Allah, Jehovah and Jesus

Over on my other blog we have been having a comment discussion about something our evangelical president said. It all started when I wrote:
In 2005 when asked if Muslims worship the same Almighty as Jews and Christians, President Bush replied replied, “I believe we worship the same God.”
The conversation started when Missy asked:
Technically, don't they worship the same God?
I don't want to regurgitate the entire dialog here ... you can follow the dialog over there ... but I would like to bring a few points to bear. Firstly, I think that it is not accurate or helpful helpful to legitimize Islam, the Quran and Mohammed by saying that Allah is just another name for the the God of Judaism and Christianity.

The bible says that Jesus was the full revelation of the God, spoken of in the Jewish scriptures, in human form. Therefore it is accurate and appropriate to say that the God of Jews and Christians are one and the same God. Also, Christianity recognizes the God of the Jews as the same God that Christians worship ... it also officially recognizes the Jewish scriptures. This is what Jesus told an Arab woman in the gospel of John:
"You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews."

The idea that the God of Islam and Judaism/Christianity is the same is something that Jesus did not agree with and I do not agree with.

Maybe if we enter the realm of the absurd I can make my point a bit clearer. What if Kansas Bob has a dream one day and awakes with a strong revelation that God wants everyone to worship Him in a certain way ... and if anyone refuses to worship in this manner those who believe should purchase laser swords and kill the infidels. Now I can say all day that "Jesus" spoke to me in a dream ... but it doesn't mean that the Jesus of the bible spoke to me in that dream ... to say so would discredit Jesus. Here is what the Apostle Paul said:

But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully. (2 Corinthians 11:3-4)
Paul had an understanding that just because you say that you worship the same God doesn't mean that you actually do. So it is with those that say that Muslims, Jews and Christians all worship the same Almighty ... they may sincerely believe it ... but I think that they are sincerely wrong.


  1. Two distinct responses, not to be confused or merged:

    1. Some reputable Christian/evangelical scholars DO apparently believe that Muslims worship the same God.

    I don't entirely understand this either but let me qualify this -

    1. They believe that it is the same God they are attempting to find favor with, via a graceless, works-based system devoid of love.

    2. The scholars concur that this is indeed fruitless -and will not get them to paradise, nor will it atone for sins.

    One guy I remember from my college InterVarsity days, Ajith Fernando, proposed this view in a book I read. It was a radical idea, and since I didn't read too far in depth, I'm only about 85% sure of this.

    While the concept is tricky to be sure, it does have a few people in the evangelical camp who agree that it is the same God they are trying to reach in a tragically misguided manner. However they do not believe that salvation could be attained in this way. CBB

  2. KB, I think Retro has better verbalized what I understood. And please know that I am not really arguing here, but thinking out loud as I've never thought this all the way through.

    A question I ask myself: in and evangelical sense, do Muslim converts find it helpful to identify our God as the same God they worship in their studies and subsequent conversions?

    " 'You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.'
    The idea that the God of Islam and Judaism/Christianity is the same is something that Jesus did not agree with and I do not agree with."

    The scripture quoted actually states that the Samaritans worship what they do not know, not that they worship a false God. In fact, the next verse states, "Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks." To me this implies that there are some of those true worshippers in the group aforementioned that can now know what it is they worship.

    Now I believe without a doubt, faith through Jesus is what enables us to worship in spirit and truth, and Muslims and Jews cannot do this without belief in Jesus. I just think the scripture you chose here to support you view offers me a different conclusion.

  3. I like your perspective Missy. What do you think of 2 Corinthians 11:3-4?

    Possibly everyone who worships "God" does worship the same "God" but maybe it is just that everyone doesn't know Him. Of course that presents a lot of problems because it allows man to create "God" in his image and gives everyone permission to "know" "God" in whatever way that they think best ... but I could be way off on this?

    If I am reading you right on this ... and I may not be ... I think that the end result of what you are saying would be to say that both Allah and Jehovah come from Abraham and hence both have equal credibilty ... but I may be misunderstanding what you are saying.

  4. Missy, I like what you took from the Scriptures of Jesus with the Samaritan woman.
    The basic difference is that our God is a Triune; Father, Son, HS. Allah is just one, according to the Q'uran, and any Muslim will smack you if you suggest otherwise. BUUUUUT....what you all said is really, really good: Muslims don't know they are worshiping the only God with the Son Jesus. This makes sense to someone who has wrestled with the two sons of Abraham issue.
    Muslims acknowledge and HONOR Jesus as a wonderful prophet in their book, and honor Mariam (Mary) etc., yet they wanna lop our heads off as "infidels."
    God in the Old Testament is a pretty violent God...there are verses that command us to kill sinners, yes?

  5. "...the end result of what you are saying would be to say that both Allah and Jehovah come from Abraham and hence both have equal credibilty..."

    Yeah, I think God is always credible, I just think the men (or women) we rely on to tell us about Him are not. I'm not talking about Buddha or Zeus here. Your point would more than apparent with either of those. I am talking about a people who rose from Abraham and were taught about and worshipped his God - not a new one they made up. There was a family dispute - who was in God's will and who wasn't, but it was the will of the same God no matter how you shuffle it. And, might I say, many of them followed God even when it was apparent they were not in His favor, as the Samaritan woman points out, long before Mohammad.

    Now following a false profit has kept them from knowing the fullness of God that we know through Christ, but I believe that a people so full of faith as the Muslims would find it much more helpful to know they have the right God, just not the right teacher. They need to know the fullness of God through the Holy Spirit that is a gift of Christ. They need to know that He is a God of mercy, not sacrifice.

    I am not, however, saying that whatever they believe is okay. I just think, as Christians taught to share the truth that we know with the world, that it should be considered how best to reach Muslims and not what is most helpful for me. I don't think this in any way legitimizes the teachings of Mohammad, I think it encourages compassion for those led astray rather than breed hate and contempt for a people who are, in a complicated way, our brothers and sisters.

  6. Bob, I am finding myself digging into and getting fired up about the topic, which is unexpected! Please know I care about and respect you a great deal, so if I am coming across as a jerk, let me know. God Bless :)

  7. Love your passion Missy and I love the dialog. I think I see where you are coming from and can see where it could help in a dialog with a Muslim. Maybe I am coming at this with the wrong perspective ... maybe Allah=Jehovah=Jesus is a hook that could be used to reach Muslims in the same way that Paul used 'the unknown God' on Mars Hill with the Greeks?

    So, do you think that Jesus was saying to the Samaritan woman that she was really worshipping The Father but that she just didn't know Him personally? Couldn't He say that about the Jews as well?

  8. Agree Karen that God is portrayed in the OT as vilent but He is also portrayed as loving. I am not ure that the God of Islam is portrayed as a loving God ... could be wrong though?

  9. I found an interesting dialog between a Muslim and a Christian. Might be helpful in a dialog with a Muslim?

  10. KB, I'll have to look up that story about Mars Hill, don't know it. But, I cringe at the term "hook" even if we are fishermen (...err, people). {c;

    To me it's just about compassion; understanding and hurting for someone who, in their current belief, can never know how God truly loves them - instead of feeling almost smug about having a knowledge and their lack of the same. This is the story Jesus tells me in the re-telling of the woman at the well.

    "So, do you think that Jesus was saying to the Samaritan woman that she was really worshipping The Father but that she just didn't know Him personally? Couldn't He say that about the Jews as well?

    I think the Jews did know who they worshipped, as God had worked hard to preserve their relationship with Him. He repeatedly revealed Himself to them, as they were His chosen people. The Samaritans did not have the benefit of His favor. I think Jesus was the full revelation of God, but the Jews had more knowledge than anyone else. That's my take on it???

    My in-laws just arrived for a lenghty stay, but I will read up on the Mars Hill thing and the discussion you linked to soon. Thanks for the discussion, KB!

  11. KB, from the Quran, or Koran, or whatever (The Recitation)

    The Family of Imran
    3.31 Say: If you love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your faults, and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

    Allah is portrayed quite similarly to God in our OT. In fact, I think I did a word search once: Per number of words, the word "love" appeared more often in the Quran than in the Bible. The word "kill" appeared more often in the Bible than the Quran. I haven't read all of the Quran, but I think it behooves all Christians to do so, to see what we are up against as well as the cross over of history from one text to the other.

  12. Thanks Karen for the Quran reference. I guess, what I am beginning to see is how much I tend to identify with Isaac rather than Ishmael ... maybe because Jesus came through Isaac and not Ishmael. Not sure that I agree that we need to read the Quran but I think that it does point to the need to read/know the NT because it interprets the OT.

  13. Hope you have a great visit with your company Missy! I still struggle with the 'same God' idea ... hard enough to see it between the OT and NT ... really ... if Jesus didn't validate the connection I don't think that I would see it.

  14. Yes, Bob..."same God idea. ..hard enough to see it between the OT and NT" Amen to that.
    Of course you identify with Isaac..Ishmael is the beginning of that "wild" tribe! ;-)
    I just wish we'd all look to our similarities, not differences---our history is in both books.

  15. Karen,

    Not sure that I know what you mean when you say "our history is in both books"

    ... maybe you can elaborate.

    Thx, KB

  16. The history in the OT and the Koran run together: Abraham, Jesus, Mary; events the same, and even some of the verses run similar. Didn't Ishmael's lineage become Islam?


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