All gods are the same according to some. But are they really?
First I will quote something from James Freeman Clarke…
Of all the systems of belief which have had a widespread hold on mankind this may be posited, that they are commonly true in what they affirm, false in what they deny. The error in every theory is usually found in its denials, that is, its limitations. What it sees is substantial and real; what it does not see is a mark only of its limited vision.”1 Ten Great Religions, Vol. II., p. 62. @The Moslem Doctrine of God
When reading an open letter(pdf file) from the Muslim religious leaders in Britain that was written to the Pope and the leaders of other Christian churches, there seems to be a common truth – at first glance anyway. It is not what is said that is the problem, but rather what is not said. Things of fundamental importance to the Christian faith was not addressed at all in this letter! And it is glaringly obvious to those who know what the Koran actually says about Allah in context; that Allah and the God of the Bible are not the same God at all.
It is exactly in what the Koran denies that we find the biggest problem for those Christians who understand and believe that the bible speaks of the triune nature of God. (there are many other differences between the Islamic revelation of Allah, Christology and the Holy Spirit and the Biblical revelation of God. Too many to speak about in this one post)
In fact, in the open letter they quote one seemingly ambiguous verse which seems to agree with the Christians view on Christology. This verse is quoted after a whole spiel about how we can come together and worship the same One God along with them. They say that we can come to them to their understanding of their God; that is really what is being offered here.
This is how the verse is written in the letter…
…. the Messiah Jesus son of Mary is a Messenger of God and His Word which he cast unto Mary and a Spirit from Him…. (Al-Nisa’, 4:171).
But they fail to quote the whole verse in its entire context and the reason is quite obvious…
O people of the scripture, do not transgress the limits of your religion, and do not say about GOD except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was a messenger of GOD, and His word that He had sent to Mary, and a revelation from Him. Therefore, you shall believe in GOD and His messengers. You shall not say, “Trinity.” You shall refrain from this for your own good. GOD is only one god. Be He glorified; He is much too glorious to have a son. To Him belongs everything in the heavens and everything on earth. GOD suffices as Lord and Master (Surah An -Nisa 4:171)
Compare that verse to what Paul says…
1Jn 2:22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.
From what I have read of this open letter, and from what I have read in the Koran and the Bible, it is made clear to me that it is not the things that are commonly true that are problematic. But rather, it is the things that are denied which become the things that divide, just as James Freeman Clarke concluded in his book ‘Ten Great Religions’. And those things are the very things that are fundamental to Christianity and its followers.
The integrity of Scripture and the reasonableness of the doctrine of the Trinity are the two points in Christianity against which Islam emphatically testifies. At the same time these two ideas are fundamental in the Christian system. The doctrine of the Trinity is not only fundamental but essential to the very existence of Christianity. Dr. Baur of the Tübingen school acknowledges this when he says that “in the battle between Arius and Athanasius the existence of Christianity was at stake.” In some form the doctrine of the Trinity has always been confessed by the Church and all who opposed it were thrown off from its fellowship. “When this doctrine was abandoned, other articles of faith, such as the atonement, regeneration, etc., have almost always followed, by logical necessity, as when one draws the wire from a necklace of gems, the gems all fall asunder.” (Henry B. Smith.) The doctrine of the Trinity, in its widest sense, includes that of the Incarnation and of the Holy Spirit. In studying what the Koran teaches on this subject, therefore, we must examine not only what it tells of the Trinity, but also those passages that speak of the nature of Jesus Christ and of Holy Spirit. @The Moslem Doctrine of God
Now that is just one point that I have addressed, and the above article systematically shows the very clear differences between the two revealed natures of Allah and God. We do not worship the same God as both god/God’s are revealed differently in the Bible and Koran. God is not one of division and both the bible and Koran state this, so in theory, only one Holy Writ can be right.
The article ‘MOHAMMEDAN IDEAS OF THE TRINITY‘ examines it the following way and is worth more than just a cursory read…
The following order will be observed in our study: (a) the Koran passages that speak directly of the Trinity; (b) those that refer to the subject indirectly; (c) the Christology of the Koran as it bears on this doctrine; (d) the passages that speak of the Holy Spirit.
Once Mohammed’s view of the Trinity, Christology and his view on the Holy Spirit are clearly understood, then and only then can we begin to understand the that this letter is in a sense addressing nothing of real theological difference at all but rather a political correct view – which is in no way a correct theological view according to the Bible.
But what this letter will do is show to the world that if anyone dares to speak about the true, real differences one could then be labelled an extremist. The Times noted the possibility of marginalisation and that it will become plainly obvious to everyone who are the extreme militants, the guardians of the faith. Although only one side is addressed in this article that being the Islamic extremist, when it said the following…
But it will make it harder for those who thrive on a narrow, militant interpretation of Islam to pose as the true guardians of the faith.
There will be a problem here, not only will the Islamic militant guardians stand out like a sore thumb, but I am guessing those pesky fundamental Christians will get a fair rap over the knuckles once this letter is examined by the more conservative bunch. You know the ones I am talking about, those who exegete the bible using Historical, Grammatical Hermeneutics who understand that the Holy Bible teaches universal absolute truths that sit outside any culture at any time, where context actually does matter greatly kind of way!!! I am talking about the people who have understood the truth of the matter of spiritual things that the natural man cannot fathom as it is foolishness the him.
One such person who has seen the problem of this letter who perhaps hears the deafening silence of certain convenient things that have been omitted says this…
For it is a classic piece of manipulation and, I’m afraid to say, menace. Masquerading as the promotion of peace through emphasising characteristics that these religions apparently share, it instead effectively puts a scimitar to the neck of the Christian church and says: ‘Peace on our terms’.
At least one cleric gets it. In the Times the Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, the one Anglican who understands the threat from Islamism, noted that the letter required Christians to adopt the Muslim belief in the oneness of God. @Melanie Phillips
(Biography: Melanie Phillips is a British journalist and author)
Here is a poll question for you, and be sure to read the question carefully. And if you don’t really know the bible or the koran but can only go on what the media (MSM) is saying or you fall into the melting pot of political correctness, then this question is quite irrelevant to you anyway, isn’t it? After all this question is for the militant, fundamental extremist.