To my father, a Pentecostal minister who admired Muslims, and taught me as a boy that they worship the same God as we do.
And there is our question: Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God? But we need to dig deeper in answering that question: How do we answer such a question? By comparing the Muslim view of God with the Christian view of God? Or by speaking in general terms — do we both worship one God, with no other gods?
And, is this debate really about religion?
Volf’s intent is to explore the “proper Christian stance toward the God of the Qu’ran and what that response means for the ability of Christians and Muslims to live together well in a single and endangered world.” And he sees “extraordinary promise” in a proper Christian response.
Our history matters; our religions matter; and our theology matters. Some Christians today think the Muslim God and the Christian God are two different Gods. What do you think?The debate was heated when Rick Warren, evidently, used language from the Christian scriptures, the Hebrew scriptures and the Muslim scriptures when he prayed at Obama’s inauguration.
Volf: “The stronger the tensions between adherents of different religions, the more likely that their gods will be held to be incompatibly different …” (8). In turn, this permits easier turnings to conflict. The solution is not to secularize beliefs.
And this: “Muslims and Christians will be able to live in peace with one another only if (1) the identities of each religious group are respected and given free room for expression and (2) if there are significant overlaps in the ultimate values that orient the lives of people in these communities. These two conditions will be met only if the God of the Bible and the God of the Qu’ran turn out to embody overlapping ultimate values, that is, if Muslims and Christians, both monotheists, turn out to have a ‘common God’” (8-9).
And: “But can it be said of Muslims and Christians, today caught in deep conflicts, that they, too, worship the same God? Yes it can” (11).