to rely on memory), in describing his father’s coming to faith in Christ, relates how his father vehemently denied having come to believe in any new or different God, but insisted rather, that he had now come to a truer and fuller understanding of Who the God was Whom he had ALWAYS worshipped and believed in!

    I believe Dehqani-Tafti’s father’s experience and his perspective are not unique, and I am not sure that we are qualified to refute such people’s claims…

    Paul also speaks of people worshipping (the true) God, but in ignorance: Cf. Acts 17:23

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