Do Muslims and Christians Worship the Same God - page 4

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

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Second, the God of the Bible Is a God Who Reveals Himself and Who Can Be Known

At the heart of the Christian faith stands not a list of doctrines, not a set of moral commands, but a relationship. The astonishing claim of the Bible (e.g., Rom. 8:15–16) is that by putting our trust, our faith, our hope in Jesus, we can be adopted into God’s family and become not slaves, but children. The gospel is primarily about a relationship.

Of course, it’s possible to have a relationship with somebody only if they make themselves known, and the God of the Bible is a God who does that consistently. From beginning to end, the Bible tells the story of a God who reveals not just His commands but His character, His very self. For example, in Exodus 3, in the story of the burning bush, God speaks personally with Moses, revealing His personal name, Yahweh, “I Am.” Ultimately the biblical theme of God revealing Himself is seen in the person of Jesus, who tells His disciples in John 14:9 that “anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.”

Not only has the biblical God revealed His character, His heart, His name, His own person in His Son, Jesus, but because of that, He can be known. In Jeremiah 9:23–24, God says, “Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they understand and know me.”

Again, this is utterly different from how the Qur’an describes Allah, who does not reveal himself in this way or allow himself to be known personally. For example, it’s remarkable how in Qur’anic theology, even Muhammad did not have Allah reveal the Qur’an to him personally, but through an intermediary, the angel Gabriel. This is a contrast with the Bible, where, time and time again, God speaks with His prophets and His people face to face, such as the powerful encounter that Moses had at the burning bush or on Mt. Sinai. Listen to Muslim scholar Isma’il al Furuqi unpack this: “Allah does not reveal himself to anyone in any way. Allah reveals only his will … Allah does not reveal himself to anyone … that is the great difference between Christianity and Islam.”

Third, the God of the Bible Is a God Who Is Love

The Bible is very clear that one of God’s primary characteristics is love. In Exodus 15:13, Moses and the Israelites sang of God’s “unfailing love,” a theme that runs throughout the entire Old Testament. Turning to the New Testament, the theme of God’s love continues and is summed up in the amazing line in 1 John 4:16, “God is love.” Love is not something the God of the Bible does,but something He is. Indeed, we love and serve a God who is Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – and so at the heart of who God is lies a loving relationship.

When we turn to the Qur’an and its depiction of Allah, we see something very different. Nowhere are we told that Allah is love; indeed, because he is not triune, it would not be possible for him to be loving unless he first created something to love.

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