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« on: March 06, 2011, 12:43:35 PM »

A summary of Allah: A Christian Response:

Quote
Writing from a Christian perspective, and in dialogue with leading Muslim scholars and leaders from around the world, Volf reveals surprising points of intersection and overlap between these two faith traditions:

• What the Qur’an denies about God as the Holy Trinity has been denied by every great teacher of the church in the past and ought to be denied by Christians today.
• A person can be both a practicing Muslim and 100 percent Christian without denying core convictions of belief and practice.
• How two faiths, worshipping the same God, can work toward the common good under a single government.

Actually, I can agree with the first point (that the Qur'an denies what is actually not Trinitarianism), but the second point is a bit more problematic perhaps.
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« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2011, 03:56:32 AM »

A summary of Allah: A Christian Response:

Quote
Writing from a Christian perspective, and in dialogue with leading Muslim scholars and leaders from around the world, Volf reveals surprising points of intersection and overlap between these two faith traditions:

• What the Qur’an denies about God as the Holy Trinity has been denied by every great teacher of the church in the past and ought to be denied by Christians today.
• A person can be both a practicing Muslim and 100 percent Christian without denying core convictions of belief and practice.
• How two faiths, worshipping the same God, can work toward the common good under a single government.

Actually, I can agree with the first point (that the Qur'an denies what is actually not Trinitarianism), but the second point is a bit more problematic perhaps.


The second point is problematic indeed.

Jesus' divinity and salvation through His death are essential doctrines of Christianity, but Islam denies BOTH these fundamental tenets by overtly teaching that Jesus is nothing more than a messenger and that He was not actually crucified.

If it is possible to be both a Muslim and 100 percent Christian, it is also possible to be a practising Gnostic and 100 percent Atheist.  Grin

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« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2011, 08:23:22 PM »

The first and third points seem fine to me. The second point is rather problematic, but it seems like an interesting read nonetheless.
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« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2011, 01:48:08 AM »

The guy who wrote this actually claims to be a Christian?  Huh
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« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2011, 02:42:17 AM »

St John of Damascus, as most here would probably know, would not disagree that Muslims worship the same God, but began as a heretical movement within Christianity. And are now they should probably be seen as heterodox.

The notion of the book is laughable.





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« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2011, 03:17:05 AM »

It seems inconceivable that the great St John of Damascus, who wrote such seminal works as An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, and In Defense of the Holy Images, as well as an abundance of prayers and hymnography, sung and treasured to this very day, would ever contemplate or proclaim that the god of the Moslems is the same God in Trinity we worship.
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« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2011, 04:42:44 AM »

Out of pure curiosity, what is his argument in support of the second assertion?
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« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2011, 05:00:50 AM »

Out of pure curiosity, what is his argument in support of the second assertion?

Ditto. The idea of "both a practicing Muslim and 100 percent Christian without denying core convictions of belief and practice" are utterly irreconcilable, at least for the Orthodox. I'd like to think the same would be the case for Roman Catholics, and maybe some of the traditional protestants, such as Anglo-Catholics and old-school Lutherans.

But then, the author of this book is not Orthodox, so we can't expect too much in the way of a cogent argument from the historical, doctrinal or theological view supporting his assertion. Wink
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« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2011, 09:53:22 AM »

I would have to learn more about point 1. I'm not sure I understand what it means. And point 2 is more than problematic for obvious reasons.

Point 3 is just secularism. Good works divorced from the unique truth of Christianity, not done in the name of Christ but in the name of secular unity under a government, may be nice, but they are spiritually worthless.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2011, 09:53:57 AM by bogdan » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2011, 04:42:12 PM »

Out of pure curiosity, what is his argument in support of the second assertion?
One argument Volf presents is that there are a few people who are 'living' both religions. The famous case of the former Episcopal priest, a Ms. Redding, was brought forward. But he also mentioned Muslims living in Asia who, though accepting Christ as the Son of God, remain outwardly Muslim (going to masjid, prayer five times a day, Ramadan, etc.). One such Muslim, Ibrahim, is quoted as saying that the Qur'anic verses supposedly denying the Trinity, divine Sonship, the atoning death, and the Bible's textual integrity, were "open to alternate interpretations" and thus he could follow Jesus and be a Muslim.

Theologically, Volf argues that a Christian adopts three essential beliefs/practices: (1) baptism in the name of the Trinity; (2) confession that Christ is the Lord, God in human form; and (3) reception of the Holy Spirit. A Muslim, he says, has four: (1) observing Ramadan; (2) five-times daily prayers; (3) reciting of Al-Fatihah; (4) belief that Muhammad was a prophet (not necessarily the last prophet, though).

Since the 3 Christian beliefs/practices do not directly contradict the 4 Muslim ones listed (e.g., one can confess that Jesus is Lord, while accepting Muhammad's prophethood, which would not mean that one would necessarily accept other beliefs that have become associated with Islam or with Christianity), Volf implies that it is possible to be both Christian and Muslim.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2011, 04:45:24 PM by Jetavan » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2011, 05:52:46 PM »

It seems inconceivable that the great St John of Damascus, who wrote such seminal works as An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, and In Defense of the Holy Images, as well as an abundance of prayers and hymnography, sung and treasured to this very day, would ever contemplate or proclaim that the god of the Moslems is the same God in Trinity we worship.

I can't find the quote from St. John of Damascus, but Patriarch Bartholomew said as much here. I'm not sure how much this will effect your opinion of Islam or His All-Holiness, but it's worth noting.
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« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2011, 06:32:32 PM »

It seems inconceivable that the great St John of Damascus, who wrote such seminal works as An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, and In Defense of the Holy Images, as well as an abundance of prayers and hymnography, sung and treasured to this very day, would ever contemplate or proclaim that the god of the Moslems is the same God in Trinity we worship.

I can't find the quote from St. John of Damascus, but Patriarch Bartholomew said as much here. I'm not sure how much this will effect your opinion of Islam or His All-Holiness, but it's worth noting.

On Heresies?

A decent online translation.

http://www.bombaxo.com/blog/?p=210

He considered what we call Islam to be a heresy. And as much you might not believe he would hold such a thing while defending the use of Icons, guess who was employing and protecting him, while he was defending that position?



« Last Edit: March 17, 2011, 06:33:04 PM by orthonorm » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2011, 07:01:40 PM »

"What the Qur’an denies about God as the Holy Trinity has been denied by every great teacher of the church in the past and ought to be denied by Christians today"

This is probably the most ignorant thing I have ever heard.
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« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2011, 07:08:27 PM »

"What the Qur’an denies about God as the Holy Trinity has been denied by every great teacher of the church in the past and ought to be denied by Christians today"

This is probably the most ignorant thing I have ever heard.

Would you please tell us why you feel that?

What is it exactly that the Qu'ran denies? Which great theologians have agreed with the Qu'ran? I for certain would like to know and I am not willing to classify it as an ignorant statement until after I find out more.
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« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2011, 07:09:54 PM »

"What the Qur’an denies about God as the Holy Trinity has been denied by every great teacher of the church in the past and ought to be denied by Christians today"

This is probably the most ignorant thing I have ever heard.

You sure about that? The concept of the Trinitarian nature of God in the Koran as I have read it is not the proper and Orthodox Christian concept at all.

They reject the Trinity per se for all the right reasons. The Trinitarian nature of God as understood by the Orthodox is simply not addressed.

The question is provocative way of saying:

The Koran rejects the Trinity, but it is not the understanding of the Trinity as understood by Christians and is the understanding of the Trinity historically rejected by Orthodox Christians.
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« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2011, 07:11:48 PM »

"What the Qur’an denies about God as the Holy Trinity has been denied by every great teacher of the church in the past and ought to be denied by Christians today"

This is probably the most ignorant thing I have ever heard.

Would you please tell us why you feel that?

What is it exactly that the Qu'ran denies? Which great theologians have agreed with the Qu'ran? I for certain would like to know and I am not willing to classify it as an ignorant statement until after I find out more.

Posted nearly the same time as each other. I think the Muslim converts could really shed some precise light on this. I can only speak in generalities and don't find the statement wrong, just provocative (like most ad copy).
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« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2011, 07:16:33 PM »

"What the Qur’an denies about God as the Holy Trinity has been denied by every great teacher of the church in the past and ought to be denied by Christians today"

This is probably the most ignorant thing I have ever heard.

When dealing specifically with the concept of the Trinity, the Qur'an denies that God has a wife and that the two of them had offspring. In other words, it denies Mormonism. So does every great teacher of the church in the past and it ought to be denied by anyone calling themselves an Orthodox Christian today.
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« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2011, 08:11:17 PM »

The Koran denies some teachings about the Trinity that we also reject, that appears to be true. But then they also deny teachings that we DO accept. E.g. 112:3

Quote
God begets not, nor is He begotten

If that isn't a straight denial of Christian dogma, I don't know what is.

This is what comes of trying to be cleverer than the Fathers and show that for centuries they were mistaken in condemning (insert heresy of choice).
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« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2011, 08:30:46 PM »

The Koran denies some teachings about the Trinity that we also reject, that appears to be true. But then they also deny teachings that we DO accept. E.g. 112:3

Quote
God begets not, nor is He begotten

If that isn't a straight denial of Christian dogma, I don't know what is.

This is what comes of trying to be cleverer than the Fathers and show that for centuries they were mistaken in condemning (insert heresy of choice).

Who are you directing this at? I specifically posted a Patristic source that states Islam is a heresy to support they worship the same God but not correctly so via practice or understanding. But they are not pagans.
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« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2011, 09:21:55 PM »


You sure about that? The concept of the Trinitarian nature of God in the Koran as I have read it is not the proper and Orthodox Christian concept at all.

Yet the author of the Qur'an ascribed the improper and heretic understanding of the Trinitarian doctrine to all Christians.  laugh

They reject the Trinity per se for all the right reasons. The Trinitarian nature of God as understood by the Orthodox is simply not addressed.

I cannot agree with you on this. Muhammad insisted Jesus was nothing more than a messenger and that many similar messengers had passed away before Him (Surah 5:75).

The question is provocative way of saying:

The Koran rejects the Trinity, but it is not the understanding of the Trinity as understood by Christians and is the understanding of the Trinity historically rejected by Orthodox Christians.

Again, I can see no such distinction in the Qur'an. Muhammad taught that ALL Christians worshipped three gods, namely, Allah, Mary, and Jesus (Surah 5:116)
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« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2011, 09:24:58 PM »


Who are you directing this at? I specifically posted a Patristic source that states Islam is a heresy to support they worship the same God but not correctly so via practice or understanding. But they are not pagans.

It depends on how we interpret the term "heresy". Is it possible for a pagan to create a Christian heresy? Muhammad was not born a Christian! He was pagan.  Grin
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« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2011, 02:05:05 AM »

The Koran denies some teachings about the Trinity that we also reject, that appears to be true. But then they also deny teachings that we DO accept. E.g. 112:3

Quote
God begets not, nor is He begotten

If that isn't a straight denial of Christian dogma, I don't know what is.

This is what comes of trying to be cleverer than the Fathers and show that for centuries they were mistaken in condemning (insert heresy of choice).

Who are you directing this at? I specifically posted a Patristic source that states Islam is a heresy to support they worship the same God but not correctly so via practice or understanding. But they are not pagans.


I was directing it at the author of this book who, according to you, claims that Islam only condemns heretical Trinitarian doctrines that Christians do not believe in anyway. I wanted to show that in fact Islam also condemns indisputably (Orthodox) Christian Trinitarian doctrine. So you could interpret this as support for your side, if you wish.
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« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2011, 10:47:50 AM »

The Koran denies some teachings about the Trinity that we also reject, that appears to be true. But then they also deny teachings that we DO accept. E.g. 112:3

Quote
God begets not, nor is He begotten

If that isn't a straight denial of Christian dogma, I don't know what is.

This is what comes of trying to be cleverer than the Fathers and show that for centuries they were mistaken in condemning (insert heresy of choice).

Quran 112: 1-3

1 Say: He, Allåh, is One.
2 Allåh is He on Whom all depend.
3 He begets not, nor is He begotten

I'm not so sure this is a "straight denial" of Christian doctrine.

Notice that the verse says that Allah (God) begets not, nor is He begotten.

That's consistent with Christian theology. The Holy Trinity (God) does not beget, nor is the Trinity begotten.

Only if you equate Allah only with God The Father, can the verse be inconsistent with Christian doctrine. But if Allah is the Triune God, and not simply The Father, or simply The Son, then (from a Christian perspective), Allah is the Holy Trinity, and the Holy Trinity (altogether, as One) begets not, nor is begotten.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2011, 10:48:49 AM by Jetavan » Logged

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