Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God?
Part 1—A Shift in World Order
by Dan Plyler
Since the collapse of the former Soviet Union in the late 1980's and early 1990's, there has been a dramatic change in the world order. The central opposing geo-political powers before this collapse consisted primarily of us in the West, along with our European allies and Israel, verses the Soviet Bloc countries. Any of you reading this now who lived during those times can remember the great tensions between the super-powers. We called it the Cold War. Our free, democratic way of life and our system of values stood in stark contrast to the oppressive, atheistic, Lenin/Marxist tenets of Communist Russia. At the time it was widely thought that these great tensions would eventually culminate in the form of a third world war that would be fought with the nuclear arms each country had been stock-piling for years. People on both sides understood that war fought on such a scale, using weapons capable of such immense destruction, would wipe out all, or most all, life as we knew it. It was a real possibility-- but in the end there was no war. The Communist Government in Russia could not compete with the West in keeping up in the arms race, and their economy collapsed into bankruptcy.
In 1989 when then U.S. President Ronald Reagan stood at the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin, Germany and demanded that Soviet Leader, Mikhail Gorbachev ....tear down this wall... many celebrated what was believed to be a major step towards world peace, an end to the tensions and the looming threat of a nuclear holocaust. But the tensions didn't end; they only shifted. Hatred of the West had been brewing in the Mid-Eastern Muslim countries for many years and was intensified by the United States' support of the Jewish State of Israel. Since the early 1990's, we have seen the countless terrorist attacks in the name of Islamic Jihad, the mass immigration of Muslims into western countries such as France, Great Britain and others, also the increasing influence Islamic terrorist groups have on Mid-East governments as their memberships increase and the Jihad intensifies. All of these things taken together have set Islam up as a real world order. Only a few years ago this could not have been imagined. What was before a clash between super-powers and their ideologies has now, as Dr. William Lane Craig put it, become more of a clash between civilizations.(Reasonable-Faith Pod-cast)
There have been many in the West, even many Christians, who have suggested (perhaps with noble intentions) that the God of Christianity and the God of Islam are one and the same God. Through a better understanding of this concept they believe both religions can implement steps towards settling their differences and bring about more harmony between the two faiths. I disagree and see this as a very misguided notion. It is hard to see how anyone could hold such a position or suggest this idea without being completely misinformed and/or uninformed about the two very different doctrines of these two world religions, especially the different doctrines of God. It is as though Westerners simply cannot conceive of a belief system that could be so different from their own - one that is actually acting consistently with it's doctrines when it commits atrocities and attacks against others, even other Muslims---For in the 9th Surah of the Qur'an we find the following.........fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war)........Pagans would include Christians and anyone else who does not submit to Islamic beliefs. You will only be spared if you submit to Islam and worship Allah.
There can be no synthesis between these two religions anymore than there can be a synthesis between the doctrine of God and the doctrine of demons. The God who reveals Himself in your Bible is not the God found in the Qur'an, though something tells me you knew that already. But how do we communicate the differences in doctrines to others who don't already know. To help better understand this, we will next look at Part 2 -Monotheism, Unitarianism and Trinitarianism.