2012 Archives

Theologian: Christians, Muslims believe in, don't worship, same God

Excerpt

The following ran in the April 30, 2012, edition of the Baptist Standard. Theology Professor William Abraham provided expertise for this story.

May 7, 2012

By Ken Camp

WACO—Christians and Muslims believe in the same God as Creator, but the God and Father of Jesus Christ is not the God of the prophet Mohammad, a Methodist theologian told a gathering at Baylor University.

"Christians and Muslims believe in the same God. They do not worship the same God," William Abraham said.

Even so, common belief in the Creator shared by Christianity and Islam may provide the basis for Muslims' full engagement in American political and civil life, he asserted.

Baylor's Center for Ministry Effectiveness & Educational Leadership and Truett Theological Seminary's Kyle Lake Center for Effective Preaching sponsored the symposium that asked, "Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God?"

Abraham, an Irish-born scholar in philosophical theology who serves as Albert Cook Outler Professor of Wesley Studies at Southern Methodist University's Perkins School of Theology, insisted the question is not just an abstract ivory-tower debate.

"The identity of God in Christianity and Islam is not just a hot ecclesiastical and political issue. It is also a critical theological and missiological issue," Abraham said.

"Can we assume that we are speaking of the same God when we speak to Muslims of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ? In sharing the gospel with Muslims, should we assume that we believe in the same God, or should we tacitly seek to wean them away from belief in Allah?"

Abraham believes Christians and Muslims find common ground in that both identify God as "the one and only Creator of the world who is all good, all powerful and worthy of worship and obedience."...