By Chris Bruno
Do Muslims and Christians worship the same God? This is perhaps the most significant question that has emerged during the increased interest in Islam in the decade following 9/11. Theologian Miroslav Volf tackled this thorny question in his new book, Allah: A Christian Response. Volf’s answer to the question is a qualified yes. That is to say, while Muslims and Christians have different understanding of aspects of God’s nature and character, so do Christians and Jews and, for that matter, so do different kinds of Christians. If we say that Muslims and Christians do not worship the same God, Volf argues, we have to concede that Jews and Christians (and Arminians and Calvinists for that matter) do not worship the same God. While Volf’s argument has a certain appeal, when we dig a little deeper, we find that it is built on a rather shaky foundation.
If Muslims and Jews deny that Christians worship God in Jesus Christ, why is it so outlandish to say that they don’t worship God when they vociferously deny his fullest revelation, that Jesus is God’s Son?