Discussing
Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God?

Andy Rau

John Ferguson
March 18, 2008

I haven't read the Koran for myself, so I can't say anything about Islam directly. Personally, although there are parallels with YHVH and Allah, I don't believe they are the same. The thing is, we Christians have to really think hard about our attitude to God, what attributes we ascribe to Him and how well we know the Bible even. Very often we don't worship YHVH. If we are saved though we can sort of take comfort in David's example. He was marred by a terrible sin, but he was still a man after (looking for I suppose you could say) God's own heart.<br><br>Probably, whatever a Christian accuses Islam of, there will be a church somewhere that is even worse in theology and practice than any group of honest muslims.<br><br>To add more into the mix, I know Adrian Plass has worked with Muslim charity workers and says when they die Jesus will stand before them and they'll say, 'oh, it's you!'

Dan Browne
March 18, 2008

I have not been able to comment in awhile but I can tonight so here I go.<br><br>To some it's a silly theological debate, I may be one of those =), but I think many people, especially non-Christians can think YHVH &amp; Allah are one and the same. I can't comment on the Islamic side because like John I have never read the Koran, but i would agree too that they are not the same.<br><br>I also have a very high respect for Muslims because they worship Allah with such passion that we as Christians can only dream of in regards to God. They read the Koran and pray daily, something most Christians (Bible &amp; prayer) do maybe once a week. Could you imagine if we did?<br><br>"Probably, whatever a Christian accuses Islam of, there will be a church somewhere that is even worse in theology and practice than any group of honest muslims."- I agree very much John.<br><br>***personal plug*** Please visit my blog and pray about my daughter Lauren. She is just 3 weeks old and hey found a rare tumor in her head (you can get details on the blog) I'm asking all those I come into contact with to pray for her and spread the word to intercede on her behalf to God. Thank you Think Christian<br><br>

Richard
March 18, 2008

I am currently have a discussion with a Muslim over Islam and Christianity. Any tips on how to convert him? This is a first time for me.

Childofnewlight
March 18, 2008

No they are not. Allah is a false god. Like any other pagan god. Similarities? Sure! There are plenty of so-called gods with similarities to ours. They are called forfeits.<br><br>The Muslim God and the Christian/Jewish God are two completely different beings. Their characters are completely different. Their method of doing things is completely different. Our God is a God of love and compassion and justice. There god is an impersonal tyrant.<br><br>Allah would NEVER become a man let alone die for his creation. My God did.<br><br>It is a serious discussion. Because that is akin to asking me if Satanist are worshiping the same god as we are.<br><br>My God is not Allah and the Muslims do not refer to my God as Allah. He is called YHVH (Yahweh to us english speakers or Jehovah). Their word for our God is very different (although I can't recall the specific word at the moment...I'll have to look it up again). There IS an Arabic word for our God and it is NOT Allah. I don't know what anyone would be thinking claiming linguistically its the same. Its not. <br><br><br>Now if the question were in regards to the Jews then yes...we serve the exact same God. (although they've rejected the Messiah). Their God is our God. In fact their God adopted us. Allah never adopted us.<br><br>Even if they are using the same name that doesn't mean much. There are plenty of people running around with the name "Matthew" (My name). In fact millions upon millions of them. And I can assure not every one of them lives up to its Christian roots.<br><br>A persons name is only part of their identity. Likewise with my God. He is more than a word. He is.

RichardH
March 18, 2008

Before Islam was a "Monothesistic" religion, it was a pagan "Polytheistic" religion, consisting of over 160 gods. Mohammed essentially picked one out of the many and decided it would be the focus of worship. Allah which now means simply "god" was actually the name originally given to the moon god of Arabia. You might have noticed that cressant moon shape on several Islamic flags (e.g. Turkey) and icons. The God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob did not originate from a group of pagan gods. How about studying your history a bit before posting such ridiculous comparisons

Allan White
March 18, 2008

Great topic. I'd like to dive into this issue more deeply. There's Muslims from East Africa in my community that I would love to minister to.<br><br>I don't know where I fall on this question. Islam is descended from Judaism and Christianity; my understanding is that Muslims would say that they have the "true way" to worship God, just as we say we do. I'm not trying to be relativistic here, either - I don't consider Mormonism to be valid, because it adds a new "revelation" to the canon of scripture, just as the Koran does.<br><br>I'd like to start by having a family over to eat and fellowship. Muslims traditionally accept Jews and Christians as "people of the Book"; is there a place for them in our worldview, as people of our book (let's start with the Pentateuch =).

John
March 19, 2008

First there is not enough time and space for this. I have spent time in Iraq and the middle east, and because of that I studied both the religion and the history. I have been told by several muslims that (Isa) Jesus is a prophet and was born of a virgin, but not the son of God. In the Jewish community Jesus was a good man, but not the messiah. Mohammed had visions and claimed to have been taken into heaven. They believe that they are also a part of Abraham and Issac, but that Ismel is the one Abraham was to kill on the rock and not Issac. What a difference in those aspects. I do know that in the Quaran (Koran) they are to convert as many as they can to Islam, but if they can not to smite them in the neck with a sword. Kind of a harse punishment for not believing wouldn't you say. They also mainly because of culture have divided on many things and one of the reasons you have the sunni and shia denominations if that is what you want to call them. Mohammad wanted two of his daughters to be Iman, but his brother in-laws because of culture refused as no woman should be in control over a man, thus the division in ranks. I don't know everything we need to know about Islam, but there are as in the Christian world many good people who only want others to see God as they do. In God's Grace John

David
March 19, 2008

I haven't read the Koran either, but do not feel that I need to. The reason we are called Christians is because of Jesus Christ. If muslims calmed that the way to God is through Jesus Christ I would look into it, they do not. In John 14:6 Jesus said" I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." If anyone says that there is a way to God other than Jesus Christ the Son of God it is a lie! How many Christians have allowed theirself to be watered down by going along with others so we don't offend them. That is where I stand firm, on the Rock!

Amy B
March 19, 2008

This is a really difficult questions. Time ago, I would have said 'of course muslims worship the same God we do, they worship the God of Abraham.' But now I think I have changed my mind. Yahweh, the one true God, revealed Himself to us through his word and through his Son, Jesus Christ. While Muslims do recognize the Bible as a holy book, they think it is corrupted. I have read the Koran - but even if I hadn't, I would know that it is not God's word. How can Muslims know the true God if they replace his word with a false scripture? And while they do claim Jesus to be a prophet, they deny who he really is. Jesus said, 'if you know me then you know the Father.' Well, Muslims do not really know Jesus, so how can they know the Father? For worship of God to be in spirit and in truth, it must be as God Himself revealed, or it is not true worship.<br><br>All that being said, I do not think this is an issue we should dwell on for too long. It could just end up leading to distraction, discrimination or stereotyping. Instead our focus should be on loving the people God puts in front of us and, if given the opportunity, telling them about Jesus Christ.

On The Mark
March 19, 2008

<em>Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the Son. 23No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.</em><br>~1 John 2:22-23<br>

Jim Jennings
March 19, 2008

It is like Aaron guiding the Hebrew people to make a golden calf to worship God. To "manufacture " a god to our liking and image is an insult to God in His triune being. Muslims reject the true God of the Trinity, so are obviously not pleasing nor glorifying the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God provided the antidote for sin in Jesus, and by His testimony there is no other cure. The result is death.

Marc
March 20, 2008

Even if we're all just worshipping an <u>idea</u> of God we still have little overlap in the Christian and Islamic description of God. The superficial common ground with names and places arises from the fact that Islam is hijacked Judaism.<br><br>Christian's worship a personal God who loves sinners and died for them whilst they still sinned. The Koran explicitly says that Allah loves sinners not. William Craig <a href="http://www.bringyou.to/CraigBadawiIslamDebate.mp3" rel="nofollow">explains this with clarity</a>.

Allan White
March 20, 2008

I always wondered where the crescent imagery came from. Very interesting.<br><br>How about... being polite? The comment about studying your history - though valid - could have been said in a more constructive way. <br><br>"A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger." (Proverbs 15:1)

Allan White
March 20, 2008

For more insight into this question, I'd highly recommend reading <a href="http://www.secretbelievers.org/sb_book.aspx" rel="nofollow">"Secret Believers: What Happens When Muslims Believe in Christ"</a>. Rocked my world on what Jesus is doing in the Muslim world.<br><br>I'm also reading, "Christian Jihad", about the Crusades and how the Muslim world sees the West.

Allan White
March 20, 2008

<blockquote>All that being said, I do not think this is an issue we should dwell on for too long. It could just end up leading to distraction, discrimination or stereotyping.</blockquote><br><br>It's also helpful to understand where people are coming from and what they believe. How can we minister to Muslims if we don't understand them? Perhaps this isn't an issue where you live, but it is in my neighborhood.

RichardH
March 20, 2008

I've seen this type of cloaked discussion turns many people away from their<br>focus on GOD, by trying to be "religiously tolerant" of all faiths. Heresy<br>was never meant to be embraced. You're comment about the Proverb is valid,<br>because truth is always truth.<br>Proverbs 28:23 (NIV) He who rebukes a man will in the end gain more favor<br>than he who has a flattering tongue.

Amy B
March 21, 2008

I completely agree with you, that is why I have read the Koran, read the writings of Muslim philosophers, gone to see Muslim religious leaders speak, and asked lots of curious and respectful questions of my Muslim friends. I didn't mean that we shouldn't dwell on the issue of Islam for very long - we had better think about it a lot - what I meant was I don't think we should dwell too long on whether or not they worship the right God. Rather, lets get to know them, love them and try to lead them to Jesus.

Allan White
March 21, 2008

AmyB,<br><br>Well said. To me, the issue of "whether we worship the same God" is less important than understanding them, treating them with respect, and showing them Jesus. <br><br>It's easy to conflate the two topics - apologies if I got OT.

John
April 1, 2008

The Bible states clearly that God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Genesis 1 and John 1) is the creator of heaven, earth and all creation. If the Muslims worshiped the true God, they would claim Jesus as God and they don't. In fact they see him as a man. John 1: 14 and Colossians 2 clearly state Jesus as God. So from my prospective, how can they be worshiping the same God? <br><br>I do with caring and love attempt to share with them the truth that God loved them so much He sent His Son to die (and to rise again) for them. Beginning in prayer (and continuing in prayer) and building a friendship is vital. But I don't believe it helpful to pretend we worship the same God.<br>John <br><br>There is also no

Dee
April 26, 2008

Allah is believed to be God. My question is then: Was Allah buried and his bones are remains in his grave? Was not Allah a human?

Jalal Khawaldh
July 4, 2009

The answer above, that the God of Islam is different from the God of Christianity, and Islam as a religion came after Christianity, any person think about this option will believes that there are “two gods”, and if this is true, this means that there are two possibilities:<br>1. The first possibility that the God of Islam is stronger than the God of Christianity because he allowed to him to spread Islam to the whole universe , and became the religion for more than one billion and five hundred million people.<br>2. That the death of Christ, as Nietzsche said, that the Christian god is dead, leaving much space for the God of Islam to control the planet.<br>What is this nonsense? You should know that the one, who created the heavens and the earth, and the created Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, and the creation of all human beings, is only one creator who have no partners.<br>And, if Islam god is different, why he sent high authentication certificate for Maria “ mother of Jesus” in Quran, and he said that she is Cleanse , chaste and pure. And he gave here name of “Sora” in Quran which is not given to the mother of Muhammad?!! why “god number two” made real &amp; full defense for Maria “mother of the first god”?!<br>What is going one?!!

Great Sites
May 24, 2011

I'm sorry, but that theory has been debunked as not having any proof.  Islam was not a "religion" at all before monotheistic Islam.  Pagan Arabs did have many gods and that is exactly what Muhammed was objecting to - the Koran itself tells people to NOT worship the sun or moon. 41:37- Among His Signs are the Night and the Day, and the Sun and the <br>Moon. Adore not the sun and the moon, but adore Allah, Who created them,<br> if it is Him ye wish to serve. (4).  Even IF there was any truth to moon-God theory in ancient past, there is no way one could say that that's who Musl. worship in recent history. Christmas was a based on a pagan holiday, but we don't go by what it was then, meanings and associations change.  The Byzantin Empire (that claimed to be Christian) had a crescent as a symbol before the Turkish Ottoman empire took over Constantinople - who continued to use a crescent for political reasons - not religious.  See more from this Evangelical author of a respected magazine.  <a href="http://www.ijfm.org/PDFs_IJFM/23_2_PDFs/Brown_WhoIsAllah.pdf" rel="nofollow">http://www.ijfm.org/PDFs_IJFM/...</a>

Great Sites
May 24, 2011

But what do you say to the fact that most Arab Christian communities around the world use "Allah", (and possibly even before Islam did)? It is simply the Arabic name for God.  WHen the NT used the Greek word "theos" in the Bible, was the Greek god "theos" of that time a perfect god in your view?   Our English word "God" has roots from a pagan god as well.  We have to communicate in peoples language, and further define later all <br>imperfect words and names and titles to match how God reveals Himself.  I use Allah when I speak w Muslims - it's their language, like "theos" was in Greco-Roman times. which NT writers used it.  Do they have an imcomplete picture of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus?  Yes - that's where helping them discover more gradual revelation of their loving Creator comes in - not bashing them.

Great Sites
May 24, 2011

My tips:  I've lived and worked w them for years.<br>1) Don't try to "convert him" to any "religion", Christianity included.  No religion saves. - He will start to see himself as your personal project, rather than a person God loves and therefore you love.  As a song goes, "don't tell them Jesus loves them until YOU are ready to love them too."  Many "witness" to Muslims out of wrong motives like fear, resentment ('taking over "our country"'), or outright hatred and a desire to "prove them wrong" and make US feel better.<br>2) Love him as a fellow person created in the image of God, still bearing some of that image, still capable of recognizing God and his truth (Rom2:14)   A fellow sinner, and fellow person with limited knowledge of God (we also see as through a glass dimly).<br>3) HOW do you love him/her?  Pray for their blessing and peace. Hospitality is the best visible way - invite to dinner in your home, (family w family, or same-gender only) ACCEPT offers to his/her home, offer to help move, loan tools, whatever - as any good neighbor would.  These cultures are huge on hospitality - and in their culture, HAVING a guest is even more honor than BEING a guest - so by all means take seriously any invitation to go to their house.  They wont "invite" like a westerner with specific times (unless they've adapted American culture fully), but are very honored if you just "show up" and will drop everything to feed you no matter what.<br>4) Don't become their "bible answer man" - but encourage as much self-discovery as possible by asking good QUESTIONS and resist temptation to become their source of truth in place of God - let GOD be their source - point them to HIM.  Begin w the similarities - enjoy God's creation together - you agree on that.  I've even praised our Creator together with a Muslim while under the awesome stars.  God is speaking everywhere (Ps.19) just believe it, burden isn't all on you! (Rom1:19,20).  God took thousands of years before finally revealling Himself through Jesus - if He is so patient with such gradual revelation, we should be patient, trusting Him to "gradually reveal" truth to our friends as they are able to handle new truths.  None of us can handle radically-different truths right away - it takes time, even school has 12 years of progression -you don't start off Bang with college level stuff (which is why I'd avoid the trinity altogether - we don't even understand it ourselves! - Follow apostles model in Acts - they started with the God they knew, and spoke of the man God sent, His Christ, to rescue us from death and coming judgment. THey also grabbed opportunity to heal in Jesus name - and declare why his name has such power - take opportunity to pray for them and WITH them in times of trouble - God's answer to this prayer of love will do more than all the witnessing in the world.  Read all the sermons in Acts carefully and you will never see the apostles try to introduce the trinity to unbelievers at first.  It's just simple language like God sent His servant, His Christ (messiah, anointed one), and to non-Jews his message was even different emphasis - Acts17:31 - saying God appointed a man to judge us one day, giving proof Jesus is the one by raising him from the dead. Also Acts 10:38,41,42.  Jesus gave the essence of the message in John 17:3 - "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent."  So just preach the only true God, and Jesus whom that true God sent.  Don't over-complicate it.<br>5) don't attempt to give the "good news" of the cross and forgiveness until the person is READY for it - ie, when they realize they fall short of God's glory just like you, they are powerless over their own tendency to sin - just like you, and THEREFORE need a saviour who can take your place in judgement, give his Spirit to encourage and empower in your journey until the good news of the perfect kingdom with a perfect King comes completely to the new earth at "the restoration of all things".(Acts 3:20,21).  Your own testimony of daily life, seeing your own sin, yet confident you're accepted by God and having relationship with Him will do more than just verse-quoting (supplement w verses when appropriate) showing you ACTUALLY believe and live out this stuff - its not a religion to you that he needs to "convert to", but a relationship with the God he sort-of knows already, with Jesus' help and accomplished work, that will give him a clear conscience before God and practically help him in daily life, filling him with peace and hope.<br><br>I know it's long.  Hope it helps.<br>Thomas

Great Sites
May 24, 2011

No - they don't believe Allah was human at all - they believe in an eternal Spirit being that created heaven and earth and all that is in it by his power, created Adam and Eve, sent prophets throughout the years to warn people not to worship idols or created things, but only the one God and follow His ways and seek His mercy and avoid judgement.  Sound familiar?  Allah was never put in a grave and neither was Yahweh - in fact Scripture says over and over that Yahweh, or God, was the one who raised Jesus from the dead.  (ie, nowhere does Scripture say that God "raised himself" OR that Jesus "raised himself" - but the language is either passive "Jesus was raised (by God)" or mostly active with 3rd person and object it's "God raised him from the dead".)

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