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Christianity Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God?

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by spnadmin, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Miroslav Volf

    Author, 'Allah: A Christian Response'
    Posted: March 3, 2011 11:26 PM
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    Muslims and Christians can work together to depose dictators and assert the power of the people. We've seen it happen on the Tahrir Square in Cairo during the 2011 revolution in Egypt, with devout Muslims and Coptic Christians protesting side by side. But can Muslims and Christians work together to build a democratic society in which rights of all are respected, the rights of minority Coptic Christians no less than the rights of majority Muslims? They can, if they have a common set of fundamental values. But do they? They do, if they, both monotheists, have a common God.

    Ever since 9/11, the most common question I am asked when I speak about these two religions is whether or not Muslims and Christians worship the same God. Muslims don't push the question. But Christians do, vigorously -- in Europe, Asia and Africa no less than in North America. Maybe that's not surprising. In the manual of the terrorists who flew the planes on a suicidal mission it read: "Remember, this is a battle for the sake of God." In the name of God and with expectations of glory in this world and rewards in the next, they killed themselves and thousands of innocent civilians. To many Christians it seems obvious that the God who spills the blood of the innocent and rewards suicidal missions with paradisiacal pleasures can't be the God they worship.

    The question, however, isn't mainly about the terrorists and their God. It's about Muslims generally. It draws its energy from a deep concern. To ask: "Do we have a common God?" is to worry: "Can we live together without bloodshed?" That's why whether a given community worships the same god as another community has always been a crucial cultural and political question and not just a theological one.

    Here are the realities we all face:

    * Christianity and Islam are today the most numerous and fastest growing religions globally. Together they encompass more than half of humanity. Consequence: both are here to stay.

    * As a result of globalization, ours is an interconnected and interdependent world. Religions are intermingled within single states and across their boundaries. Consequence: Muslims and Christians will increasingly share common spaces.

    * Since both religions are by their very nature "socially engaged" and since their followers mostly embrace democratic ideals, they will continue to push for their vision of the good life in the public square. Consequence: tensions between Muslims and Christians are unavoidable.

    Growing, intertwined and assertive -- communities of Muslims and Christians will live together. But can they live in peace building together a common future?

    At the height of the Iraq War in 2004, influential TV evangelist and former U.S. presidential candidate Pat Robertson said: "The entire world is being convulsed by a religious struggle. The fight is not about money or territory; it is not about poverty versus wealth; it is not about ancient customs versus modernity. No. The struggle is whether Hubal, the Moon God of Mecca, known as Allah, is supreme, or whether the Judeo-Christian Jehovah God of the Bible is supreme." Fighting words these are! Two supreme divine beings always means war.

    The fact of the matter is this: fearful people bent on domination have created the contest for supremacy between Yahweh, the God of the Bible, and Allah, the God of the Quran. The two are one God, albeit differently understood. Arab Christians have for centuries worshiped God under the name "Allah." Most Christians through the centuries, saints and teachers of undisputed orthodoxy, have believed that Muslims worship the same God as they do. They did so even in times of Muslim cultural ascendency and military conquests, when they represented a grave threat to Christianity in the whole of Europe.

    After the fall of Constantinople (1453), the city named after the first Christian emperor and a seat of Christendom for more than 1,000 years, Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa, a towering intellect and an experienced church diplomat, affirmed unambiguously that Muslims and Christians worship the same God, albeit partly differently understood. Significantly, in response to the fall of Constantinople and the Muslim threat, Nicholas of Cusa advocated "conversation" rather than "crusade," a strategy pursued doggedly though unsuccessfully by his friend, Pope Pius II. For Nicholas believed that war could never solve the issue between Christendom and Islam.

    We live in a different world than Nicholas and Pius II did, but our options are roughly the same. We should resolutely follow Nicholas. The terrorists must be stopped. As to the 1.6 billion Muslims, with them we must build a common future, one based on equal dignity of each person, economic opportunity and justice for all and freedom to govern common affairs through democratic institutions. Muslims and Christians have a set of shared fundamental values that can guide such a vision partly because they have a common God.

    On Feb. 18, during the "Day of Celebration," Sheik al-Qaradawi -- one of the most influential Muslim clerics in the world, exiled from Egypt since 1961 -- addressed the crowd of over one million. He began by noting that he is discarding the customary opening "Oh, Muslims." In favor of "Oh, Muslims and Copts." He praised both for bringing about the revolution together. And he added, "I invite you to bow down in prayer together." Such prayer, addressed to the common God in distinct ways, lies at the foundation of hope for a new Egypt.

    Whether Muslims and Christians worship the same God is also the driving question for the relation between these two religions globally. Does the one God of Islam stand in contrast to the three-personal God of Christianity? Does the Muslim God issue fierce, unbending laws and demand submission, whereas the Christian God stands for love, equal dignity and the right of every individual to be different? Answer these questions the one way, and you have a justification for cultural and military wars. Answer them the other way, and you have a foundation for a shared future marked by peace rather than violence.

    Miroslav Volf is the author of 'Allah: A Christian Response' (HarperOne; February 2011), the Henry B. Wright Professor of Theology at Yale Divinity School, and the Founding Director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/miroslav-volf/god-versus-allah_b_829955.html
     
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  3. Seeker9

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    Not if the Crusades are anything to go by!

    It's one of the the things about religions I find fascinating...how quick followers are to recognise the differences rather than the common areas

    You have the three great Abrahamanic religions kicking off with Judaism, then Christianity and finally Islam, which regards itself as being the final and most complete version of the message revealed to previous great Prophets like Abraham, Moses and jesus

    So to answer the question in the thread title directly, Muslims and Christians should worship the same God.....but they don't

    You have divisions across the religions and then factions within the religions themselves

    Religion ...which is supposed to give you a moral code, a sense of right and wrong, a higher calling etc....

    This is why I avoid organised religions and why I like Sikhism which is direct to the point and refreshingly free of useless ritual and dogma
     
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  4. spnadmin

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    :)

    is it possible?
     
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  5. Seeker9

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    I very much doubt it

    Too many barriers on both sides and divergent paths that have made them yawning chasms apart

    Take Jesus for example...Son of God or a great Prophet?
     
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  6. Arvoreen73

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    the only thing Christianity is related to Islam is they are monotheists, and no it is a different god they worship
     
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  7. Seeker9

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    That is the view of Christians, yes but not others
     
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  8. findingmyway

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    There is only 1 God. It's just everyone see's God differently just like the blindfolded men described the elephant differently even though there was only 1 elephant! Both Islam and Christianity have been written after the event by people so have a bias introduced that way which will explain some of the differences. There cannot be more than 1 God ikonkaar
     
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  9. P0TTER

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    Do Muslims, Christians and Jews worship the same God?
    Muslims believe because of Sura 29:46 that Jews, Christians and Muslims all worship the same God, and of course, muslims also claim that Islam is an Abrahamic faith like Judaism and Christianity.
    However, the Muslim God, Allah, bears little resemblance to YHWH, the God of the Bible and the two are irreconcilable...
    Western civilization is based on Judeo-Christian principles, so politically & in every way it is therefore completely contrary to the principles of Islamic Sharia Law. This is where the debate should begin and if our leaders understand this, then political decisions regarding Islam may take a different course... one that might just save our civilization from the curses of Islam.
    http://youtu.be/Z-MnOpKEnIA
     
    #8 P0TTER, Aug 25, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2011
  10. P0TTER

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    Do Muslims, Christians and Jews worship the same God?
    Muslims believe because of Sura 29:46 that Jews, Christians and Muslims all worship the same God, and of course, muslims also claim that Islam is an Abrahamic faith like Judaism and Christianity.
    However, the Muslim God, Allah, bears little resemblance to YHWH, the God of the Bible and the two are irreconcilable...
    Western civilization is based on Judeo-Christian principles, so politically & in every way it is therefore completely contrary to the principles of Islamic Sharia Law. This is where the debate should begin and if our leaders understand this, then political decisions regarding Islam may take a different course... one that might just save our civilization from the curses of Islam.
     

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  11. Searching

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    Do Jews and Christians worship the same God? Maybe according to the Christians they do but they do not if you go by the Jews.
    Do Jews Christians and Muslims worship the same God?
    Yes according to the Muslims.

    There is a pattern there you see. Whichever religion came later puts the other ones under it's ambit.
     
  12. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    BUT this theory fails in Sikhism....here the Earlier oens claim sikhims in their mabit..ha hano where do Sikhs claim Hinduism is SIKHI..But Hindus claim Sikhi si part of Hinduism..and Muslims claim Sikhism borrowed parts form islam......while Sikhism/Gurmatt says its 100% NEW......Way of Life.
     
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  13. P0TTER

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    @Searching - I see the logic in your argument, however Jesus is a historical figure and I doubt that any Jew (or Muslim) would argue against the fact that Jesus is a Jew.
    There are also many Jews I know who recognise Jesus as Messiah - they are Messianic Jews eg. the group called Jews For Jesus.
    Muslims believe because of Sura 29:46 that Jews, Christians and Muslims all worship the same God, and of course, muslims also claim that Islam is an Abrahamic faith like Judaism and Christianity.
    However the commands that Mohummad gave are often diametrically opposed to the commands of Jesus.
    This You Tube video clearly lays their opposing commands side by side...
    MUHAMMAD VERSES JESUS CHRIST - http://youtu.be/Z-MnOpKEnIA

    HTML:
    <iframe width="420" height="345" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Z-MnOpKEnIA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
     
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  14. Archived_member15

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    My dear brothers and sisters 0:)

    Yes Christians and Muslims certainly do worship the same God! We simply have a different understanding of his nature, in some respects:


    "...He who enlightens all men coming into this world (John 1.9) has enlightened your mind for this purpose. Almighty God, who wishes that all should be saved and none lost, approves nothing in so much as that after loving Him one should love his fellow man, and that one should not do to others, what one does not want done to oneself. This affection we and you owe to each other in a more peculiar way than to people of other races because we worship and confess the same God though in diverse forms and daily praise and adore Him as the creator and ruler of this world. For, in the words of the Apostle, 'He is our peace who hath made both one.' This good action was inspired in your heart by God....This grace granted to you by God is admired and praised by many of the Roman nobility who have learned from us of your benevolence and high qualities [. . .] For God knows that we love you purely for His honour and that we desire your salvation and glory, both in this life and in the life to come. And we pray in our hearts and with our lips that God may lead you to the abode of happiness, to the bosom of the holy patriarch Abraham, after long years of life here on earth..."


    - Pope St. Gregory VII, Letter XXI to Al-Nasir the Muslim Ruler of Bijaya (Algeria), 1076





    "...Christians and Muslims, we have many things in common, as believers and as human beings. We live in the same world, marked by many signs of hope, but also by multiple signs of anguish. For us, Abraham is a very model of faith in God, of submission to his will and of confidence in his goodness. We believe in the same God, the one God, the living God, the God who created the world and brings his creatures to their perfection...The Catholic Church regards with respect and recognizes the equality of your religious progress, the richness of your spiritual tradition...On this path, you are assured, of the esteem and the collaboration of your Catholic brothers and sisters whom I represent among you this evening..."

    - Blessed Pope John Paul II: Address to young Muslims in Casablanca, 1985



    Of the above Pope John Paul II said in 1990:




    "...I close my greeting to you with the words of one of my predecessors, Pope Gregory VII who in 1076 wrote to Al-Nasir, the Muslim Ruler of Bijaya, present day Algeria...These words, written almost a thousand years ago, express my feelings to you today as you celebrate ‘Id al-Fitr, the Feast of the Breaking of the Fast. May the Most High God fill us with all His merciful love and peace..."

    - Blessed Pope John Paul II, Message to the faithful of Islam at the end of the month of Ramadan, April 3, 1991
     
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  15. prakash.s.bagga

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    I would like to make a point related to Sikh philosophy.There is no concept of GOD in Sikhphilosophy as we think.The whole Sikh philosophy is based on the WORD GuRoo.
    The Word GuRoo is the Epicetre of the whole of Gurbanee of SGGS
    So this is the most fundamental difference in Sikh philosophy and Others.
    Prakash.s.Bagga
     
  16. Gyani Jarnail Singh

    Gyani Jarnail Singh Malaysia
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    Not so in the case of Sikhism..it came LATER..BUT the earlier arrival Hinduism continues to claim it as its limb....which its NOT.
     
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  17. prakash.s.bagga

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    There ia always a difference in being considered as Limb of previously existing philosophies or being considered as follower of previous philosophy.
    For any new philosophy to get established as new entity has never been an easy task.This we can learn from previous Histories of Cultures and Religions.
    With passage of tine and increase in the number of followers in favour of New Philosophy there comes Politics.When politics start playing a dominant role there is a clear cut uncomromising division of the philosophy being considered as Limb of previous Existing philosophies.
    So this a common phenomenon with any philosophy and nothing wrong and this has to accepted as such.
    Prakash.S.Bagga
     
  18. Ambarsaria

    Ambarsaria Canada
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    Vouthon ji remarkable excerpts from real and very divine qualities and rich in thought people. If you don't mind I post an annotated version to embed or illustrate Sikhism thoughts in your referenced material. I am enjoying the thought as it contrasts but at the same time interestingly close beyond semantics in many ways.

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    Thanks again for your post. I would really love to see more posts from you with such material. Very brilliant and thought provoking words indeed. peacesignkaur
    (I am not female but I believe you like winky female smilies!) mundahug
     
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    #17 Ambarsaria, Feb 23, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012
  19. Archived_member15

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    My dear brother Ambarsaria :grinningkaur: (yes I can't quite get enough these female smilies! I have never seen a forum with such emotive emoticons!)


    I am very pleased that you appreciated my material! I am "well-versed" so to speak in the history of my religion and its relation to other faiths, so I can certainly - and will most likely - provide you with many more references from ancient and more modern mystics and thinkers.

    And please feel more than welcome to post an annotated version! I love interfaith dialogue. When done properly, without desire to convert or change the beliefs of the other, it really does result in an exchange between minds, between cultures, between civilisations that can deepen practioneers of both of the faiths involved and reach not only the surface but something much more deep - it goes to the level of the spirit.

    I look forward to reading your annotations! And I agree with you, there are many sentiments in the passages above from those two holy Catholic leaders shared with and indeed inspired by the very same worldview underlying that of the most Holy Gurus of the Sikh Faith.

    I look forward to growing in love and unity with you my dear Sikh brother, to quote Blessed Pope John Paul II (who had great respect for Sikhism btw):


    "...It is the Spirit who is the source of the drive to press on, not only geographically but also beyond the frontiers of race and religion, for a truly universal mission...The Spirit's presence and activity affect not only the individuals but also society and history, peoples, cultures and religions. Indeed, the Spirit is at the origin of the noble ideals and undertakings which benefit humanity on its journey through history: "The Spirit of God with marvelous foresight directs the course of the ages and renews the face of the earth...I have repeatedly called this fact to mind, and it has guided me in my meetings with a wide variety of peoples. The Church's relationship with other religions is dictated by a twofold respect: "Respect for man in his quest for answers to the deepest questions of his life, and respect for the action of the Spirit in man." The interreligious meeting held in Assisi was meant to confirm my conviction that 'every authentic prayer is prompted by the Holy Spirit, who is mysteriously present in every human heart.'...Every form of the Spirit's presence is to be welcomed with respect and gratitude, but the discernment of this presence is the responsibility of the Church, to which Christ gave his Spirit in order to guide her into all the truth..."

    - Blessed Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio, 1990



    Let us move beyond the frontiers dividing religions! Catholic-Sikh love and Unity!:)

    Much love to you kaurhug
     
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  20. amarjit singh bamrah

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    We are all children of God
    for we have been made from the image of God.

    Baba Nanak says all the universes all of creation lie within the body we inhabit.
     
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  21. Auzer

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    And the God in OT bears little resemblance with the God in NT. Muslims worship the same God but see it as differently. Christians believe that God came down in flesh to die for the sins of the mankind while Muslims reject this view. The view that Islam's God is some different being from biblical God arose due to sheer insecurity of some Christian writers regarding Islam. All the myths were created like moon god and blah blah. I would urge you to stop visiting anti-Islam Christian extremist sites because these sites do no good to you or your religion. Just to add ... according to the Jews ...Muslims and Jews worship the EXACT SAME God while Christians are pagan human worshipers ;) ... But lets not go there. Islam , Judaism and Christian are all Abrahamic faiths

    Well that is high school standard , to be honest (no offense). Today's Western civilization is not merely based on Judeo-Christian principles. Christianity is almost dead in the West (specially Scandinavia). People , specially younger generation , don't care about religion at all. Pre-marial sex , drugs , vulgur songs , homosexuality , secular laws , intense drinking etc etc etc are all NORM in Western society today. People don't even read bible anymore.... Western civilization of today is based on Greek works.. (democracy , Republic etc etc) ...

    Well the problem is that people like you see youtube propaganda videos and base their opinions on that. "Curses of Islam" ? Probably you never took a class in civilization history? It was Islam who brought Europe out of dark ages. All the works , on which Western civilization rests today , were translated and passed on to Europeans by MUSLIMS ! Out of 1400 years of its history , Islam remained a global dominant force for over 1000+ years... A "curse" can never achieve such a magnificent and unprecedented success.Even today , though Muslims have politically declined , Islam is thriving all over the world , Mashallah. Today , Islam is the largest practiced faith on the planet and second largest nominal faith. Political Islam is also rising again (Arab Spring brought Islamic governments in ALL countries struck by revolution and Turkey is also under Islamic party etc) What you do is that you look at third world Muslim majority countries (that are passing through their post colonial era) and see alot of problems in them...then..you related those problems with Islam, which is absolutely true. You can look at Western Islam....Muslim community in the United States is THRIVING (Religiously , socially , politically) ..how come? When given proper environment..Muslims can do as well as others..

    And please before you give an example of Saudi Arabia..let me tell you..they aren't Islamic example..they are a monarchy ....but thats a different topic..
     
    #20 Auzer, Feb 24, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012

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