J.D. Greear: Muslims Worship the Same God as Christians, They Just Misunderstand Him

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Jerome, Jun 12, 2016.

  1. Jerome

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    per Trevin Wax at The Gospel Coalition:

    Trevin Wax interviews J.D. Greear

    Larycia Hawkins couldn't remain a professor at Wheaton, yet J.D. Greear is set to become SBC President?
     
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  2. Revmitchell

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    I will never call God Allah and they do not worship the same God. If someone who believes this junk were to become the President of the Convention then I would have a difficult time keeping my church members from leaving the convention. They just will not fund such things.
     
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  3. TCassidy

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    "Allah" is simply the Arabic word for "God." If you read the Arabic translation of the bible you will see "Allah" as the word for "God."

    The problem arises, not in the word, but what the word signifies. If you use the term to simply mean "God" I would have to ask, "Do you mean the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?" If the answer was "No" then we are not talking about the same god. But if the answer is "Yes" then we have common ground to continue.
     
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  4. JonC

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    So basically, unless I missed something, Greear advocates witnessing to Muslims like Paul witnessed in Acts 17:22-23 (where Paul recognizes a worship to an "unknown god" and proceeds to relate the One True God in that context).
     
  5. Revmitchell

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    Hmm...Did Paul suggest that his God and the unknown god were the same God but they just understood Him differently?
     
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  6. JonC

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    No. But neither did Greear. Did you read his response to the question in the first post? Again, unless I am missing something (which is entirely possible as I just arrived home from vaccation) Greear is simply saying "what you worship as unknown I proclaim to you." Here is his conclusion (he was dealing with using the Arabic name for "god":

    "With Muslims, I would say that more often than not it is more helpful to use the Arabic name for God. They understand that to be the God of Adam, Abraham, Moses, David, and Jesus. That’s a good place to start. Then you can say, “This God you worship, here is what He is really like, according to the revelation.” That said, I would leave this question mostly to the discretion of the person who is on the field in a given situation."
     
  7. Revmitchell

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    did you read what Trevin asked him and he agreed with?
     
  8. JonC

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    Yes. I couldn't quite figure out if he agreed that Allah they knew as Muslims was the same God we worship or if he was using their acknowledgement of God as a starting point. I think the latter because he emphasized witnessing to them. But I may have misunderstood.
     
  9. Squire Robertsson

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    Like in dealing with other false religions, it's a matter of sharing the same vocabulary, but using a different dictionary.
     
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  10. SovereignGrace

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    Muslims do NOT worship the same God at all. To worship God, one has to do so in Spirit and in Truth[John 4:24]. In John 14:6, He said He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no one can come to the Father except through Him. They recognize Jesus as only a prophet(which He was, but also Priest and King).

    If one does not recognize Jesus as God's Christ, they do not worship God.
     
    #10 SovereignGrace, Jun 12, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2016
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  11. righteousdude2

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    I hardly think the god they call allah is the same God we know as Jehovah! To believe this is to believe that the Mormons worship the same God as we do! Jesus told His followers that there is ONLY one way to the Father, and it was through Him (Jesus); He also told h His followers that if you have seen Me, you have seen God! Mulsims do no see Jesus as the Savior or Son of God, which leads to believe they in no way know the Father as we know Him. Sorry but J.D Greear is slightly off base on this one! IMHO, of course!

    [​IMG]
     
    #11 righteousdude2, Jun 13, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016
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  12. SolaSaint

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    I also noticed a couple of times Mr Greear mentioned that Christianity has better answers than Islam does to various questions. Better answers? How about the ONLY answer. If this guy is being held as the next Prez of the SBC then I too am afraid it will send a message that we have lost our way. Good post Jerome.
     
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  13. righteousdude2

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    Amen!
     
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  14. Judith

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    The muslim god does not have a son and he does not have a son who died for the sins of the world. So no they do not worship the same God as we do.
     
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  15. preachinjesus

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    Muslims and Christians don't worship the same God, though they use the same word in Arabic.
     
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  16. JonC

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    I believe that most here will agree that Muslims do not worship God. But the issue Greear is speaking of is in the area of evangelism and using their claim to worship the God of Abraham as an opportunity to explain the gospel in a meaningful way (as God is a God of means). Reading Greear, I do not see the objections here truly addressing that author's thesis. So while I agree with everyone here that the Muslim notion of Allah is not the Christian God at all, I disagree with some that Greear is supporting that it is.

    I think that this is an important enough issue (in terms of evangelizing Muslims...which is the context of Greear's book) to offer a quote from Greear. Whether we agree on his method/understanding or not, it does not seem to me that Greear is saying that God and the Muslim concept of Allah are actually one in the same (which is the direction that this thread seems to be heading).

    "This is controversial, but hear me out. Muslims claim to worship the God of Adam, Abraham, and Moses. Many missionaries find it therefore helpful to start with Muslims using the Arabic term for God, “Allah(meaning literally, “the Deity”), and from there to explain that the God Muslims seek to worship, the God of the Prophets, was the God present in bodily form in Jesus Christ, revealed most fully by him, and the One worshipped by Christians for the past two millennia. This is not the same as saying that becoming a Muslim is like a “first step to becoming a Christian.” And it certainly doesn’t mean that Islam is an alternate way of getting to heaven. It simply means that we are both referring to the only, One deity when we say “God.”

    You might ask, “But isn’t the Islamic God so different from the Christian God that they cannot properly be called by the same name?” Perhaps. The question about whether to say that “Allah” refers to the wrong God (or to wrong ideas about the right God) is a highly nuanced one, and there’s not an easy answer. There is no doubt that Muslims believe blasphemous things about God, and their beliefs about Allah grew out of a distorted view of Christianity. The same could be said, though to a lesser degree, of the view of God of the first-century Sadducees, as well as the Samaritan woman, and (to an even lesser degree) the fifth-century Pelagian heretics—not to mention a lot of the medieval Scholastics.

    The question is whether the presence of these heretical beliefs (and what degreeof heresy in them) demands that we say, “You are worshipping a different God.” Clearly, the Apostles did not say that about the first-century Jews who rejected the Trinity (even though Jesus said their father was the devil!). And Jesus did not tell the Samaritan woman in her ethnic, works-righteousness distorted view of God that she was worshipping a different God, either. Instead, he insisted that she was worshipping him incorrectly and seeking salvationwrongly. And I’ve never heard anyone say that the Pelagian heretics worship a different God, even though they have been regarded (rightly) as heretics.

    At the same time, Paul never said, “Zeus’s real name is Jehovah,” as if the Greeks were worshipping the true God wrongly. So, the question is: is the Muslim view of Allah more like that of Zeus or of the Samaritan woman’s heretical conception of God? That’s a tough question, and one that we need to let the context determine. For instance, many Christians find the use of “Allah” more misleading than helpful. For them, “Allah” falls in the “Zeus” category.

    On the other side, however, are many faithful Christians working among Muslims who approach the question of Allah much like Jesus corrected the Samaritan woman. “You are seeking to worship the one God, but you are wrong in your view of him, and wrong in how you seek salvation from him. Salvation is from the Jews.” In my time with Muslims over the years, I’ve found that to be a more helpful starting place. This isn’t driven by a desire to be politically correct, but by a desire to start where Muslims are, and to bring them to faith in the one and only Son of God, Jesus."
     
  17. ReformedBaptist

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    At least in the U.S, the name Allah connotes nothing but the Muslim deity. So, I am not in agreement with his analogy of Gott/God and Allah/God. Words have denotative and connotative meanings. Denotative is definitional meanings and connotative are implied meanings. The denotative, meaning of the arabic word Allah means God. But when the word is used, we ask the Muslim, "If you believe in Allah, what Allah do you believe in?" I think they might find this to be an odd question. But if I ask them, "If you believe in God, what God do you believe in?" I think they might say, "There is no God but Allah.."

    If you look at Muslim websites and read what they tell English speaking people about how to become a Muslim they will say just that. They will tell you to say "There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is His prophet." This is the shahadah. But if it is as this man says, then we should say "There is no God but God..." or "There is no Allah but Allah" But that's not what the Muslims mean for us to say. The word Allah has taken a meaning far beyond its basic definition. The same can be said of the word gay. If my pastor calls me up and asks how I am feeling today, and I say I am feeling quite gay today, I think he might have a few more questions for me. The word has taken a stronger connotative meaning in today's culture than "happy."

    I have not looked into this man's ministry or theology in-depth. But I think he is missing some very basic concepts of communication. While I think he is working for pathways for dialogue, we must remember that the fundamental definition of communication is to share the same meaning. This does take dialogue and questions. We cannot start on a false footing and expect a good end. If we love Muslims or other unbelievers we should try to be clear in our communication. Since I do not speak or write Arabic, and if I am sharing the Gospel with a Muslim, and God means God, then we can talk about God. We can begin there.
     
    #17 ReformedBaptist, Jun 15, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2016
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  18. percho

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    What would a Muslim's answer be to, "Is Allah the Allah of Abraham"?
     
  19. percho

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    What would the Muslim's answer be to, "Is Allah the Allah of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob"?

    Doesn't it have something to do with being the God of the promise of, and in thy seed all the nations of the earth will be blessed? And that seed, singular, is Christ.
     
  20. JonC

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    I agree that in the US the name Allah connotes only the Muslim deity (at least with English speaking persons...I suppose "Allah" would mean "God" to people who spoke Arabic as their native tongue).

    But there's the rub of this thread. No one is advocating that the Muslim misconception of God is the correct Christian understanding of God, nor is anyone advocating changing the word "God" to "Allah"but instead are discussing whether or not one's native and cultural concept of Allah can be a starting point to discuss God.
     
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