Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God?

Wheaton College suspended a professor, Larycia Hawkins, for wearing a hijab headscarf during advent. She said that Muslims and Christians worship the same God. Wheaton College issued a statement saying that Christianity and Islam are both monotheistic faiths, but the differences between them are fundamental, so, no, they don’t worship the same God.

Yale Theologian Miroslav Volf, whose book influenced Hawkins, disagreed with Wheating, writing the the Washington Post that it’s about anti-Muslim bigotry. I don’t know how he can, in charity, cast aspersions on people’s motives, e.g., “More precisely, her suspension reflects enmity toward Muslims, taking on a theological guise of concern for Christian orthodoxy.”

But putting that aside, here’s the key part of his argument:

Muslims deny the Trinity and incarnation, and, therefore, the Christian God and Muslim God cannot be the same. But the conclusion doesn’t square. And Christians, though historically not friendly to either Judaism or the Jews, have rightly resisted that line of thinking when it comes to the God of Israel.

It’s interesting to me that Christians are having this debate. In some Muslim societies, by contrast, it’s illegal to use the word Allah to translate the Biblical word for God.

What do you think?


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