I applaud Graham for being “politically incorrect” in stating what seems to be the obvious. The two conceptions of God are drastically at odds. The few similarities are far overshadowed by the drastic differences.

The Judeo-Christian God is viewed as a “father” whereas the Muslim god is primarily “master”. The Christian God is “love, personal, and rational.” The god of Islam is “pure will, completely ‘other’ and capricious.”

The article begins: In a series of tweets late Saturday night, Graham, the son of evangelist Billy Graham, laid out his opposition to the recommendation of the college’s faculty council that the school drop its plans to terminate a professor who published her belief that Islam and Christianity worship the same God, which Graham said was “no minor issue.”

 In December 2015, Larycia Hawkins, who teaches political science at Wheaton College, was put on administrative leave after wearing a hijab to school in solidarity with Muslims. Wheaton is a private evangelical Christian college, which has sometimes been called the “evangelical Harvard” because of its reputation for academic rigor.

Hawkins announced that she would wear the hijab to demonstrate support for Muslims in the aftermath of the shootings in Paris and San Bernardino, California. She also used the gesture as a platform to express her belief that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast
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AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

In a separate Facebook post, Graham said both his father and mother attended Wheaton College, where they met for the first time.

“I’m surprised and disappointed that the faculty council there is now recommending the college drop their plans to terminate a professor who published that she believed Islam and Christianity worship the same God in December. This is no minor issue that should be debated,” Graham wrote.

The fundamental issue for Graham is the theological question of the nature of God and therefore the mission of the college.

“Islam denies that God has a Son,” Graham wrote. “They deny that Jesus is God. They do not believe in a Triune God – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I can tell you – Islam and Christianity clearly do not worship the same God.”

For the whole article and a brief discussion of the difference in Islamic and Christian belief, click here.

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This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Daniel Roddick

    The idea of Muslims worshipping the same God as us stems from their attempt to worship the God of Abraham. The thing is they have it so wrong that their claim of worshipping the God of Abraham is a contradiction given their fundamental beliefs, some of which are mentioned above.

  2. Scott Risser

    But the pope says it is the same God. I agree with you. My priest agrees with the pope. They say the Muslims just have the wrong revelation but then outright condemn Mormons for their wrong revelation. I can’t reconcile these contradictions other than to say they are both wrong and obviously not the same God. Of course the Jews will say we got it wrong too.

  3. Elizabeth Algutifan

    Gee whiz, Steve Ray – your former Baptist is showing. Please refer to official Catholic teaching in lieu of Franklin Graham’s uninspired opinions. I respect him for trying, but he really is the de facto pope for a lot of Protestants who hang on his every word. For Graham to state that “the Judeo-Christian God is viewed as a father,” well, that’s not accurate either. He is the Blessed Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. All faiths have some elements of the truth; the Catholic Church contains the Fullness of Truth. http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/ecumenical-and-interreligious/interreligious/islam/vatican-council-and-papal-statements-on-islam.cfm
    STEVE RAY HERE: First, thanks for your comment and interest.
    Second, the statement about God being our father was not Grahams, it was mine. We pray “Our Father, who art in heaven…”. We do not pray “Our Master and Slave Owner, Who Art in Heaven…”
    Graham is not the magisterium but he certainly is getting something correct here. One doesn’t have to be a pope to obsrve something that is true and get it right.
    If the American bishops are saying in a broad sense that Muslims and Christians worship the same God then I disagree with them. It wouldn’t be the first time the American bishops got something wrong. And I think Vatican II was speaking more in pastoral terms than doctrinal. However, I think Catholics need to start being less politically correct and more honest about Islam and their god. Maybe we should go back and read Saint Thomas Aquinas and his comments Muslims 🙂
    I think everyone might find this article instructive: http://www.catholic.com/blog/todd-aglialoro/christians-muslims-and-the-one-god
    Thanks again for writing and the discussion is important.

  4. Mary Sorensen

    If the Muslims don’t worship the same God as Christians worship, then what about the Jews? Do they worship the same God as Christians??
    It is clear – at least to me – that all 3 Abrahamic religions worship the same God, but have different understandings of that One, Creator of All Things. Heck, the Christians in the pew next to you on Sunday may have misunderstandings about God, too. God is a bit hard to understand, ya know?
    Here’s a much smarter person than me, attempting to explain this challenging subject:

  5. i Claudius

    I understand your logic and it makes sense, but how do you square this with CCC Paragraph 841?
    It states:
    “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.”

  6. Tom Govern

    I don’t think that it is an issue of whether Muslims can be saved or even whether one God is worshiped. It is an issue of how that one God is presented and teaches and God’s plan for salvation. Cleary for Christians, that salvation and teaching is done with Christ and the Apostle’s. Muslims have continued that history and teaching by following a new revelation. (As did Jehovah witnesses and Mormons.) So, the same God is real but part of that God’s role is in error with the Muslims and others. The Muslim view of God is not a lot different than Jehovah Witnesses, one God but no Jesus God. The Mormon’s are way out in left field with their polytheistic beliefs.

  7. Kelvin

    Quote Claudius: ” Steve,
    I understand your logic and it makes sense, but how do you square this with CCC Paragraph 841?
    It states:
    “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.”
    Hi Claudius,
    The CCC paras are not to be taken out of context but read as a composite of the other paras in that part of the CCC.
    The paras that follow it clearly show the context that other religions have errors and outside the church there is no salvation salvation; read it careful. God bless.
    843 The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that search, among shadows and images, for the God who is unknown yet near since he gives life and breath and all things and wants all men to be saved. Thus, the Church considers all goodness and truth found in these religions as “a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life.”332
    844 In their religious behavior, however, men also display the limits and errors that disfigure the image of God in them:
    Very often, deceived by the Evil One, men have become vain in their reasonings, and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and served the creature rather than the Creator. Or else, living and dying in this world without God, they are exposed to ultimate despair.333
    845 To reunite all his children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call the whole of humanity together into his Son’s Church. The Church is the place where humanity must rediscover its unity and salvation. The Church is “the world reconciled.” She is that bark which “in the full sail of the Lord’s cross, by the breath of the Holy Spirit, navigates safely in this world.” According to another image dear to the Church Fathers, she is prefigured by Noah’s ark, which alone saves from the flood.334
    “Outside the Church there is no salvation”
    846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?335 Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:
    Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it.336
    847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church:
    Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation.337
    848 “Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men.”338

  8. John G. Boulet

    Other than recognizing that there is only one God, Muslims’ vision of this “Allah’s” characteristics is totally off the mark, most especially in the fact that the One God is, in fact, three persons in one.
    Do you think for a minute that Muslims would concede of Christians that we “profess to worship the one God” just because we claim that the doctrine of the Trinity does not vitiate the oneness of God? I didn’t think so. That the Catholic Church should have repeatedly granted some sort of grudging concession to Islam that merely because they SAY that they recognize that there can be only one God therefore they ipso facto must worship the One God whom WE know is a false charity. The situation would be almost akin to this analogy: Suppose that we worship a brick; and the Muslims come along and say that they worship a brick, but that their brick is made out of, ohhh…. , say, marshmallow! Is there any reason whatsoever to say that Muslims are worshipping OUR “brick”?
    You’ve heard of a distinction without a difference? Well, this situation is the opposite — a very severe difference (between THEIR view of God and OUR view) with NO distinction being made! At least not explicitly.
    It is FALSE CHARITY to pretend that Muslims would even for a minute agree with US that we all worship the same “god”. We need to make it very clear that their conception of Allah, gleaned from preposterous and self-contradicting false revelations, is…. (drum roll!!!) WRONG! Politically incorrect? Yes. But it is the truth!

  9. Susan Zipf

    It is obvious that the Jews and the Muslims claim to worship the God of Abraham.
    The vast difference is this: The Jews worship the God of Abraham’s legitimate son, Issac, born to his free wife, Sarah, as God commanded.
    The Muslims worship the son of the slave woman, Hagar, who was sent away because her son mocked Isaac. If God had intended His people to worship the son of the slave woman, that worship would have continued as the Jewish worship has continued.
    Instead, someone came along thousands of years later, and formed a belief system retro-actively. This is Islam.

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