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Is the God of Islam the same God as is worshipped by Christians?


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#41 Antonios

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 08:58 PM

I am sorry, I do not recall Jesus declaring an end to the world. I do not mind correction.

Could it be that ideas of "the end of the age," and "the day of the Lord" could mistakenly have become established in our minds as an end of the world, that is, the final destruction of the planet?

Where on earth would it go to?


That there will be an end to the world I think is pretty clear Christian understanding dating back to apostolic times. What that means exactly I don't think everyone agrees on (that is, destruction of the planet, for example).

I have two questions:

What is your faith is as I see it not listed?

Also, do you believe that after the return of Christ the earth will still be the way it is now, that is, will there be corruption and decay and death? If no, then would you call that the same "world" we live in now?

#42 Lourens

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 09:44 PM

Dear Antonio,

Thank you for your response.

As for your questions, briefly, as it is going off topic already, I do not have clear answers for you.

I cannot say that I have ever considered whether I believe "that after the return of Christ the earth will be the way it is now," that is, whether there will still be "corruption and decay and death." Since these elements are all part of nature, and the earth is of nature, and by nature subject to material laws that dictate cycles of change (including decay, death, and rebirth), it certainly would not be "the same world we live in now," since it would have ceased to be a natural environment wherein natural cycles operate.

But, then, salvation has the spiritual world in mind, does it not? If it is to populate heaven with men from earth, I fail to see how the destruction of the earth will be helpful.

As to the current state of my faith, I can only say that I have trouble labeling it, and find myself only in integrity when saying it is under (open) construction. For I have learned that asking a man what his faith is, is asking for his beliefs, which is nothing other than his truths, that is, all the truths he has confirmed in himself. And then, I understand that unless those beliefs in truths held are acted out, they really mean nothing, nor make him anything. I would be rather shy to admit to any noble standing in anybody's Confession of Faith.

Of course, the greatest danger in assessing labels are the judgment they hold, perhaps not consciously, but cumulatively an evaluation is constructed whereby others are type cast, or expected to perform according to the norm.

Thank you for forcing me to think on these things.

#43 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 01:31 AM

But, then, salvation has the spiritual world in mind, does it not? If it is to populate heaven with men from earth, I fail to see how the destruction of the earth will be helpful.


I take it you are not very familiar with the Orthodox Church on the subject, nor, dare I say, the words of Holy Scripture itself?

Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. (2 Peter 3:13)

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. (Revelation 21:1-3)

Orthodoxy does not hold to the gnostic idea of the total separation of the spiritual and mortal worlds. God reclaims ALL of His creation, not just the "spiritual".

Just so you know.

Herman the hopefully helpful Pooh

#44 Antonios

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 03:36 AM

Thank you for your response.


Dear Lourens,

Thank you for your response. I think we can all admit that we are searching for the truth. :)

I would comment on this statement of yours:

Since these elements are all part of nature, and the earth is of nature, and by nature subject to material laws that dictate cycles of change (including decay, death, and rebirth), it certainly would not be "the same world we live in now," since it would have ceased to be a natural environment wherein natural cycles operate.



I would expound on this by saying that the nature of the earth is a consequence of the fall, that is, the true nature of creation is not for corruption, decay and death but has become so because of the fall of man and the effect we as stewards of creation have caused upon it. Thus Christ's saving work at the His second coming will once and for all restore (renew?) creation in it's entirety back to a state free of corruption, decay and death, one which He has promised would be an everlasting one. What that process means may mean transfiguration, it may also mean a catharsis of sorts where all that is against God will be 'cast into eternal darkness'. It may mean both. But nevertheless, it will be a different 'world'.

This would be an interesting discussion perhaps on a new thread, especially if some of the clergy could chime in! :)

#45 Michael Albert

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 01:40 PM

Well, Michael, I should say that you have done a wonderful job of quoting me out of context. All I am saying is that the question itself lacks clarity.

I thought the question was rather clear and I am sorry that you feel I have quoted you out of context.

#46 Lourens

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 02:27 PM

I take it you are not very familiar with the Orthodox Church on the subject, nor, dare I say, the words of Holy Scripture itself?

[...]

Orthodoxy does not hold to the gnostic idea of the total separation of the spiritual and mortal worlds. God reclaims ALL of His creation, not just the "spiritual".

Just so you know.

Herman the hopefully helpful Pooh


Dear Mr. Blaydoe,

Thank you for pointing me in the right direction.

Most interesting in your response are the words referring to the "total separation of the spiritual and mortal worlds."

This is an eye-opener, since I have never before seen the spiritual world contrasted with the mortal world. Spiritual vs. material, yes. Spiritual vs. natural, yes.

Such a contrast does imply, however, that the spiritual world is the "immortal" world, while a "mortal" (that which is subject to death) world stands against it, outside of it.

This, however, seems problematic (to me), [not being too familiar, and so on..] :-)

"Mortals," that is, "human" beings, are spiritual beings, and thus part and parcel of the spiritual world (already, while on earth, clothed with material bodies).

What is more, we, us, they -- them spiritual beings -- have their being IN the Ever-living, Ever-present One, for "in Him we live and move and have our being; in Him we live and act and are."

Just some off-topic thoughts brought to my unfamiliar mind by the helpful Pooh. Thank you.

#47 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 02:43 PM

If 'material' works better than 'mortal' for you then run with it. I may have been having a senior moment and 'mortal' was the word that popped into my admittedly small brain. I am not trying to reformulate theology here.

O bother.

Herman the Pooh

#48 Jonathan Gress

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 07:57 PM

The question of whether the "God" of Islam is the same as the God of Christianity, the Holy Trinity, is not a new one. Emperor Manuel I objected to the language of the rite of reception of Muslims into Orthodoxy, which originally did imply that the Muslim God was not the same as the Christian God:

Anathema to the God of Mohammed, about whom
Mohammed says that… He does not beget and is not begotten, and nobody is
like Him.


Metropolitan Eustathius of Thessalonica strongly objected, but the Emperor would not bend. In the end, the Patriarch and assembled bishops replaced the anathema against Mohammed's God with an anathema against Mohammed himself and his teachings.

#49 Mediterranean

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 08:57 PM

Is the God of Islam the same God as is worshipped by Christians?


Of course not.
Once again, our God is a God whose name is Love.
Church as living Christian community is the demonstration of God’s love for the world. Within this communion man is born free, he can receive and give the love of God.
Does God appears or make a covenant with people like Mohammed?

#50 Bryan J. Maloney

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 05:49 PM

The god of Islam is not God, but I would say that Muslims believe that their God is God. If a demon wished to deceive someone, how better to begin than by claiming to be the God of Abraham? Indeed, do not demons still deceive those Christian leaders who stand up and accuse the Orthodox of practices such as idolatry? These ministers believe their information comes from God.

#51 Kosta

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Posted 31 March 2011 - 07:07 PM

Jonathon brings up an important historical point in post 48. Not only do we not believe muslims worship the same God, we now have enough proof that he is not to be associated with the god jews worshipped in the OT.

The koranic verse "He does not beget and is not begotten, and nobody is like him", rejects the belief in a Father or Son or Holy Spirit as i pointed out in my earlier post. But this also demonstrates that this muslim god is severed from the OT and is foreign from even the jewish understanding of the God of Abraham.
In Psalm 2; 'The Lord has said to me , You are my son, today i have begotten you' (ps 2.7), Jews interpret this as a reference to their crossing the red sea. The post exilic people have been brought forth from egypt into the promised land and have become the chosen children of God. This concept is blasphemy in islam and the entire verse would be considered heretical. Thus even the jews habe some semblance that God is a father.

#52 Donna Rail

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 03:47 AM

True. It also brings into question why the Muslims say they accept the Jewish and Christian scriptures. Clearly, what they mean is they accept their own versions instead. I've read the Koran, and I've read the Bible, and in the Koran, it has the Jewish prophets saying different things than they do in the Bible. Um, wait a minute... (scratches head)

#53 Bryan J. Maloney

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 01:44 PM

True. It also brings into question why the Muslims say they accept the Jewish and Christian scriptures.


That's an easy one for me. It's the same reason that Baptists say they accept the New Testament. How better can the Devil lead people astray than by mixing in just enough truth to mask the smell of his lies?

#54 Guillermo M.L.

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 08:02 PM

True. It also brings into question why the Muslims say they accept the Jewish and Christian scriptures. Clearly, what they mean is they accept their own versions instead. I've read the Koran, and I've read the Bible, and in the Koran, it has the Jewish prophets saying different things than they do in the Bible. Um, wait a minute... (scratches head)


As far as I understand, Muslims accept the Jewish and Christian scriptures as "Word of God", but believe that Jews and Christians have altered them to suit their own ungodly purposes. Therefore, any scriptural passage that does not comply with their beliefs, they believe it to have been altered. Only the Koran is believed by them to be the unaltered, and therefore purest, revelation of God... a kind of "ultimate restoration of the original faith".

This is their belief. My conjecture is that, during his lifetime, Muhammad met only Christians from heretical groups, and never got to know "mainstream" Christianity. Therefore, any Koran story that retells an OT or NT story, or any opinion on Jews and Christians written in the Koran, is distorted from the origin.

I have read about half of the Koran. I left it before finishing it, because it was dense and repetitive to read. What struck my attention is that it was written in a very defensive attitude: every now and then, it repeatedly states "this book is the Word of God", as if the writer was unsure and had a need to assert it. As far as I know, nowhere in the Bible we can find the statement that the Bible is the Word of God... it is implicitly assumed, but not stated. It also repeats its promise, now and then, of sending to Hell everyone who is an "infidel" (i.e. not Muslim), and rejoicing in it. It doesn't speak about having balance in the Final Judgement, judging sins... having faith in Islam or not is the only divisive line between being sent to Heaven or Hell.

I may be oversimplifying in my opinions, and may have got some stuff of the Koran wrong. I will be happy to stand corrected. Still, I cannot say if they worship the same God or not... God may be hearing their prayers after all. But I do think that God, as portrayed in the Koran, shows a personality that we Christians would not recognize in our God.

If the stick defining whether God is the same or not is to look for a Trinitarian belief, then I don't know either if the God of the Jews is our same God... current Jews don't believe in the Trinity... they dismiss that idea as "refined polytheism".

#55 Jonathan Gress

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 03:33 AM

I would be careful about identifying the Judaic God with the Christian God. Our God is indeed the same God that was worshiped in the Old Testament Church, but the Rabbinical (i.e. Pharisaical) Judaists of today are not the inheritors of the OT, but of the "traditions of men" that our Lord explicitly condemned. So I would not say "the God that the Jews worship" when speaking of the OT God, but I would use the past tense: "the God that the Jews worshiped". This reflects the fact that the Jews formerly had the right faith, but have since fallen away.

Like Islam, Rabbinical Judaism is rigidly anti-Trinitarian in its conception of God. Therefore, I think it's highly questionable that either faith can be considered to worship the same God as us, since our God is none other than the Holy Trinity. True, they believe in one God, the Creator of the Universe. In that respect they are correct. But the Jewish conception of the Messiah, for example, is completely carnal. That Psalmic verse you quote, for instance, is one of the strongest proofs for our belief that God begot a Son, but the Jews reject the plain meaning of the text for this contrived reference to the Red Sea crossing.

And I'm not even speaking of Kabbalistic Judaism, which includes the Hasidic sect, in which monotheism has more or less yielded to polytheism. Even Rabbinical Jews consider this movement heretical.

#56 Bryan J. Maloney

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 05:02 PM

I would be careful about identifying the Judaic God with the Christian God.


That statement moves dangerously close to Marcionism.

#57 Rdr Daniel (R.)

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 05:03 PM

Not if we use the term Judaic to mean modern Judaism not the Old Testament Church.

#58 Guillermo M.L.

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 06:53 AM

What I am not very sure about is if Abraham, Isaac, Moses, David, Solomon, etc. knew and understood about the Holy Trinity as Christians do now, or if such knowledge and understanding was a revelation that was brought by Jesus Christ in His Gospel. Could anyone instruct me on this issue?

#59 Rdr Daniel (R.)

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 01:24 PM

I know not but I would guess they would not have a full understanding until the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. But they would have looked to God in faith and would not have thought of God in the way modern Jews do. David calls Christ Lord but how well he understood what he was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write in the Psalms I'm not sure. The exception might be Abraham who saw three angles and called them Lord this being a foreshadowing of the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ of the Holy Trinity.

#60 Christina M.

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 05:03 PM

What I am not very sure about is if Abraham, Isaac, Moses, David, Solomon, etc. knew and understood about the Holy Trinity as Christians do now, or if such knowledge and understanding was a revelation that was brought by Jesus Christ in His Gospel. Could anyone instruct me on this issue?


Many modern theologians (notably Fr. Romanides and his "disciples") hold that all of the Old Testament prophets and saints experienced the mystery of the Holy Trinity in theoria. When they attained theoria, they were able to understand that God is one in three Persons, and that one of the Persons is unbegotten, one is begotten, and one proceeds. I couldn't find the quotes I was looking for in books, but I did find this one which is similar:
By Andrew Sopko:

That the prophets did not write as clearly about the Holy Trinity as the New Testament authors should not lead us to conclude that they had not experienced the Trinity. Having undergone the same therapeutic regimen of purification, illumination, and glorification as the writers of the New Testament and their "apostolic successors," the prophetic experience was identical... Christ, the chief physician, perfects his spiritual doctors in both the Old and New Testament.

I wonder if this is a more modern viewpoint, or if there are good quotes from earlier Fathers who said the same.




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