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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Do We Worship the Same God? (Read 9,095 times)
Mercy For All
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Do We Worship the Same God?
Dec 30th, 2015 at 7:41pm
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"...I believe that the phrase “Muslims and Christians worship the same God” is only true in a fairly uncontroversial sense: There is one Creator whom Muslims and Christians both attempt to worship."

That is a quote ripped out of context. The speaker qualifies that with a really big BUT...

RZIM POV - Do Muslims and Christians Worship the Same God?

This topic was brought up on the Christian Forum. I think this response to the question might be a little more thorough...

For example:

"The similarities between the God of Islam and the God of Christianity are fairly superficial, and at times simply semantic. Though Islam claims that the Muslim God has done some of the same things as the Christian God and sent some of the same people, that is not enough to say that Muslims worship the same God as Christians. These minor overlaps are far less essential to the reality of who God is than the fundamental differences of his nature and persons. What God has done or whom He has sent is far less of a defining characteristic than what He is and who He is; though Islam and Christianity overlap at points on the former, they differ fundamentally on the latter."
  

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BowHunter
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Re: Do We Worship the Same God?
Reply #1 - Dec 31st, 2015 at 12:14am
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Don't you mean, one religion worships god and the other doesn't?

Since you both think that there is only ONE god how can you worship different gods? That doesn't make any sense.
  

Non sequitur:

The Hamster is at it Again wrote on Mar 2nd, 2017 at 4:30am:
... that has less power than a hair dryer used by a eunuch.



Rabbit_Reborn wrote on Feb 5th, 2017 at 5:40pm:
...that makes me a moron.
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Re: Do We Worship the Same God?
Reply #2 - Dec 31st, 2015 at 12:08pm
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BowHunter wrote on Dec 31st, 2015 at 12:14am:
Don't you mean, one religion worships god and the other doesn't?

Since you both think that there is only ONE god how can you worship different gods? That doesn't make any sense.


The object of said worship is the point. That said, your point is well taken.

  

Let a man meet a she-bear robbed of her cubs rather than a fool in his folly. Proverbs 17:12 (ESV)
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Mercy For All
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Re: Do We Worship the Same God?
Reply #3 - Dec 31st, 2015 at 12:09pm
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BowHunter wrote on Dec 31st, 2015 at 12:14am:
Don't you mean, one religion worships god and the other doesn't?

Since you both think that there is only ONE god how can you worship different gods? That doesn't make any sense.


Your response betrays a significant lack of nuanced thinking.

I think you'd be stuck trying to differentiate between counterfeit and real bills. "Wait, why are we talking about this one? It's not a 10-dollar bill at all! Why would you call it a 'counterfeit bill'? That doesn't make any sense!"
  

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Re: Do We Worship the Same God?
Reply #4 - Dec 31st, 2015 at 2:22pm
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Mercy For All wrote on Dec 31st, 2015 at 12:09pm:
Your response betrays a significant lack of nuanced thinking.

I think you'd be stuck trying to differentiate between counterfeit and real bills. "Wait, why are we talking about this one? It's not a 10-dollar bill at all! Why would you call it a 'counterfeit bill'? That doesn't make any sense!"

What do you mean? A counterfeit bill is a counterfeit bill. What else is there to know? If you impersonate Reagan for example, you're clearly not Reagan, but I can still recognize that you're impersonating him.
How you link that to the matter at hand is a complete mystery to me. Maybe one had to be there, inside your head that is... Wink
  

Non sequitur:

The Hamster is at it Again wrote on Mar 2nd, 2017 at 4:30am:
... that has less power than a hair dryer used by a eunuch.



Rabbit_Reborn wrote on Feb 5th, 2017 at 5:40pm:
...that makes me a moron.
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Running Deer
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Re: Do We Worship the Same God?
Reply #5 - Dec 31st, 2015 at 2:44pm
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How similar do views need to be before the god should be considered the same?  Some cases to flesh out the lines:

1. Oneness Pentecostals are considered Christians, but they deny the Trinity.  Do Oneness Pentecostals worship a different god than Trinitarian Christians?

2. An Appalachian snake-handler has a very different view of Christianity and God than a Coptic monk.  Do the snake-handlers and Coptic monks worship different gods?

3. Worshiping a man is a horrific heresy in Judaism, but Christianity is based on worshiping Jesus of Nazareth.  Do Jews and Christians worship the same god?  If not, since Christianity grew from a Jewish heresy, when did the gods separate?  If so, why are the Islamic-Christian differences more important than the Jewish-Christian differences?

4. The mystical strains of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism have much more similar views about God - and share many more practices and beliefs - than the non-mystical strains.  Do Christian, Jewish, and Islamic mystics worship the same god, two gods, or three gods?  Do the mystics worship the same god(s) as the non-mystics?

5. Christianity grew from a Jewish heresy, Islam from a Christian heresy, and Ahmadiyya is growing from an Islamic heresy.  Do the Ahmadis worship a different god than the Muslims?

6. Semitic people throughout the Middle East worshiped the god AL as the supreme deity.  In Hebrew, AL was called El, Elah, or Elohim.  In Arabic, Ilah.  In Akkadian, Ilu.  It's clear they're all using linguistic variants of the same name (like Juan, Sean, and John) to refer to the same being.  If the Jewish El is different from the Akkadian Ilu, at which point in history did the Jews and Akkadians stop worshiping the same god?  What was the breaking point?
  

"If cousins, I would much prefer to marry one my Neanderthal relatives than a screeching chimpanzee which might bite my face off as has happened recently.  Of course, chimps are not even a human species so procreation between humans and chimps is out of the question." - joe_christian, on sex
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Mercy For All
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Re: Do We Worship the Same God?
Reply #6 - Dec 31st, 2015 at 3:18pm
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BowHunter wrote on Dec 31st, 2015 at 2:22pm:
What do you mean? A counterfeit bill is a counterfeit bill. What else is there to know? If you impersonate Reagan for example, you're clearly not Reagan, but I can still recognize that you're impersonating him.
How you link that to the matter at hand is a complete mystery to me. Maybe one had to be there, inside your head that is... Wink


Well, to counter the claim "Allah is the same as YHWH; they are the same god" with "Allah is not the same as YHWH; they are not the same god" is not equivalent to "Allah and YHWH are both different (and rival) gods."

Surely this is not difficult to understand.
  

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Mercy For All
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Re: Do We Worship the Same God?
Reply #7 - Dec 31st, 2015 at 3:27pm
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Running Deer wrote on Dec 31st, 2015 at 2:44pm:
How similar do views need to be before the god should be considered the same?  Some cases to flesh out the lines:

1. Oneness Pentecostals are considered Christians, but they deny the Trinity.  Do Oneness Pentecostals worship a different god than Trinitarian Christians?

2. An Appalachian snake-handler has a very different view of Christianity and God than a Coptic monk.  Do the snake-handlers and Coptic monks worship different gods?

3. Worshiping a man is a horrific heresy in Judaism, but Christianity is based on worshiping Jesus of Nazareth.  Do Jews and Christians worship the same god?  If not, since Christianity grew from a Jewish heresy, when did the gods separate?  If so, why are the Islamic-Christian differences more important than the Jewish-Christian differences?

4. The mystical strains of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism have much more similar views about God - and share many more practices and beliefs - than the non-mystical strains.  Do Christian, Jewish, and Islamic mystics worship the same god, two gods, or three gods?  Do the mystics worship the same god(s) as the non-mystics?

5. Christianity grew from a Jewish heresy, Islam from a Christian heresy, and Ahmadiyya is growing from an Islamic heresy.  Do the Ahmadis worship a different god than the Muslims?

6. Semitic people throughout the Middle East worshiped the god AL as the supreme deity.  In Hebrew, AL was called El, Elah, or Elohim.  In Arabic, Ilah.  In Akkadian, Ilu.  It's clear they're all using linguistic variants of the same name (like Juan, Sean, and John) to refer to the same being.  If the Jewish El is different from the Akkadian Ilu, at which point in history did the Jews and Akkadians stop worshiping the same god?  What was the breaking point?


And that is why, at its very basic level, "we worship the same God," but just scratch beneath the surface, and we don't.

Christianity is ultimately defined by Jesus himself as the fullest revelation of God. This is what Islam denies and all Christians would (should?) accept. Most Christians would also accept (rightly or wrongly) that Jews worship the same god but have not appropriately recognized Jesus as his highest revelation.

The Hebrew God, by the way, is distinguished from the very general term "El" (almost like our word "god") by his specifically revealed name, YHWH.
  

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Re: Do We Worship the Same God?
Reply #8 - Dec 31st, 2015 at 4:29pm
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Mercy For All wrote on Dec 31st, 2015 at 3:27pm:
Christianity is ultimately defined by Jesus himself as the fullest revelation of God. This is what Islam denies and all Christians would (should?) accept. Most Christians would also accept (rightly or wrongly) that Jews worship the same god but have not appropriately recognized Jesus as his highest revelation.


Jews and Muslims equally reject Jesus as Son of God and God the Son.  Generally speaking, though, Jews dislike Jesus and consider him a charlatan and fraud, while Muslims consider him the second greatest prophet in human history and honor him highly.  To wit, a former co-worker attends the local mosque Masjid Isa ibn Maryam, literally the Jesus Son of Mary Mosque.  How is it that Jews and Christians worship the same god when Jews and Muslims both reject Jesus's divinity claims but Muslims honor him while Jews dislike him?

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The Hebrew God, by the way, is distinguished from the very general term "El" (almost like our word "god") by his specifically revealed name, YHWH.


El was used as both a general term for a god and was also one of the specific names of the Hebrew God.  (You know, of course, that the name Israel itself means Prince of El.)  Originally, Yah was the name of a different god, and gradually the Hebrews merged Yah and El into the same god.  Through religious development and political struggle, the combined god Yah-El was eventually recognized as the chief god of the Hebrews, then the sole god of the Hebrews, then the sole god of all creation.

So, if Yah-El is not the same god as the Akkadian Ilu, when exactly did they diverge?  What was the dividing line?
  

"If cousins, I would much prefer to marry one my Neanderthal relatives than a screeching chimpanzee which might bite my face off as has happened recently.  Of course, chimps are not even a human species so procreation between humans and chimps is out of the question." - joe_christian, on sex
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Mercy For All
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Re: Do We Worship the Same God?
Reply #9 - Dec 31st, 2015 at 4:54pm
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Running Deer wrote on Dec 31st, 2015 at 4:29pm:
Jews and Muslims equally reject Jesus as Son of God and God the Son.  Generally speaking, though, Jews dislike Jesus and consider him a charlatan and fraud, while Muslims consider him the second greatest prophet in human history and honor him highly.  To wit, a former co-worker attends the local mosque Masjid Isa ibn Maryam, literally the Jesus Son of Mary Mosque.  How is it that Jews and Christians worship the same god when Jews and Muslims both reject Jesus's divinity claims but Muslims honor him while Jews dislike him?


That's a really good question.

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El was used as both a general term for a god and was also one of the specific names of the Hebrew God.  (You know, of course, that the name Israel itself means Prince of El.)


Yeah, maybe, maybe not. What is the difference between "El" as generic title and "El" as name? That the name Israel references it doesn't make "El" a name. It kind of reminds me of people getting upset at someone "taking God's name in vain" by saying, "oh, God!" when that's not his name.

From what I see, it's not much different than the title Ba'al (literally "lord") which seems to be used as a name, but is really a title, sometimes with an addition to make it specific.

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Originally, Yah was the name of a different god, and gradually the Hebrews merged Yah and El into the same god.  Through religious development and political struggle, the combined god Yah-El was eventually recognized as the chief god of the Hebrews, then the sole god of the Hebrews, then the sole god of all creation.


Yeah, maybe. Or maybe that's all speculation.

Quote:
So, if Yah-El is not the same god as the Akkadian Ilu, when exactly did they diverge?  What was the dividing line?


Those are both good questions as well.
  

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