Thursday, September 30, 2010

Is Allah God? A Relevant Issue?

Here are three similar and complimentary ways to look at the issue, is the God of Islam the God of the Bible?  But perhaps an even more important question- is this even a relevant question for us to invest our time debating or being divided over?

First, from an interview with J.D. Greear:

Theologically speaking, there is of course only one God. But as I note throughout the book, we see several places where Jesus or the Apostles confronted someone who believed wrong things about God, yet Jesus and the apostles engaged them with the common ground of, “let’s talk about that God you think you know and He is really like.”

For example, in John 4, when Jesus deals with a Samaritan woman who was considerably off on several points about God, Jesus told her that the problem was she did not understand the God that she claimed to worship. Many of the Jews to whom the Apostles spoke did not believe in the Trinity and found it blasphemous. Does that mean that the Jews worship a different God? A better, and more Biblical approach (in my view) is to take the God that they claim to understand and show them what His true revelation is like…

With Muslims, I would say that more often than not it is more helpful to use the Arabic name for God. They understand that to be the God of Adam, Abraham, Moses, David, and Jesus. That’s a good place to start. Then you can say, “This God you worship, here is what He is really like, according to the revelation…”

Second, here is short take on the issue from Carl Medearis:

Here’s the point – all of us, before we have a real relationship with the real God, have some form of a “fake god” in our heads. But because the real God hears the sincere prayers of sinners (thankfully), He hears us when we call out to him.

So here’s what I say – it’s a moot point to claim that Muslims believe in the wrong god. Since whenever they call out to god (whatever and whoever that is in their minds) with a sincere heart – the real God hears. Just like he did with us!

There is really no good reason for us to insist that Muslims believe in a different God! There’s only One. And when we call out to Him, he comes running!

And thirdly, from Rick Love:

I believe that anyone who affirms monotheism—whether Muslim, Jew, Sikh or Tribal—are worshiping the true God. How can it be otherwise, since there is only one God? But I hasten to add that these monotheists are worshiping in ignorance and they are not saved. I like how the Masai Creed from Africa describes this: “We have known this High God in darkness, and now we know Him in the light.”

So the issue is, how do you come to know this true God personally resulting in salvation and everlasting life? The answer, of course, is the gospel.

The only way to know God is through Jesus.  A genuine personal relationship with God can only be Christological and Trinitarian.  All other worship of God outside of Christ is “in vain” (Mk. 7:7).  So whether or not Muslims believe in a different God is somewhat of a irrelevant issue, because in fact no one knows God apart from Jesus.  All conceptions of God, whether they are American, Muslim, Asian, Agnostic, Pagan, Mormon, or even “Christian,” all of them are incomplete and inaccurate without the gospel revelation of the Son (Heb. 1:2).

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