Islam V. Christianity

I’m getting lots of email like this. But I’m not going to wade into this any deeper. It’s not that it’s not interesting, it’s just that it is unresolvable and I am not particularly qualified to speak intelligently beyond what I’ve said. So feel free to send all future emails on the subject to Mike Potemra!

Anyway from a reader:

Jonah-

You’re missing something. Have you read the Qur’an? See Chapter 18, Al-Kahf (“The Cave”) for this line, verses 4 and 5:

“And to warn those who say: Allah has taken to Himself a son. They have no knowledge of it, nor had their fathers. Grievous is the word that comes out of their mouths. They speak nothing but a lie.”

For its part, look at the Bible (here I use the NRSV), 1 John 2:22-23:

“Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the anti-christ, the one who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; everyone who confesses the Son has the Father too.” (emphasis added)

Both of this are not alone in their respective texts, either. Both religions are fairly adamant that the other is wrong and not worshipping the same God at all. For Muslims, telling them that Christians who believe Jesus of Nazareth is God worship the same God as Allah of the Qur’an is, simply put, blasphemy. For Christians, telling us that Muslims who deny that Jesus died on the cross and is God worship the same God of the Bible is to state that someone who denies the Son does in fact have the Father- once again, blasphemy.

Sure, if you extrapolate the texts to the point of worthlessness you can assert that Allah of the Qur’an and the Trinitarian God of the Bible are the same God. But, as a Christian, I find this sort of carelessness with the text to be more offensive than being told I’m wrong- at least to be told I’m wrong, you have to take my claims seriously. I imagine any Muslim readers you have that take the claims of the Qur’an seriously feel the same way.

And- maybe more poignantly- would you be comfortable taking such liberties with the Constitution?

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