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December 07, 2006

Comments

BillyHW

Do language historians know what word Arabic Christians used for God prior to the 7th century?

Tim J.

A JA.O classic...

Apologetics, a lesson in logic AND super heroes...

Thanks, Jimmy!

But how do I know you're the REAL Jimmy, and not - say - Mystique in Jimmy Akin form?

Jeni

This has given me some really good insights and more points to ponder!!

Bill

So...Bruce Wayne...is...God? And Muslims worship...Chameleon Boy? So if she.....weighs the same as a duck....she's made of wood...and therefore....

JD

excellent article. But newsreaders in Gotham read the Gotham Gazette. Reading the daily planet would be akin to my Washingtonians and I receiving the times in the morning, instead of our beloved post. (or, for most of us, express)

Tim J.

"So...Bruce Wayne...is...God? And Muslims worship...Chameleon Boy?"

Well, Bill, let's put it this way (if this is not too sacrilegious)...

Batman is in reality a persona of Bruce Wayne. Jesus is in reality a person of God.

Batman and Bruce Wayne are really substantially the same being.

Jesus and God are really substantially the same being.

There are those who know both Batman and Bruce Wayne (like the Commissioner), but who do not know that they are both the same being. They believe in Batman, they believe in Bruce Wayne... they just don't get the connection.

There are those who know both Jesus and God (like Muslims), but who do not know that they are both the same being. They believe in Jesus (as a prophet), they believe in God (as Creator)... they just don't get the connection.

Muslims at least accept Jesus (in their own truncated and distorted way) as a prophet. Judaism seems often to portray Him as a wanna-be prophet, a misguided or even somewhat unhinged individual, not to mention what they teach about the Blessed Mother.

Muslims revere Mary, as well, in their own way.

-----

Now, a duck would float in water (as would apples and cider) whereas churches and lead would not. Nor would rocks (even very small ones). The question is, could an African Swallow carry a coconut?

JD

my *fellow* Washingtonians.

TP


Jimmy,

I thought the question was about whether the name "Allah" refers to the same thing referred to by the proper name "God" (surely, "Allah" and "God" aren't always used as proper names, but I thought that this particular question used them as proper names). If that is so, the conditions for conversation - though insightful and a pleasure to read - aren't germane to the topic. It is clear that conversation can occur where there are mistaken beliefs about who one is taking to. What isn't so clear is whether the two proper names are co-referrential.

For that, you'd have to look at theories of proper names. Here are three theories of proper names that philosophers today employ, and how the question is answered on each.

Some people think that proper names are disguised definite descriptions. In that case, the proper name "God" would refer to that unique thing which is all good, triune, omniscient, creator of hte universe, and so on. On this theory, "God" and "Allah" don't refer to the same thing, since the definite descriptions hidden in the two names are inconsistent - "God" includes the description "truine", "Allah" doesn't include it and denies it. (Bertrand Russel held this view of names)

Another view of proper names holds that names are still definite descriptions, but only a certain subset of the description is required for a name to refer. There is an inner core of attributes the name designates, and as long as the thing designated has at least some of those attributes, the name refers properly. So, if the inner core attributes of "God" and "Allah" are the same (which is an open question), the two names could be co-referrential. (John Searle holds this view of names).

One final view of proper names is a baptismal, or causal history view. Roughly, it goes like this. At one point in the past, someone performed an act of naming (I dub you Jimmy). That name is passed on down the ages. One could have every attribute of the thing wrong (e.g., I think you are a Mormon from Canada who hates cowboy boots) but as long as I have acquired the name through a causal history of it being handed down, I still refer to you when I use it. In this case, the two proper names are co-referrential IF the thing that was initially named is the same thing in both cases, and this whether or not anyone agrees on any attributes of the thing(s). (Saul Kripke holds this view).

So, I think the answer to this question -- about whether or not "Allah" when spoken by a Muslim as a name of his God, and "God", spoken by a Christian as a name of his God are co-referrential -- depends on ones theory of proper names. If one holds Russel's theory, they aren't. If one holds Searles theory, they may be. If one holds Kripke's theory, again they may be.

All the best,

Tim J.

I would say that both "God" and "Allah" are not proper names, but titles or descriptions.

chris-2-4

Yeah, but... Would Bruce Wayne really get the Daily Planet?

Breier

The last comparison is inopposite, inasmuch as it assumes doubt in Muslims and Christians. Furthermore, it doesn't deal with the obvious question:

What if "Allah is the Creator of the Universe" and "Allah has no son." are equally primary truths? There is no greater or lesser dogma, both are equally true. The Muslim does not think about "if the Christian God exists," and more that Christians think about God, "If he is not a Trinity."

The correct contrast would have been:

"The Muslim who beliefs Allah is Creator of the universe and that Allah has no son, and both of these are equally true, equally primary"

For in a simple being like God, there are no greater or less attributes, except perhaps according to our order of knowing.

I do not see how Jimmy answers that question. He made the question to easy for himself by dodging the Muslim who doesn't have a doubt about Christianity. For that Muslim, it is impossible the Christian God exists, any more than it is possible to talk about God, if he did not exist. If the Muslim God did not exist, nothing would exist.


Brian John Schuettler

SLU may not be Catholic anymore but it still sounds Jesuitical.

Breier

Does a process theologian pray to God?

An Arian?

How about a Mormon?

A Satanist?

Why are we only focusing on traits of God as learned in natural theology? Why not focus on our supernatural knowledge of the divine essence?

If a Muslim denied that God was all-powerful, he's no longer worshiping God?

But if a Muslim denies that God is a Trinity, he worships God?

If someone denies that God is merciful does he worship God?

At some point, aren't we just referring to a word, with some traditonal "divine" attributes attached? How can you omit anything and still say it's God?

If you omit any one divine attribute, particularly a supernatural attribute, have you not denied God?

I don't see why "all-powerful" trumps "Triune."

Breier

It seems more reasonable to me to say that if you consciously deny any divine attribute, you've denied God and are praying to "nothing." Just as a man who turned his back on a man and talked to a wall is talking to the wall, not the man.

Nevertheless, God hears the prayers of those in good faith, even if they are praying to sticks, stones, goddesses, or Allah who has no son. After all, prayer is not about teaching God anything, but about improving ourselves.

Dan Hunter

Jesus said,
"You are either with Me or against Me".He is referring to Himself as the third Person of the Holy Trinity.
If one does not accept Christ and everything He says then one is against God.
Since the Incarnation, the Jewish people have rejected Jesus,therefore God is rejected.
"No one comes to the Father accept through Me"
In Hoc Signo.

As for Jews, they don't have a denial of the Trinity or Christ's sonship as part of their Creed. Their state seems analagous to the state of the people in Old Testament.

Rather than worshiping the "non-Triune," I would think they simply leave that consideration out of things. So rather than "non-Triune," that part is left blank. Their God is the same God they had in the Old Testament.

The question is whether starting from Christianity and denying the Trinity is the same as just never catching on to the doctrine.

Landrew

Maybe it’s like the blind men looking at the elephant kind of thing. We see the Muslim (blind man) touching the elephant’s trunk and believing that God is like a snake.
The question is: is the Muslim’s understanding of the nature of God so different from ours that when he says God (or Allah), he is really talking about something different than when we say God?
Is he really worshiping God with just a deficient understanding, or is his understanding so different that it makes him worship something that isn’t really God at all, just an idea of man’s creation? That would be an idol.
When he meets the Lord in that hallway between death and life, will he reject or accept the living God because He is not what was expected?
Maybe no one this side of the grave can really answer that question.

Lurker #59

I work with this question a lot.

There is a problem with using the CCC on this issue. The sentence to 841, which you did not include says

...these PROFESS to hold the faith of Abraham...

It does not say that they actually hold the faith of Abraham, but only "they think they do".

So this needs to be taken into account in your discussion, namely that the Muslims do not actually hold the faith of Abraham.

In other words if
Christians hold the faith of Abraham
Jews hold the faith of Abraham
and
Muslims do not hold the faith of Abraham

is
the Muslim God = YHWH?

Additionally, I find that the best way to deal with this question is to recognise that Islam was considered a heresy of Catholicism. So at the very best, we have to say that the Muslim understanding of Allah is a corrupted understanding of the True God.

SO how corrupted can an understanding get before you no longer worship God? This is a very fruitful question b/c it helps us understand how we are to relate to other religions, not just Muslims. And remember it is a quite ancient teaching of Catholicism that all other religions are either corrupted remembrances of the faith of Adam and Eve or twisting of the devils (cf. St. Justin Martyr and Carroll in Founding of Christendom.)

Rick Lugari

But... If, as Catholics, we know that Mohammad was NOT a prophet of the One True God, yet Muslims pray to the god of which Mohammad was a prophet, can it still be said that they are praying to the True God?

Tim J.

"Jesus said,
"You are either with Me or against Me"."

Jesus also said "Whoever is not against us is for us.".

Breier

Whoever denies Jesus he will deny. We report, you decide.

Inocencio

"He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me."

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Phil M.

uhhh, I believe that’s “billionaire" playboy Bruce Wayne.

One wonders, would John be called a rad-trad for writing this in 2 John?

"Many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh; such is the deceitful one and the antichrist. Look to yourselves that you do not lose what we worked for but may receive a full recompense. Anyone who is so "progressive" 7 as not to remain in the teaching of the Christ does not have God; whoever remains in the teaching has the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him in your house or even greet him;
for whoever greets him shares in his evil works."

Slowboy

Funny, I tend to "think" like this:

1. God hears all prayers (He is God after all).
2. This is not dependent on my intellectual grasp of who He is but is a funtion of His omnesence unrelated to my limited knowledge.
3. Our ability to understand God and his answers to our prayers is related to our grasp of who He is. If we think God is illogical (or maybe trans-logical) if I understand the Muslim grasp of God correctly then we can see illogical answers as potentially being from God. A Christian would automaticly reject non-logical answers as not from God. (If I had the time I could make a story about Chamelion Boy telling Jimmy to take a job with Doc Octopus (or the WaPO!) and Jimmy accepting this as a good idea because it came from Bruce Wayne).

In this vein I might have a converstion with Jimmy and suddenly discover he is not a Mormon who hates cowboy boots. Then I would be faced with the choice of either deciding the person infront of me is not Jimmy or that my understanding of who Jimmy is needs to change.

In my mind the not unrelated question is what does a Christian do when invited to pray in a mosque. NPR trumpeted that Benedict XVI, "prayed to Mecca" while in Turkey.

Tim J.

"He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me."

Absolutely. But many who we THINK reject Christ do not really reject Him, but rather some caricature or distortion of Him - sometimes because His image has been twisted and defaced by the members of His Church who bear that image to the world.

"...As it is written: "God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you."

Brother Cadfael

would John be called a rad-trad for writing this in 2 John

I can't imagine why he would be called a rad-trad for any reason, much less for writing what would more properly be considered a warning to rad-trads who think they know more than the Pope. (One "teaching of Christ" in which to remain is that Peter is the Rock.)

Francis DS


What Muslims believe about God is what they read from the Koran, and nothing else.

Did the real God have anything to do with the Koran? No!

Does the Koran describe God accurately? No!

If you studied the Koran, will you get to know about the real God (the Trinity)? No!

In short, Muslims think they are talking with Bruce Wayne, but in fact they are talking with someone who has a T-shirt with 'Bruce Wayne' printed on it. That's as close as they get.

TP

"SLU may not be Catholic anymore but it still sounds Jesuitical."

That's a rude thing to say.

I don't see how anything I said was Jesuitical (unless that's a compliment now; in that case, thank you).

I said that whether you think "Allah" and "God" (when used as proper names) refer to one and the same object depends on your theory of proper names.

Suppose you think that proper names are disguised definite descriptions (as Tim J. and Breier seem to think). Then, the question is whether you need all the desciptions right to refer to something or not. If you do, then plainly Muslims and Christians don't use "Allah" and "God" (as proper names) to refer to the same thing. If you think that there are certain attributes that are vital for reference and others that aren't, or that one needn't have them all right, but just most, then there is room for the terms to co-refer.

Suppose you don't think that names are disguised definite descriptions. Then, the question of consensus on divine attributes is irrelevant to the question of whether Muslims(using "Allah") refer to the same thing as Christians (using "God"). Rather, the question is whether the initial naming action performed to set the proper name "God" was performed on the same thing that the initial naming action that set the proper name "Allah" was.

The question of whether "Allah" and "God" refer to the same thing requires a theory of proper names. Pointing that out doesn't seem, to me at least, to be an act of sophistry or casuistry.

SDG

If you omit any one divine attribute, particularly a supernatural attribute, have you not denied God?

It seems more reasonable to me to say that if you consciously deny any divine attribute, you've denied God and are praying to "nothing." Just as a man who turned his back on a man and talked to a wall is talking to the wall, not the man.

How about God's simplicity? If someone thinks that the philosophical formulations of God's simplicity are a crock, and in fact that they contradict the Trinity, does that mean when he prays to the Trinity he's praying to nothing?

What if an Orthodox Christian denies the theology of the filoque? Granted, we've basically hashed that one out, but what if an Orthodox Christian unaware of what Nicaea II had taught and of the nuances of the discussion, regarded it as an error plain and simple to say that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son? Are his prayers addressed to nothing?

Inocencio

Tim J.,

Exactly unless we hear the Church we reject Christ.

And if our brother sins against us, we follow Christ's instruction to take it to the Church.

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Maureen

Re: paper delivery
There are people from other cities who take the New York Times, the WaPo, and (more to the point for a millionaire) the Wall Street Journal. Obviously, Gotham has a lot of fans of The Daily Planet. (Or Bruce is secretly subsidizing Jimmy's paperboy career.)

Re: talking to God
The corollary to Jimmy's theory is that we better be darned careful about saying that other religious faiths don't really pray to God. I mean, if I'm thinking, "I want to talk to the Christian God but not the Muslim one," I'm in deep kryptonite if God keeps a fatherly ear out for Muslims' prayers. As He probably does.

Furthermore, none of us know anything about God except what God has revealed to us, and logical extensions thereof. Do we really want to theorize that God doesn't hear the prayers of the ignorant and honestly mistaken?

I know I don't, because I can only guess what important things I don't know about God. I cling to His goodness and love, so I dare not deny it to others.

Judge not if you don't want to be judged.

Esau

Additionally, I find that the best way to deal with this question is to recognise that Islam was considered a heresy of Catholicism. So at the very best, we have to say that the Muslim understanding of Allah is a corrupted understanding of the True God.


Lurker#59:
Lutheranism was also considered a heresy by the Church, but do they actually worship a different God?

Esau

Jesus said,
"You are either with Me or against Me".He is referring to Himself as the third Person of the Holy Trinity.
If one does not accept Christ and everything He says then one is against God.
Since the Incarnation, the Jewish people have rejected Jesus,therefore God is rejected.
"No one comes to the Father accept through Me"
In Hoc Signo.

Jews don't except Christ; does that mean they're against God?

Mind you, they are the chosen people of God.

Esau

CORRIGENDUM:

Jews don't accept Christ; does that mean they're against God?

Tim J.

"Exactly unless we hear the Church we reject Christ."

I'm not sure what you mean. Are you agreeing with me, or disagreeing?

All I'm saying is, the rejection of some distorted image of Christ would not necessarily mean that one had truly rejected Christ himself, or would at least reduce the culpability for such an act.

NewTrollObserver

Two points regarding the Muslims and the Jews. (I'll leave the Dharmic traditions for a later date.)

The CCC does say that Muslims "profess" to believe in Abraham's divine encounter, but it also goes beyond that mere observation, stating the Muslims also, along with Christians, actually do "adore" (and not merely "profess" to adore) True Divinity. To wit:

841 The Church's relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."

Judaism in general consciously rejects the Trinity (just read Maimonides). However, Kabbalah has a less hostile reaction against the Trinity, since the Trinity could be seen as one particular mystical (experientially-based) understanding of God's manifestations.

Esau

But how do I know you're the REAL Jimmy, and not - say - Mystique in Jimmy Akin form?

That's just it; it's not Jimmy Akin, it is James Akin!

Inocencio

Tim J.,

I agree with you.

There will be a host of different personal opinions on this subject and I want to take it to the Church.

Since any quote of Sacred Scripture can be taken out of context we need to hear those who our Blessed Lord gave His authority.

Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Jeff

Breier:

"All powerful" is part of the DEFINITION of God in Reason. It's hard to know who or what you would be praying to without it. Though, I suppose, you could hold some weird theory about God having voluntarily given up his power or something...

"Trinity" is something revealed by God in FAITH. If you had to believe in the Trinity even to recognize God at all, that would mean you had to already have Christian Faith to do so.

One can arrive by reason alone, without any faith, at the conclusion that there is a God who created the universe. And one can act as his creature. Thus St. Paul in his Epistle to the Romans.

And, thus the First Vatican Council. God remains apprehensible to the unaided reason.

Saying that you have to believe in the Trinity in order to pray to God sounds uncomfortably close to denying that God can be known through reason alone. Which is a heresy.

Allahu akbar, folks!

Esau

I believe the following from the Great John Paul II would be appropriate:

MUHAMMAD?

A very different discussion, obviously, is the one that leads us to the synagogues and mosques, where those who worship the One God assemble.
Yes, certainly it is a different case when we come to these great monotheistic religions, beginning with Islam. In the Declaration Nostra Aetate we read: "The Church also has a high regard for the Muslims, who worship one God, living and subsistent, merciful and omnipotent, the Creator of heaven and earth" (Nostra Aetate 3). As a result of their monotheism, believers in Allah are particularly close to us.

I remember an event from my youth. In the convent of the Church of Saint Mark in Florence, we were looking at the frescoes by Fra Angelico. At a certain point a man joined us who, after sharing his admiration for the work of this great religious artist, immediately added: "But nothing can compare to our magnificent Muslim monotheism." His statement did not prevent us from continuing the visit and the conversation in a friendly tone. It was on that occasion that I got a kind of first taste of the dialogue between Christianity and Islam, which we have tried to develop systematically in the post-conciliar period.

Whoever knows the Old and New Testaments, and then reads the Koran, clearly sees the process by which it completely reduces Divine Revelation. It is impossible not to note the movement away from what God said about Himself, first in the Old Testament through the Prophets, and then finally in the New Testament through His Son. In Islam all the richness of God's self-revelation, which constitutes the heritage of the Old and New Testaments, has definitely been set aside.

Some of the most beautiful names in the human language are given to the God of the Koran, but He is ultimately a God outside of the world, a God who is only Majesty, never Emmanuel, God-with-us. Islam is not a religion of redemption. There is no room for the Cross and the Resurrection. Jesus is mentioned, but only as a prophet who prepares for the last prophet, Muhammad. There is also mention of Mary, His Virgin Mother, but the tragedy of redemption is completely absent. For this reason not only the theology but also the anthropology of Islam is very distant from Christianity.

Nevertheless, the religiosity of Muslims deserves respect. It is impossible not to admire, for example, their fidelity to prayer. The image of believers in Allah who, without caring about time or place, fall to their knees and immerse themselves in prayer remains a model for all those who invoke the true God, in particular for those Christians who, having deserted their magnificent cathedrals, pray only a little or not at all.

The Council has also called for the Church to have a dialogue with followers of the "Prophet," and the Church has proceeded to do so. We read in Nostra Aetate: "Even if over the course of centuries Christians and Muslims have had more than a few dissensions and quarrels, this sacred Council now urges all to forget the past and to work toward mutual understanding as well as toward the preservation and promotion of social justice, moral welfare, peace, and freedom for the benefit of all mankind" (Nostra Aetate 3).

From this point of view, as I have already mentioned, the meetings for prayer held at Assisi (especially that for peace in Bosnia, in 1993), certainly played a significant role. Also worthwhile were my meetings with the followers of Islam during my numerous apostolic trips to Africa and Asia, where sometimes, in a given country, the majority of the citizens were Muslims. Despite this, the Pope was welcomed with great hospitality and was listened to with similar graciousness.

The trip I made to Morocco at the invitation of King Hassan II can certainly be defined as a historic event. It was not simply a courtesy visit, but an event of a truly pastoral nature. The encounter with the young people at Casablanca Stadium (1985) was unforgettable. The openness of the young people to the Pope's words was striking when he spoke of faith in the one God. It was certainly an unprecedented event.

Nevertheless, concrete difficulties are not lacking. In countries where fundamentalist movements come to power, human rights and the principle of religious freedom are unfortunately interpreted in a very one-sided way-religious freedom comes to mean freedom to impose on all citizens the "true religion." In these countries the situation of Christians is sometimes terribly disturbing. Fundamentalist attitudes of this nature make reciprocal contacts very difficult. All the same, the Church remains always open to dialogue and cooperation.

guest
End
Esau

The preceding was from CROSSING THE THRESHOLD by Pope John Paul II.

Esau

Once again, as His Holiness said:

Yes, certainly it is a different case when we come to these great monotheistic religions, beginning with Islam. In the Declaration Nostra Aetate we read: "The Church also has a high regard for the Muslims, who worship one God, living and subsistent, merciful and omnipotent, the Creator of heaven and earth" (Nostra Aetate 3).

As a result of their monotheism, believers in Allah are particularly close to us.

Tim J.

Sorry, Innocencio.

Just brain fog.

DGS

Jimmy,

I read faithfully and appreciate the time and thought you put into your posts.

When you are trying to get from Metropolis to Gotham do you always travels via Paris, Melbourne and Hong Kong?

;)

Rosemarie

+J.M.J+

>>>In my mind the not unrelated question is what does a Christian do when invited to pray in a mosque. NPR trumpeted that Benedict XVI, "prayed to Mecca" while in Turkey.

He didn't "pray to Mecca," he closed his eyes, touched (held?) his pectoral cross and prayed to Our Father in Heaven. No prayer mat or prostrations or any other element of Muslim prayer. Regardless of whether you believe that Christians and Muslims worship the same God, the fact remains that the Pope prayed a Christian prayer to the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

BTW, Pope Gregory VII said back in A.D.1076 that Muslims and Christians "believe in the same God, albeit in a different manner". So it's not a new, "post-Vatican II" concept. Of course, even if Muslims do believe the same God as we do, that does not make Islam salvific or equal to Christianity. As Dominus Iesus explains:

"Certainly, the various religious traditions contain and offer religious elements which come from God, and which are part of what "the Spirit brings about in human hearts and in the history of peoples, in cultures, and religions". Indeed, some prayers and rituals of the other religions may assume a role of preparation for the Gospel, in that they are occasions or pedagogical helps in which the human heart is prompted to be open to the action of God. One cannot attribute to these, however, a divine origin or an ex opere operato salvific efficacy, which is proper to the Christian sacraments. Furthermore, it cannot be overlooked that other rituals, insofar as they depend on superstitions or other errors (cf. 1 Cor 10:20-21), constitute an obstacle to salvation. (21)

So, although Islam may acknowedge the same Creator God we worship, its rites and worship are not the worship and homage God wants from mankind. He may deign to hear their prayers in their ignorance, but He wants them to become Catholic and participate in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

(FWIW, Muslims themselves apparently believe that Christians worship three gods - Allah, Jesus and Mary - so they themselves identify Allah with the One we know to be the First Person of the Trinity. The Koran exhorts Christians to worship Allah alone and "say not three;" IOW, ditch the other two and worship just the one.)

In Jesu et Maria,

arthur

Jimmy, with regards to the aspects of Chameleon Boy you stated that:

In reality, I was talking to (a) an alien being, who will be (b) a resident of Metropolis and is (c) a native of the 30th century and (d) from the planet Durla, and (e) has no special wealth and (f) is a teenager and (g) possesses the power to change shape.

You are in error, specifically with regards to point E. Have you forgotten the Chameleon Boy is the son and eventual heir of Rene Brande, the galaxy's wealthiest industrialist?

For shame, Jimmy, for shame. :)

--arthur

Esau

ROSEMARIE:

Your statement:
FWIW, Muslims themselves apparently believe that Christians worship three gods - Allah, Jesus and Mary

is not accurate. They respect and honor Mary, but they do not consider her as god.

More precisely, look in the Quran, in Sura 9 verse 29 in the Quran, a very famous text where Mohammed has some words about Christians in particular. He says: ‘Fight against those who say that God is the Messiah, the Son of Mary and Fight against those who say God is one of Three.’

Of course, the 2nd part of that is incorrect. We don’t say ‘God is one of three’ as if there were 3 gods.

When you read the Quran, it’s obvious that Mohammed didn’t quite understand Christianity itself; here, he misrepresented what we really teach and so, in that respect, he was condemning what we don’t teach.

Mind you, the above is based merely on the English translation though. The Arabic has a far more incendiary message.

Jeff

Rosemarie:

Volumes of tafsir (or "explanation") on this verse about Allah, Jesus, and Mary typically acknowledge that this is not the Christian doctrine of the Trinity today. They speculate that there was a group of Christians at the time of the Quran who did believe in this "Trinity" or something of that nature.

Anyway, the point is that few if any Muslims believe that Christians worship a Trinity of Allah, Jesus, and Mary.

Truefaith

Interesting comments, how about this thought: God looks into the soul, and hears prayers based on the 'purity' of intent. Only God has the capacity to look into the soul of any particular individual--and know whether or not that person is SEEKING to worship the true God--even if the person's knowledge of Him is distorted (i.e, the Moslems, the Jews, etc.) It seems that if one has a 'pure intention' to worship the true God, then humility in the individual would be present, thus opening the way for grace to become operative. God in His mercy would then give more supernatural 'light' to the soul, thus drawing them ever closer to a truer understanding of God as Trinity, yet at each step, the individual has the responsibility to accept or reject the 'light' that they've been given. I don't think one can definitively say that EVERY Moslem is praying to the true God--some may have that 'purity' of intent, but only God can know ultimately.

Esau

Assalamu ‘alaykum!

Again, about Mary, according to Islam, Mary is highly regarded and revered as a mother of one of God’s prophets, Jesus; not a god!

Esau

Is Fr. Mitch Pacwa here, by any chance?

Someone's got to give us a more accurate picture of Islam then what's being mentioned here.

Who better than Fr. Pacwa who knows Arabic fluently and the Islam religion personally!?!

Rosemarie

+J.M.J+

Well, I have read a few Muslims who believe that Christians either do or did worship Allah, Jesus and Mary. Maybe some of the more educated ones get it right, though.

True, they don't consider Mary to be a god any more than we do. Perhaps I should have said they believe that we worship three "as gods" or as though they all were gods, since some Muslims still do believe that Christians are tritheists.

In Jesu et Maria,

AnonnyMouse

It reminds me of St. Paul's address to the people who (or is it whom?) were worshipping an "unknown God" and I say that because they (Islams) have part of it right.
Esau, I like the fact that Fr. Pacwa mentions that do not forget the Koran has 2 sections, like the OT and NT and the second one commands that all not converting to Islam can/should be killed.
I lived in Saudi Arabia for about 3 years and every Friday, their holy day, they would preach against Americans, christians etc. So it is understood, that all they have to receive is the word from their leader, and presto, they can kill us (christians, americans, etc). The reason I know this is that their "homily" is brodcasted on a loudspeaker and there is a mosque practically on every corner.
That said, the Pope is very wise to find common grounds for discussion with them.

Esau

Well, I have read a few Muslims who believe that Christians either do or did worship Allah, Jesus and Mary. Maybe some of the more educated ones get it right, though.

True, they don't consider Mary to be a god any more than we do. Perhaps I should have said they believe that we worship three "as gods" or as though they all were gods, since some Muslims still do believe that Christians are tritheists.

Don't even give it a 2nd thought, Rosemarie!

It was a silly attempt at generating controversy so early in the morning given some interesting episodes in this here blog of Jimmy's for the past week. ;^)

God bless!

SDG

Esau: Did you read Rosemarie's original comment correctly? She didn't say that Muslims worship Mary. She said that (so she has heard) Muslims believe that Christians worship Mary.

Angus McWasp

WAIT a minute, Jimmy! "Nice" DOES mean "Ignorant."

At least it appears a number of smart people on this thread THINK it does.

Rosemarie

+J.M.J+

>>>It reminds me of St. Paul's address to the people who (or is it whom?) were worshipping an "unknown God" and I say that because they (Islams) have part of it right.

That passage is very pertinent to this discussion, since St. Paul told the Athenians, "What therefore you worship, without knowing it, that I preach to you" (Acts 17:23). This introduces the idea that men can offer natural worship their Creator though they are ignorant of His true nature.

Our Lord makes a similar point when He tells the Samaritan woman, "You adore that which you know not: we adore that which we know; for salvation is of the Jews" (St. John 4:22). We could well say that Muslims also "adore what they know not". Of course, as I stated above, this does not make Islam a true religion, just a manmade religion which contains some truths (all taken from Judaism and Christianity) along with many falsehoods.

In Jesu et Maria,

Just a nice little fact that you may be interested in also,
We could buy in Saudi, Madonna's or Mary medals (18 ct gold) and crosses but to buy crucifixes were hard and dangerous.
You might ask WHY on earth would you search for something like this in a country like Saudi?
Dirt cheap prices of gold.
(sorry for any misspelled words :0)

Esau

Esau, I like the fact that Fr. Pacwa mentions that do not forget the Koran has 2 sections, like the OT and NT and the second one commands that all not converting to Islam can/should be killed.

AnonnyMouse:
Actually, a good point to bring up is that they do have the the first five books of the Bible, as far as what I have been told.

I believe that Fr. Pacwa also had alluded to this in one of the EWTN Threshold of Hope episodes, but it was a long time ago.

AnonnyMouse

Amen Rosemarie.

AnonnyMouse

The message about buying gold in Saudi was from me. Don't know where my signature went.

NewTrollObserver

How much of the Quranic criticism of Christian 'worship' of three divinities dependent upon Islamic conceptions of what it means 'to worship'?

If certain Muslims identify 'worship' with 'prayer directed to', then, of course, Christians 'worship' Divinity, as well as the saints. In this context, Christians would suffer the same criticisms made against Sufis.

Esau

SDG:

Esau: Did you read Rosemarie's original comment correctly? She didn't say that Muslims worship Mary. She said that (so she has heard) Muslims believe that Christians worship Mary.

I think you may have overlooked my last reply to Rosemarie.

It was just me being silly. My bad. ;^)

Michael

Bruce Wayne is Batman?

Esau

...the second one commands that all not converting to Islam can/should be killed.

AnonnyMouse:

Actually, AnonnyMouse, you bring up another interesting point here.

There is this certain requirement in the Quran that says:

"Fight against those who say that God is the Messiah, the Son of Mary and Fight against those who say God is Three." (Sura 9 verse 29)

Now, some Muslims would say these verses don’t apply today and to those Muslims I say, “More power to you!”. We need more of the Muslim community convinced that those verses don’t apply today.

But, what the verses say in English is that non-believers are to be killed BUT there’s an exception for those who convert AND there is an exception for people of the book and that would include Christians and Jews and a few other groups who are willing to live in servitude or – well, that’s not quite the right word – who are willing to live in a status in Muslim society that is called Dhimmi.

DHIMMI are non-muslims who are typically Christians or Jews and a few others who are living in a Muslim society and are allowed to, at least, privately practice their own faith without being killed BUT they have to pay special taxes that Muslims don’t have to pay AND they have to assume the status of 2nd Class citizens AND also in the directive to subject non-believers to Muslim rule it includes an exhortation to make them feel thoroughly subdued and so they have to be in a rather abject condition.

Now, that’s what it said but in practice it wasn’t followed a lot of the time.

Even people of the book (Christians, Jews) were given a convert or die choice.

Further, when you look at the original Arabic of Sura 9 verse 29, the language is much stronger than it is rendered in the English translation. It doesn’t just say fight against them; it says kill them.

Esau

NewTrollObserver:

Christians 'worship' Divinity, as well as the saints. In this context, Christians would suffer the same criticisms made against Sufis.

Do you think when I say: "I love ice cream", that the word "love" there actually denotes the same kind of love I have for my family? for my country? for God?

More to the point, you need to expand your vocabulary and grasp the meaning of such words as latria, dulia, and hyperdulia.

Latria is the adoration due only to God. This is what we do when we worship and pray to God.

Dulia is the respect and honor given to angels and saints. This is what we do when we pray and give honor to the saints and angels.

Hyperdulia is a higher respect and honor given to Mary. This is because Mary was specially chosen by God the father to be the mother of His Son, our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. This is the due respect we pay to Mary when we venerate and pray to her.

Matt

I too have an imperfect understanding of Him due to a) my finite mind and b) my imperfect soul. I think that the same goes for everyone, no?

Yet I pray to Him.

I agree with Truefaith.

"God looks into the soul, and hears prayers based on the 'purity' of intent."

Nutcrazical

What about Allah not being bound by reason (he's not bound by anything at all), when God certainly is?

Jeff

What Christ revealed is not just some doctrine of a Trinity, but the true doctrine of the Trinity.

Most educated Catholics don't even understand it, but accept some ersatz version. I have encountered numberless errors in descriptions of the Triune God from the lips and keyboards of intelligent Catholics. Three separate persons is one of the common one.

A cursory read through the Quicumque Vult will show forth many a pitfall for the unwary Catholic.

So...are those of us with a mistaken idea of the Trinity not worshipping the One, True God? Or children who don't get the philosophical fine points...what about them?

I think this idea of only Trinitarians worshipping God is impossible.

Seamus

"All powerful" is part of the DEFINITION of God in Reason. It's hard to know who or what you would be praying to without it. Though, I suppose, you could hold some weird theory about God having voluntarily given up his power or something...

IIRC, the rabbi who wrote Why Bad Things Happen to Good People "solved" the perennial problem of how one can reconcile God's goodness with his omnipotence by concluding that God wasn't omnipotent after all.

Seamus

As for Jews, they don't have a denial of the Trinity or Christ's sonship as part of their Creed. Their state seems analagous to the state of the people in Old Testament.

Well, Christian Scientists pretty explicitly deny the Trinity. (They hold that Jesus was God's Son, but only in a way not fundamentally different from the way any of us can be sons of God.) If your argument is that Jews worship God but Moslems don't, you'd have to conclude that Christian Scientists don't, either, which strikes me as absurd.

Seamus

Also, I think it's a bit of a stretch to say that Jews are in the same position now as they were before the Incarnation. After the rise of Christianity, Jews were faced with a pretty clear choice whether to accept the claims of Christianity regarding Jesus or to reject them. Those Jews who accepted them (together with those gentiles who also accepted the good news) became the nucleus of the Church; those who rejected them became the nucleus of what we now call Judaism. The situation of Jews today, who have implicitly considered and rejected the Christian claims regarding Our Lord, is not at all analogous to that of those for whom the question never arose. (Similarly, Eastern Orthodox who have considered and rejected Catholic claims of papal primacy and infallibility are in a fundamentally different position from bishops in Eastern sees in the days before those issues were consciously addressed.)

Besides which, the Catholic Church may not have included a rejection of Nestorianism, Monophysitism, Monothelitism, or Eutychianism in the Creed, but that doesn't mean we don't have a firm belief about the number of persons, natures, and wills in Christ, so that modern-day Nestorians, Monophysites, Monothelites, and Eutychians (if there are any of them left) stand in a fundamentally different position than Christians in the first couple of centuries of the Church, who didn't think much about the question one way or the other, or if they did came to conclusions different from those held by the Church today.

Josh

Do language historians know what word Arabic Christians used for God prior to the 7th century?

Allah, which is simply the word for 'god'. Allah is cognate with the the Hebrew word El, which is the Semitic word for God. In the OT God is referred to by several names/words, but Elohim (a plural form of El) is one of the most common, and is cognate with Allah. Aramaic/Syriac-speaking Jews and Christians refer to God as Alaha, which is also clearly cognate with Allah.

Paul

I certainly think or write as articulately as some of the frequent posters here (and certainly less eloquent than our gracious blog host), but it seems the question has been somewhat confused.

Is it not two substantially different questions to ask the following:

Do we believe in the same God?

Do we pray to the same God?

To follow on from Jimmy's analogy. Take someone who does not believe that Batman exists. This person passes Bruce Wayne at a party and says, "Hi!". Well, He just spoke to Batman without believing he even existed.

Likewise take someone who is Hindu or follows a radically different theological concept than Christianity. That person's prayers are offered to and heard by the one, true God. We know this, because 1) they are not heard by the non-existent god or gods that they are appearantly directed to and 2) God hears all of us and responds with our best interest in mind.

That said, clear statements from the Church already sampled by previous commenters have stated that Jews and Muslims basic theological structure is such that they BELIEVE in that same God as Christians.

I think the case would be different for someone who was a monotheist, but believe that God was evil.

Breier

Jeff,

You're chasing a strawman. No one is saying only Trinitarians worship God. That would have prevented the Jews in the Old Testament from worshipping God, which is absurd.

Of course people who only worship the God known by reason are worshiping God.

The question is about those who go beyond reason and DENY a truth about god known by FAITH.

However, this whole question is semantic, since it begs the question about what we mean by "Worshiping God." or by "the same" when applied to self-subsistent being. All the rest is squabbling about nominal definitions. Of course Muslims are monotheists, and yes their attributes of Allah have a lot in common with De Deo Uno.

I think your raising of the natural attributes of God is useful. Though the Pope's remarks about the conflict between faith and reason in Islam raises the question of how totally applicable that is.

Esau

Someone help me out here since I haven't read C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia series since I was in elementary school a long, long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far, far away, but wasn't one of the enemies (who happened to convert in the end?) in the final book, The Last Battle, was told that although he wasn't for Aslan per se, but that, regardless, he was actually for him given the spirit of his intentions and the morals he lived out?

Since my recollections of this happen to be rather very, very, very vague given the length of time since I last read it very early on in my youth, I'd appreciate someone clarifying on this point.

God Bless!

Breier

On a more fundamental level, this is sounding so intellectual. Doesn't faith play a fundamental role in worship? The material heretic about the Trinity still has the true faith, and which I might think gives some direction to his prayers. One might think of the prayers of the believing Catholic like a Tomohawk missile, and that of the Muslim like a Scud.

I don't think we can say that faith is requird for worship, but it seems to me that more fundamental denials about God do aptly raise the requestion of what you are worshipping.

Example:

Someone who worships a God who "changes" and "evolves." Meet process theology. Are they talking of God, or have they destroyed the idea of God?

As long as Muslim worships the natural God of reason (how deistic!), he no doubt worships God. But if that idea of God has become warped into a non-reality, how much warping before we're no longer talking about the same thing?

Does the pantheist worship the same God? Surely he calls it "God."

So the question is, why is omnipotence or omniscience so essential for being "the same God," but the Trinity isn't?

The only think I can think of is that all those attributes refer to the divine nature, knowable by reason, whereas the Trinity of persons refers to mysterious relations known only by faith.

But is it not possible for a false faith to give its own revelation about "God" that distorts his image beyond recognition? One thinks of Mormonism. Would you agree that they don't worship the same God as us, much as they profess to?

As long as you worship the all-merciful, fair enough. But when you thank Allah for casting his wrath on the Christians; is that a prayer to a God or a devil? Let's not forget that Mohammed was afraid about demonic influence when he received the Koran.

Kasia

Esau,

I love the Chronicles of Narnia! I know exactly what you mean. The young Calormene - I want to say his name was Eman or Emad or something - who ended up in Heaven with Lucy and Tirian and Jill and Eustace and...

The gist was, Aslan told him that whenever he swore an oath by Tash and kept it, he kept that oath by Aslan; anyone who swore an oath by Aslan and broke it did it by Tash. In other words, even though the man thought he was honoring Tash with his piety, since his motives were pure and good (he only intended to worship the True God, and was simply misinformed as to which one it was), he was in fact honoring Aslan.

Back to first principles. What is the philosophic definition of "the same?" One wishes there was a Summa article on this. We keep talking about the "the same" without having a definition. It's rather maddening.

Megan

I thought the original question was whether the Muslim Allah is the same as the Christian God. Therefore it does not matter to whom one person prays; prayer to a God or an idol or misperception does not equate belief in the Truth, nor eternal salvation.

Do the Jesus Seminar and the orthodox Catholic believe in the "same Jesus"?

The Pope has been arguing against a divison between the "Jesus of faith" and the "Jesus of history." In his new book he argues that the Jesus of history and the Jesus of the Gospels are the SAME. Presumably, referring to a man called Jesus who lived, what we know by reason, is not enough to call him the same Jesus. There has to be no divide between the faith and the reason. Of course, we can still talk about "Jesus" in common, but he's not the same Jesus!

So Muslims and Christians talk about God. They both believe that only one God existst. But because of profound difference in what they mean they do not believe in the same God! There is someone in common by what they mean by God, but much that differs.

Mohammed is the prophet of Allah, but if in reality Mohammed is the prophet of a demon who gave him revelation and falsely claimed divinity, when Mohammed worshiped did he worship God, or a devil?

Did he not corrupt the Trinity of the triune God, and turn aside to worship something else?

Another example:

If the devil appears as a false apparation of Jesus and poor soul worships him; is he worshiping God or the Devil?

Esau

KASIA, MY DEAREST LOVE, GOD BLESS YOU ! ! ! !

I LOVE A GAL WHO LOVES THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA! ! ! ;^)
(...just don't tell your boyfriend I said that, though!)


The below which you just posted is definitely that which I was searching for and referring to as regards that final book in the Chronicles of Narnia Series, The Last Battle:

Esau,

I love the Chronicles of Narnia! I know exactly what you mean. The young Calormene - I want to say his name was Eman or Emad or something - who ended up in Heaven with Lucy and Tirian and Jill and Eustace and...

The gist was, Aslan told him that whenever he swore an oath by Tash and kept it, he kept that oath by Aslan; anyone who swore an oath by Aslan and broke it did it by Tash. In other words, even though the man thought he was honoring Tash with his piety, since his motives were pure and good (he only intended to worship the True God, and was simply misinformed as to which one it was), he was in fact honoring Aslan.

Further, it is something that I am often reminded of whenever I read the following from Lumen Gentium:

16. Finally, those who have not yet received the Gospel are related in various ways to the people of God.(18*) In the first place we must recall the people to whom the testament and the promises were given and from whom Christ was born according to the flesh.(125) On account of their fathers this people remains most dear to God, for God does not repent of the gifts He makes nor of the calls He issues.(126);

But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Mohamedans, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind.

Nor is God far distant from those who in shadows and images seek the unknown God, for it is He who gives to all men life and breath and all things,(127) and as Saviour wills that all men be saved.(128)

Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience.(19*)

Nor does Divine Providence deny the helps necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God and with His grace strive to live a good life. Whatever good or truth is found amongst them is looked upon by the Church as a preparation for the Gospel.(20*) She knows that it is given by Him who enlightens all men so that they may finally have life.

NewTrollObserver

Esau,

Yes, but does the typical Muslim think in terms of distinguishing the differences among latria, dulia, and hyperdulia? (Or does the typical Protestant, for that matter?)

For some people, if you pray to someone, bow to someone, or meditation/contemplate on someone; then for them that means you are engaged in 'worship' (of the highest kind) of that someone.

"yea, the hour cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doth a service to God. And these things will they do to you; because they have not known the Father nor me."

Could not this be aptly said of Al-Queda?

If the God's of the Gentiles are demons, says the psalm, can't that also be true in a monotheistic reality? Will the worshipers of antichrist be worshiping Christ? We talk in terms of abstractions, as if Islam was a theology class gone haywire. But what if the origin of those errors in theology are from the fallen angels? Does the origin of an error have any bearing on its cult?

Mary Kay

Esau, you know you really need to do something about that shyness of yours and tell us what you really think about the Chronicles of Narnia. ;-)

Jimmy, thanks a lot. I had this question filed away as "Thought Out" and now I've got to re-think it.

Breier

Esau,

A better quote is from Nostra Aetate. But in the end, this is just semantic debate. Noone hear believes Christian and Muslim conceptions of God, including both his inner life and divine decrees, or the contents of their respective revelations, are identical. And when people say the two aren't the same, that's all they're asserting. Anyhow, enjoy:

"The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all- powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth,(5) who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the day of judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting."

Esau

Esau, you know you really need to do something about that shyness of yours and tell us what you really think about the Chronicles of Narnia. ;-)

Sure, my beloved Mary Kay! =^)

The Chronicles of Narnia are nothing but a product of ECUMANIA and the renderings of a false faith, saying that all men are saved!

This is outrageous and should be condemned!

It is nothing but a JP II invention and, therefore, is shameful!

How misleading can a series of books be to its flock! It is like saying to your children "I dont have any problem with you reading about lions and talking animals, just dont go out to meet them!" ;^)

[ sorry... I couldn't help it! ;^) ]

Maureen

The young man's name was Emeth. (Which I believe means "Truth".)

Esau

Breier:

Regarding your post:
A better quote is from Nostra Aetate. But in the end, this is just semantic debate. Noone hear believes Christian and Muslim conceptions of God, including both his inner life and divine decrees, or the contents of their respective revelations, are identical. And when people say the two aren't the same, that's all they're asserting.


Actually, in my reply to Kasia, I was referring to the aspect in Lumen Gentium as it regards the possible salvation of even non-Catholics and attempting a parallel with this and that of the young Calormene (?) who ended up being saved in the end, though he, himself, was not originally a believer in Aslan (he believed in Tash) who is the allegorical figure for Christ.

As Kasia mentioned of the young Calormene who was ultimately saved:

...his motives were pure and good (he only intended to worship the True God, and was simply misinformed as to which one it was), he was in fact honoring Aslan.

Esau

The young man's name was Emeth. (Which I believe means "Truth".)

Thanks, Maureen!

Lurker #59

------------------
Lurker#59:
Lutheranism was also considered a heresy by the Church, but do they actually worship a different God?

Posted by: Esau
-------------------

A heresy is a distortion of the truth. To what degree does a distortion produce an object that is no longer equivalent with the undistorted object? That is the real question that is underlying our whole discussion here.

Those who say Allah = YHWH say that the distortion in Islam is not great enough to make Allah ≠ YHWH.

Now this is important, the CCC and elsewhere do not use any language that says that the Muslim conception of Allah = YHWH, what is said is that "they worship the Creator".

So the question that needs to be asked is, does the Church mean
1. the worship of Muslims is received by the Creator
OR
2. The specific worship of the Muslim Allah is synonymous with worshiping the Creator.

#2 is unlikely because we cannot say that a Catholic is allows to worship the Muslim Allah. In fact, the Catholic is specifically forbidden to worship as such by Vat 2 (cf. UR etc.)

Now #1 does not affirm that Allah = YHWH or ≠. It simply says that when Muslims worship, their worship ends up being directed towards the Creator. This is the same as St. Paul saying to the Athenians that their altar to the unknown god is directed to YHWH.

We are still at an impasse about Allah = YHWH.

Consider this: In many religion you can find a high sky God being very similar in attributes to YHWH. Please see Carroll’s Founding of Christendom opening chapters for a good discussion. Are these high sky gods = YHWH? People are worshiping one single creator god, even if with other gods and other ideas thrown in.

As you can see, we have a similar situation as with the Muslims, though the sky Gods are distortions of the faith of Adam and Eve, and Islam is a distortion of Christianity.

So as those that worship the sky gods "profess to" but do not actually hold the faith of Adam and Eve, Muslims "profess to" but do not actually hold the faith of Abraham. So as the worshipers of the sky god worship one creator god, just as we do, so to do Muslims who worship "one merciful God, mankind's judge", just as we do.

But none of that means that Allah = YHWH.

The answer that I will give to this is what John 4 gives to the Samaritan woman: "You worship what you do not know, we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews." In other words, the Muslim conception of Allah is deficient and does not suffice for salvation or to be standing in the truth.

As for my studies, I cannot see how when one looks at the personal attributes and commands of Allah and compares them to YHWH, either the Jewish or the full revelation of Catholics, that they refer to the same being. That said, Islam is not my focus, rather comparative religion so perhaps I need to go deeper.

As for the Lutherans, Salvation is from the Jews. Return the Church where salvation is.

Some Day

I am inclined to believe that Muslims are pagans.
Just consider this, the Muslims if killed for their "faith" will recieve 77 virgins in heaven.
What other religions believe that happiness is found there? Pagans.
Even if God suspended his laws, it is just an ugly thing to do.
I mean please? If they are not Catholics, they are either Jews, heretics, schismatics, atheists or pagans.
What are they?
Omnes Dii Gentium Sum Demonae..."

Some Day

And I believe to see Truth in an errant way, is not Truth.
Ergo, God is the Truth, and to see Him in an another way other than what He is( not measure, perspective) is not Truth.
Especially when that is deliberate.
Ergo that which they worship is not God.
Truth has on perspective. It cannot be manipulated. It ceases to be Truth.
Now in heresy, it applies the same, when it is deleberate. To see Our Lord in a false way on purpose is not to worship Him but offend Him.

Some Day

Correct me if I am wrong,
but in the muslim calander month of Ramadan, they cannot eat during the day, but yes at night because Allah cannot see them right?

Kasia

OK, not that C.S. Lewis trumps Lumen Gentium or Nostra Aetate. However, since my intellectual contribution to this kind of conversation is limited to children's stories with grown-up ideas thrown in... (grin)...

"'...lo! in a narrow place between two rocks there came to meet me a great Lion. The speed of him was like the ostrich, and his size was an elephant's; his hair was like pure gold and the brightness of his eyes, like gold that is liquid in the furnace. He was more terrible than the Flaming Mountain of Lagour, and in beauty he surpassed all that is in the world, even as the rose in bloom surpasses the dust of the desert. Then I fell at his feet and thought, Surely this is the hour of death, for the Lion (who is worthy of all honour) will know that I have served Tash all my days and not him. Nevertheless, it is better to see the Lion and die than to be Tisroc [king] of the world and live and not to have seen him. But the Glorious One bent down his golden head and touched my forehead with his tongue and said, Son, thou art welcome. But I said, Alas, Lord, I am no son of Thine but the servant of Tash. He answered, Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me. Then by reason of my great desire for wisdom and understanding, I overcame my fear and questioned the Glorious One and said, Lord, is it then true, as the Ape said, that thou and Tash are one? The Lion growled so that the earth shook (but his wrath was not against me) and said, It is false. Not because he and I are one, but because we are opposites, I take to me the services which thou hast done to him, for I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath's sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves, and by Tash his deed is accepted. Dost thou understand, Child? I said, Lord, thou knowest how much I understand. But I said also (for the truth constrained me), Yes I have been seeking Tash all my days. Beloved, said the Glorious One, unless thy desire had been for me thou wouldst not have sought so long and so truly. For all find what they truly seek.'"

It looks to me (again, bearing in mind that this is Lewis distilling one argument in a major theological issue into terms children can understand) like Lewis is arguing that Allah and God are *not* one and the same. The Calormenes always seemed to me to be a pretty clear allegory to Muslims throughout the series. Of course, Tash could also be Satan...but then the rest of the Calormene metaphor makes no sense. In this case Emeth (thank you Maureen!) was saved, not because Tash and Aslan were the same entity, but because Emeth's real desire was for Aslan - he just didn't know it.

Sorry to drag the tenor of the conversation down, if I've done so...

Kasia

LOL Esau. Not to worry - your secret is safe with me and the other fifty people on this thread. :-) Believe it or not, because of my thoroughly secular upbringing, it took me until the end of Book 3 (The Voyage of the Dawn Treader - I'm old school about my Narnia numbering) to clue in to the Jesus metaphor throughout the books?

With love from your Narnia-loving sister in Christ,

someday,

can a man or woman fast (not eating and drinking) for 24 hrs a day for the whole month?

Kasia

Yeah, I'm with the anonymous poster...that's a new one on me, Some Day. Where'd you hear that?

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