Why is it just plain wrong to argue that Xianity and Islam do not share the same God?

Often whenever someone counters the claim that Islam and Christianity pray to the same God, this is struck down as being untrue and downright impossible. Why exactly must a person be wrong if they believe that the God of Christianity is different from that of Islam (or vice versa).

I’ve seen here on the boards people being attacked for that view, often with comments about how they must be ignorant fundamentalists who know nothing of the histories of the two religions. However, plenty of Christians (and I’ll bet plenty of Muslims two) have, through their own examination of the two religions and their personal sense of faith, reached the conclusion that the God of Islam is not the Christian God. I’m not a rabid fundamentalist, rather a member of the Church of England, a fairly liberal denomination, but from my own study and faith I could not in good conscience say that the Christian God is the same as the Muslim God.

I assume that perspectives on who exactly the Muslim God is vary, with fundamentalists perhaps believing it is a demon, like Saint Paul said of the Greek deities. I, on the other hand, believe that Muslims are praying to something which doesn’t exist, although the Triune God of Christianity does have pity for them.

Though the Board is often the paragon of religious tolerance, there is a great deal of intolerance when it comes to believing that Islam and Christianity do not share the same god. Why is this?


Why? Because it shows a basic lack of understanding of how the various religious split off from one another.

Well, to say they are not the same god you have to say either Christianity or Islam’s God is not the same God as in the Jewish faith. Both mainstream Christianity and mainstream Islam believe their faiths derive from Judaism. So in the mainstream all three religions share the same god. I am unaware of any Christian or Islam sub-sets (avoiding the word sect here) that do not believe that their faith was followed on from the faith of Judaism.
Cheers, Bippy

Personally, I’m not one to say whether it’s a different God or not.

I would suspect though that fundamentalist Islamics and fundamentalist Christians would think that they were two different Gods (or one false God and one real God) because AFAIK the two different Gods demand different things, and they also punish for different things.

We’re talking about religion, which doesn’t necessarily work that way. Although Islam and Christianity both split off from Judaism, their concepts of God are very different. If the God of Christianity is a Triune God who was born a man to redeem us for our sins, and Judaism doesn’t believe that its god can be spoken of as three in one, then it shows that a religion can have a totally different god than its offshoot. What can’t one say that, for example, Judaism’s god doesn’t exist, but Islam got it right?

I imagine that the modern tenet that Christianity and Judaism share the same god is just a result of enough people saying it’s that way. I imagine there are still a great deal of Christians around who believe that the god of Judaism is not the True God. Groups who believe differently and especially those who attempt to prostelytise to Jews now face accusations of anti-semitism.


UnuMondo said:

You asked a question. I gave you the answer. Bippy explained it in a bit more detail. We’re talking about history. If you want to argue what a person’s particular beliefs are, well then sure, you could argue they are different gods. But then you could argue that there are no gods. Or that there are millions of 'em. So I guess I’d have to wonder what your point is.

It shows that those who follow the religion have a totally different concept of their God. If that God truly exists, He hasn’t changed just because the beliefs of some followers have changed. And if He never existed to begin with, well then the whole discussion is rather moot.

Um, no, it’s a matter of history.

I’m sure they do. Shows what they know.

Which has exactly what to do with the price of tea in China?

Are you actually trying to argue that the Jewish God is not the same as the Christian God? Which one did Jesus, the Jew, pray to?

Are there any Christian Sects that believe the God of the Old Testament, was bad, evil, or died out. And that the God of the New Testament is a different being?

Cheers, Bippy

Even fundamentalist Muslims believe that they are worshipping the same god as Christians. They do not believe in the divinity of Christ, and they believe that Christians are in error about God’s triunity, but they don’t say it’s a different God, that’s just ignorant.

Do you believe that the God of the Hebrew Bible is the same as the God of the New Testament?

The Jewish and Christian Dieties are not the same. The very fact that in Christianity (except the Unitarians), God is a triune diety, pretty much puts him out of consideration as the same as the Jewish God.

However, the Moslem God is, in fact, identical to the Jewish God, inasmuch as both Muslims and Jews agree on the substance and nature of God (even if we disagree on what He said).

The practical result is that while a Jew must relinquish his life before praying to the Christian diety, there is some “wiggle room” with regard to Islamic diety.

Please note, I’m not stating that a Jew is permitted to become a Muslim to save his life. However, certain things (such as saying the Allahu Akhbar, which, for a Jew only entails accpeting Mohammed as a prophet]) may be done under certain circumstances to give the impression of being a Muslim in order to save one’s life. A Jew could not, however, partake of the Communion under similar circumstances. Please note that this post is for information purposes only and not to be taken as a decision of Jewish law. If you have any questions concerning actual case law, please contact a Rabbi.

Zev Steinhardt

I believe that some sects of Gnosticism believed that the “god of this world” was evil, and identified the “god of this world” with the OT God. Jesus was an emination of the God of the Spiritual realm.

The God of this world was the god of material things. Material things were inherently bad. Spiritual things were good.

Gnosticism more or less died out, but heavily influenced Christianity. See for example the flesh/bad, spirit/good dichotomy, the notion of Satan as “king of the world”, the embracing of celebacy, etc., all of which are quite alien to Judaism.

The differences among Judaism, Christianity and Islam are real and significant, and no one should try to gloss over those differences. But the bottom line is, the God each religion venerates is the same.

Every Christian believes the God that Jesus called “the Father” is the same God who made a covenant with Abraham and who gave Moses the Ten Commandments.

Every Moslem believes that Allah is the same God who made a covenant with Abraham and who gave Moses the Ten Commandments.

Christianity sprang from Judaism. Islam sprang from a combination of Judaism, Christianity, and Muhammad’s own ideas. Now, Jews can (and, as Zev indicated, DO) argue that the Christians and the Moslems have distorted Jewish teachings into something unrecognizable, but no honest, intelligent Christian or Moslem can deny that his faith is, ultimately, rooted in Judaism.

From a Jewish perspective, Christianity (particularly Catholic and Orthodox Christianity) is simply not monotheistic.

The trinity is just the start. Then there is the cult of the saints, the worship of Mary, the notion of Satan as a “god of evil”, and the veneration of icons – all directly contrary to Jewish notions of the one true God who insists on his singularity, and forbids the worship of graven images and lesser dieties.

However, historically there is no doubt that Judaism gave birth to Christianity and Islam.

There is only one God. Therefore, Muslims, Jews, Christians, and any other monotheists are worshipping the same God.

Our understanding of His nature may be different, as well as our understanding of how He acts in history (and towards whom), but it is still the same God.

Although in answer to a previous question, yes, there were Gnostic sects who denied that the God of the Old Testament was the same as the God who is Father to Jesus. I believe they referred to Him as the Demi-urge.

I could be wrong about this. It has blurred together with all the disputes on the nature of the Trinity, the human and divine nature of Jesus, the Socinian heresy, the heresy of Modal Monarchianism (I found, somewhat to my surprise, that my understanding of the nature of the Trinity was specifically condemned as heretical by somebody or other) and all the other crap I still have floating around in my head from my days at seminary.


Eh? Forgetting the Essenes?

The flesh/bad, spirit/good dichotomy was going on in the Pistic Christianity, which was Gnosticism’s rival. Gnosticism heavily influenced Christianity, but only because it forced the Pistics to be even more extreme and demanding in their establishment of mainstream Christian dogma than they might have otherwise been.

I tend to think that they are. The only difference between the Jew and the Christian is that the Christian has accepted and believes that Jesus is the Messiah whereas Jews (some Jews have accepted Jesus as the Messiah) are still waiting for the Messiah. We believe in the same Father which is in heaven but differ as to acceptance of Jesus Christ as the Messiah.

As I have read it (from a Christian newspaper), Christianity is derived from Judaism, but Islam, while incorporating many of the same text, is not derived from either Judaism or Christianity. So Judaism and Christianity do share the same God, but the God of Islam is another.

> Why? Because it shows a basic lack of understanding of how the various religious split off from one another.
> You asked a question. I gave you the answer.

Is it me, or did this sound just a little bit condescending? How about some elucidation David? Argumentation you know – or should we just take your word for it? Especially since this sort of question does not have any absolute correct answer.
(Is Moderator bashing considered suicidal on these boards? :smack: )

Not that I have any stake in it, since I know they’re all false idols – the true God being the might Odin of course. :slight_smile:

Actually AFAIK Islam is directly derived from the Old Testiment.

I most certainly am not.

The Essenes are in no way, shape or form similar to the Rabbinical Judaism which has survived down to the present day.

In many ways they are far more similar to Gnostics and Christians than to modern day Jews. Rivers of ink have been spilled on the cross-influences - but there is no doubt that Judaism has totally and completely rejected the flesh/spirit dichotomy so important to Gnostics and Christians.

I think that the influences of Gnosticism on Christianity are obvious, in that many of the things Gnostics believed, Christians also believe - down to the present day. Certainly the notion that the god of this world is evil is Gnostic in origin, although the Christians avoid the implication that this god is the OT god via the device of inventing Satan (or rather borrowing him from Mithraism).

From a dictonary definition of Gnosticism: “…they contrasted the supreme remote divine being with the demiurge or creator god, who controlled the world and was antagonistic to all that was purely spiritual.” “Satan, ruler of the world” vs. “God up in heaven”, anyone? The main difference is that Satan did not create the world - but what does that matter now?

Now, for some reason I cannot fathom many people these days have a sympathy for Gnosticism - to me, it is responsible for much that is wrong with Christianity (although I concede that this may be because Gnostic teachings were misapplied or misunderstood). I suspect that part of the reason is that the Gnostics allowed for the expression of mysticism more than regular Christianity.

WinstonSmith said:

I’d like to see the cite on this one. As has already been noted here, Islam relates closely to Judaism.

You catch on quick. :wink:

As I pointed out, others had already mentioned it. And it didn’t really seem that was his question anyway. Historically, he doesn’t seem to be arguing the point (he can feel free to correct me if I’m wrong). He’s talking more about a metaphysical answer which is, frankly, like arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

It does in a historical context.

“Moderator bashing”? Yes. Debating the Moderator? No.