“Are the God of Christianity and Allah of the Quran the same, just different names? Why is there so much insistence that we must choose one or the other?”
Perhaps one of the best ways to determine whether God and Allah are indeed the same is to look at what each says about various topics in the books that have been written in their names, the Bible and the Quran.
Christians believe Jesus is the Son of God. Along with the Holy Spirit, He is co-equal and eternally existing with God the Father. Because of God’s grace and mercy extended to fallen, sinful humanity, Jesus came to earth to be the perfect sacrifice that would allow humanity to be redeemed from sin. Faith in Christ allows Christians to experience eternal life.
For Muslims, Jesus was no more than a great prophet. He is looked upon favorably, but not believed to be God, God’s son or eternally existing. Muslims believed Allah raised Jesus to heaven, but don’t believe
He was raised from the dead.
|[Jesus] being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. (Philippians 2.6-7)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. (John 1.1)
|The Messiah, son of Mary, was not but a messenger; [other] messengers have passed on before him. (5.75a)
Indeed, the example of Jesus to Allah is like that of Adam. He created Him from dust; then He said to him, “Be,” and he was. (3.59)
For Christians, salvation comes as a gift from God through faith in Jesus. There is nothing Christians can do to earn salvation. After placing their faith in Christ, they can be assured of salvation.
For Muslims, salvation is earned through good works. There is no assurance of salvation during this lifetime, only the hope that on judgment day, their good works will outweigh their sinful choices.
|For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3.16)
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. (Ephesians 2.8-9)
|So when the Horn is blown, no relationship will there be among them that Day, nor will they ask about one another. And those whose scales are heavy [with good deeds] – it is they who are the successful. But those whose scales are light – those are the ones who have lost their souls, [being] in Hell, abiding eternally. (23.101-103)|
God encompasses God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. As three persons in one God, He is able to extend and receive love and live in fellowship. He is complete within Himself.
The Quran does not mention the Trinity. Allah is a single entity. Until other beings came into existence, he was not able to experience love or live in fellowship.
|Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness.” (Genesis 1.26a, emphasis added)
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28.19)
If God of Christianity and Allah of Islam were the same, we would expect congruity between what is said in the Bible and what is stated in the Quran. Instead there is continual contradiction. Either Jesus is God the Son or He is not. Either salvation is a gift from God or it is earned. Either God exists in three persons or He doesn’t. In each of these cases, both options cannot be true. These contradictions, as well as others not covered here, lead to the conclusion that God of Christians and Allah of the Muslims are not the same.
Many global events have caused this question to be an increasing topic of discussion. In the face of differing points of view we do well to remember Jesus’ response to the scribe when asked the greatest commandment:
“The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12.29-31)
In the face of differing opinions, how do we love our Muslim neighbors well?
Please leave a comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
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