Do Muslims and Christians Worship the Same God? - page 2




Do Muslims and Christians Worship the Same God?
by Andy Bannister, Director and Lead Apologist for RZIM-Canada

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Now when it comes to religious truth claims, exclusivity – the claim that the God of the Bible and Jesus Christ are unique – is wired right into the Bible. It lies at the very heart of the biblical story. For example, in Exodus 15:11 Moses and the Israelites sing a hymn to celebrate God’s rescue of them from Egypt, and one line runs like this: “Who among the gods is like you, O Lord? Who is like you – majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?”

Elsewhere in the Bible, we read words like these:

For this is what the Lord says – he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited. He says: “I am the Lord, and there is no other.” (Isa. 45:18)

And then, turning to the New Testament, Jesus says: “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

Now that shocking claim of Jesus may make some of you nervous. Isn’t that incredibly narrow minded? How can Christians possibly hold onto claims of Jesus like this when we live surrounded by so many competing religions? Isn’t it more tolerant – more progressive – to say that all religions are essentially the same?

I’d like to explore this idea by using the world’s second-biggest religion, Islam, as a comparison. Islam is a great test case to explore the question of the exclusivity of Christ and the uniqueness of the biblical God. Because there’s a persistent belief – certainly held by Muslims, certainly held by many in our culture, and held by many Christians – that Allah, the God of the Qur’an, and Yahweh, the God of the Bible, are essentially the same.

But does this idea stand up? I’m a great believer that “contrast is the mother of clarity,” and so I’d like to compare briefly the biblical God and the Qur’anic god, and highlight four major differences – differences that I believe reveal to us just how amazing, how wonderful, how unique the God of the Bible is.

The brilliance of such explanations is not so much that they bring us nearer to understanding the doctrine of the Trinity but that they show us that we don’t need to be embarrassed by our incomprehension any more than a Flatlander need be embarrassed for failing to understand the cube.

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