Allah’s Advocate- Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God?


Updated 12/31/15, and 1/2/16 to include additional links, see below. 

Do Muslims and Christians worship the same God? The question intrigued me because it was raised by a tenured professor at Wheaton College, a well-known evangelical institution. Larycia Hawkins made the decision to wear a hijab, an Islamic veil or headscarf, during the Advent season with a view to showing her ‘human’ and ‘religious’ solidarity with Muslims around the world. She wrote on her Facebook post:

“I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book. And as Pope Francis stated last week, we worship the same God.”

What think ye? Wheaton College issued a statement indicating that Professor Hawkins would be placed on administrative leave, indicating that her statements about the relationship between Islam and Christianity conflicted with Wheaton’s statement of faith.

Here are a couple of helpful links:

  • Alan Jacobs weighs in with a Lewisian bomb-shell on why most of us should probably just shut up.
  •  Catholic philosopher Francis Beckwith argues the affirmative.
  • An excellent article in the Chicago Tribune provides a refreshingly balanced perspective.

Finally, I’d like to leave you with the concluding argument of Scott McKnight (I think he’s got it right) on a post he wrote in response to Miraslav Volf’s contention that Muslims and Christians worship the same God:

I have said this before and will say it again: we can agree to some degree at a generic level, but we don’t worship God in the generic. We worship either the God of Abraham and Moses, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, or the God of Mohammed. The God in each of the faiths is understood differently enough to conclude that saying we worship the “same” God muddies the water.

E.g.,. we could say these things that show the three are sufficiently dissimilar:

1. There is only one God and he has taken on human form in one person, Jesus Christ.

2. The one God has revealed himself most completely in Jesus Christ, who was crucified and raised, so that cruciformity is central to Who God is.

3. The one God is revealed in Three Persons, Father, Son and Spirit.

Neither Judaism nor Islam embraces any of these, so there is good reason to say they are not the same.

Feel free to share any thoughts or helpful material that you may have. I only ask that you consider- why is this important to me?

12/31/15- I also came across two additional articles that may be helpful- 

1/2/15– Francis Beckwith put together an excellent roundup, including a follow-up post by Peter Leithart.

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