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Author Topic: Scholar: Christians, Muslims believe in -- but don't worship -- same God  (Read 1385 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: May 02, 2012, 12:52:40 PM »

Quote
"Christians and Muslims believe in the same God. They do not worship the same God," William Abraham said.

Even so, common belief in the Creator shared by Christianity and Islam may provide the basis for Muslims' full engagement in American political and civil life, he asserted.
....
"Broadly, the God of American public theology is identified as the one and only Creator of the universe who acts providentially in history. This is not the same God that either Christians or Muslims worship, but it is the same God that Muslims and Christians believe exists," he said.

Christians who "get hot and bothered" about the minimalist identity of God in civil religion "should relax and smell the coffee," he insisted.

"The minimalist conception of God is precisely the strength of American public theology," Abraham asserted. "What began as a theology that grew out of Protestantism extended to include Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox immigrants and extended further to include Jews. This was possible because they could all acknowledge God under the deflationary description of the one and only Creator of the universe in the public square."
So you can believe in a God, but not worship that God?
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« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2012, 01:31:44 PM »

Quote
"Christians and Muslims believe in the same God. They do not worship the same God," William Abraham said.

Even so, common belief in the Creator shared by Christianity and Islam may provide the basis for Muslims' full engagement in American political and civil life, he asserted.
....
"Broadly, the God of American public theology is identified as the one and only Creator of the universe who acts providentially in history. This is not the same God that either Christians or Muslims worship, but it is the same God that Muslims and Christians believe exists," he said.

Christians who "get hot and bothered" about the minimalist identity of God in civil religion "should relax and smell the coffee," he insisted.

"The minimalist conception of God is precisely the strength of American public theology," Abraham asserted. "What began as a theology that grew out of Protestantism extended to include Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox immigrants and extended further to include Jews. This was possible because they could all acknowledge God under the deflationary description of the one and only Creator of the universe in the public square."
So you can believe in a God, but not worship that God?

Silly me, I thought only Jesuit professors could make my head spin.
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« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2012, 01:50:06 PM »

Parts of this make sense.  It's not a new theory to believe that Muhammad's revelations were designed (by whom? that's debatable) to divert worship from Christ to something else.
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« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2012, 01:52:24 PM »

Parts of this make sense.  It's not a new theory to believe that Muhammad's revelations were designed (by whom? that's debatable) to divert worship from Christ to something else.
So Muslims believe in the same God Christians believe in, but Muslims worship a different God, a God who was revealed to Muhammad?
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« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2012, 01:54:28 PM »

Sounds like an ultra-liberal theology professor who has no idea what he is talking about. Likewise, how can monotheistic religions believe in one God yet worship another god unless they are polytheistic? Neither Christianity or Islam are polytheistic.
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« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2012, 02:06:48 PM »

Parts of this make sense.  It's not a new theory to believe that Muhammad's revelations were designed (by whom? that's debatable) to divert worship from Christ to something else.
So Muslims believe in the same God Christians believe in, but Muslims worship a different God, a God who was revealed to Muhammad?

Actually, I'm not really sure what this guy was referring to, as he says that both Christians and Muslims are worshiping a different God than the one they believe in.  Very odd, and I've not heard that one before.

The opinion I thought Mr. Abraham was talking about is considerably different.  That one argues that Muslim prayers are diverted, not to another God, but either away from God or to another entity, e.g. Satan.  I know that sounds tremendously insensitive, but it's interesting that a "revelation" would be so insistent on being from the same God that Jews and Christians worship, but simultaneously stress a change in worship and denial of Christ's divinity.

Still, what this fellow is talking about appears quite different.  My mistake.
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« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2012, 02:07:04 PM »

I took his meaning as Muslims and Christians believe in the same God in theory, but in practice (worship), they're different.

I'm not saying I agree, but that's how I read it.
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« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2012, 02:10:27 PM »

I took his meaning as Muslims and Christians believe in the same God in theory, but in practice (worship), they're different.

I'm not saying I agree, but that's how I read it.

That's what I thought as well, but on second glance, it appears that we all got it wrong and the God(s) Christians and Muslims worship are different from super Creator God we think we are worshiping.  Ummm...  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2012, 02:11:21 PM »

Parts of this make sense.  It's not a new theory to believe that Muhammad's revelations were designed (by whom? that's debatable) to divert worship from Christ to something else.
So Muslims believe in the same God Christians believe in, but Muslims worship a different God, a God who was revealed to Muhammad?

Actually, I'm not really sure what this guy was referring to, as he says that both Christians and Muslims are worshiping a different God than the one they believe in.  Very odd, and I've not heard that one before.

The opinion I thought Mr. Abraham was talking about is considerably different.  That one argues that Muslim prayers are diverted, not to another God, but either away from God or to another entity, e.g. Satan.  I know that sounds tremendously insensitive, but it's interesting that a "revelation" would be so insistent on being from the same God that Jews and Christians worship, but simultaneously stress a change in worship and denial of Christ's divinity.

Still, what this fellow is talking about appears quite different.  My mistake.
I think I see what you're saying. Muslims believe in a Being who Created the Cosmos from nothing, and Christians believe in this Being, too. Yet, when Muslims pray, they pray to some idea in their imagination, or to some other created being, while believing that they are praying to the Being who Created; whereas Christians pray to this Real Being as revealed via Christ.
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« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2012, 02:15:25 PM »

I understand what the guy is saying and you can't take what's he's saying literally.  He's using philosophical language.

Look at it this way.  Say your father is the most loving, kind and gentle person you've ever met.  He's very supportive of everything you do and, now that you're an adult, he speaks 'with' you instead of 'to' or 'at' you.  You love and respect him for all he's done for you as a father.  He works for the government and doesn't talk much about his job because it's of an incredibly high security nature.

Now say that same father is head of a special forces unit.  He's a badass that can take down an enemy unit armed only with a toothpick and a wetnap.  His orders are curt, to the point, and he expects them to be followed rigorously and to the letter.  He does not suffer fools lightly but is fair and offers praise and recognition when it is deserved.  He leads by example and action.  His troops love him for all this because they know he's the best leader they can have.  He doesn't talk much about his family life because he's old school and prefers to keep distance between himself and his subordinates and keep his family life separate from his job.

Your father is ontologically the same person to both groups, but loved (dare I say, 'worshipped') by two distinct groups who have completely different ideas of who your father is, yet the particular reason why they hold him in such high esteem is important to each particular group.  From the outside, one can ask, "Is he how his children view him?  Is he how his soldiers view him?  Isn't he both at the same time?"

What this professor is trying to say is that God is a PERSON whom two different yet related religious groups view differently and worship accordingly.  Now, as Christians, we say that know who God is (as much as humanity can know) because He was revealed to us through His Son, our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ.  WE see our father (in the above example) as both.  But Muslims only see one facet.  

And I'm not trying to say it's in a modalistic manner, but something more, something deeper.  

I've long thought this way about the question, "Do Muslims and Christians worship the same God?"  My answer has been, "Yes...and no," because, as I've argued when asked this question, "Because no Muslim would dare say that Jesus Christ is God and that is at the crux, it is THE fundamental crux, of the question what separates Islam from Christianity."
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« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2012, 02:17:10 PM »

I think I see what you're saying. Muslims believe in a Being who Created the Cosmos from nothing, and Christians believe in this Being, too. Yet, when Muslims pray, they pray to some idea in their imagination, or to some other created being, while believing that they are praying to the Being who Created; whereas Christians pray to this Real Being as revealed via Christ.

Right. Interesting to think about and I suppose a possibility.

Now if we could only understand what Mr. Abraham is on about.
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« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2012, 02:23:49 PM »

Thanks for the response, Schultz. 

But from the article, I don't see any distinction made between Christians and Muslims.  Rather, the distinction is made between who Christians and Muslims both think they are worshiping and who they are really worshiping.

From that, which is what I believe he was saying, we're both (Christians and Muslims) worshiping a different God (perhaps created or distorted) than the real one.
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« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2012, 02:58:05 PM »

very cool explanation Schultz  Smiley

I understood him to be saying..

Muslims and Christians alike believe in the infinite who is a creator of all, who is all good, all powerful, worthy of worship and obedience.They both agree that this infinite being who is all of the above, exists. As do others who share the common understanding of the term “God”  this he termed the American public theology ( knowledge of God) this is how they see and understand God to be at a core level or in a simplistic way.

However, when it comes to the deeper identity of the infinite, they completely differ from one another. Their theology parts ways, when the Christians speak of the Trinity, the Incarnation they are talking about a fundamentally different entity than who the infinite for Islam is. Thus accordingly their worship is directed towards two fundamentally different deities.

The same with the popular theology, the belief in the all-powerful infinite who is the source of all does agree up to a point with both the Christian and Muslim theology, but when it delves into the other attributes and essence of the infinite they all part ways. So it is up to a point plausible to say that in a very simplistic term we can agree in the existence of the Infinite One, thus that might indicate we are all speaking about the same entity Who is responsible for the manifestation of all there is. Thus one can say we agree in his existence. However we disagree in how he exists and manifests himself etc... As much as our point of disagreement alters him (as fundamental as they are) we will end up worshiping different Entity. So we all worship a different God.

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« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2012, 04:19:40 PM »

I might get into this latter. But I would agree with the statement in general.

I would agree that most educated / nerdy Christians, especially those most inclined to Scholastic notions of theology which means RCs and EOs both, definitely believe in the same God as the Muslims. Frankly, the Muslims out did the RCs in their synthesis of Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Proclus, etc, and Semitic thought. Really, the most dyed-in-the-wool Thomist should go Muslim. But that is a discussion for another day.

In fact, Muslims would have to agree to above at a minimum; the maximal statement within Islam could be debated. And just for fun, every Muslim ought to agree with every atheist as well



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« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2012, 07:37:21 PM »

Really, the most dyed-in-the-wool Thomist should go Muslim. But that is a discussion for another day.

I've always thought so.
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« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2012, 07:41:23 PM »

Really, the most dyed-in-the-wool Thomist should go Muslim. But that is a discussion for another day.

I've always thought so.

Yeah, because St. Thomas Aquinas thought the Crucifixion was faked.  Roll Eyes C'mon, I know you guys aren't supposed to like 'scholasticism,' whatever that is, but really!
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« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2012, 07:49:53 PM »

I might get into this latter. But I would agree with the statement in general.

I would agree that most educated / nerdy Christians, especially those most inclined to Scholastic notions of theology which means RCs and EOs both, definitely believe in the same God as the Muslims. Frankly, the Muslims out did the RCs in their synthesis of Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Proclus, etc, and Semitic thought. Really, the most dyed-in-the-wool Thomist should go Muslim. But that is a discussion for another day.

In fact, Muslims would have to agree to above at a minimum; the maximal statement within Islam could be debated. And just for fun, every Muslim ought to agree with every atheist as well


I'm looking forward to reading your thoughts on this.
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« Reply #17 on: May 02, 2012, 07:58:46 PM »

Really, the most dyed-in-the-wool Thomist should go Muslim. But that is a discussion for another day.

I've always thought so.

Yeah, because St. Thomas Aquinas thought the Crucifixion was faked.  Roll Eyes C'mon, I know you guys aren't supposed to like 'scholasticism,' whatever that is, but really!

orthonorm is one of the loudest critics on this forum of the idea that "Western = Scholastic, Eastern = mystical".

For myself, I meant Thomism as a philosophical system, not the faith confession of Aquinas.

I am no expert, of course, but it is not difficult for me to see the same influences running through both Aquinas' work and Muslim philosophy.
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« Reply #18 on: May 02, 2012, 08:00:07 PM »

Really, the most dyed-in-the-wool Thomist should go Muslim. But that is a discussion for another day.

I've always thought so.

Yeah, because St. Thomas Aquinas thought the Crucifixion was faked.  Roll Eyes C'mon, I know you guys aren't supposed to like 'scholasticism,' whatever that is, but really!

orthonorm is one of the loudest critics on this forum of the idea that "Western = Scholastic, Eastern = mystical".

For myself, I meant Thomism as a philosophical system, not the faith confession of Aquinas.

I am no expert, of course, but it is not difficult for me to see the same influences running through both Aquinas' work and Muslim philosophy.

Well, it is for me. I'm one of those awful people who went to an RCC college, where we read St. Thomas.
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« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2012, 08:01:37 PM »

Really, the most dyed-in-the-wool Thomist should go Muslim. But that is a discussion for another day.

I've always thought so.

Yeah, because St. Thomas Aquinas thought the Crucifixion was faked.  Roll Eyes C'mon, I know you guys aren't supposed to like 'scholasticism,' whatever that is, but really!

orthonorm is one of the loudest critics on this forum of the idea that "Western = Scholastic, Eastern = mystical".

For myself, I meant Thomism as a philosophical system, not the faith confession of Aquinas.

I am no expert, of course, but it is not difficult for me to see the same influences running through both Aquinas' work and Muslim philosophy.

Well, it is for me. I'm one of those awful people who went to an RCC college, where we read St. Thomas.

I have also read him, so perhaps we can be awful together, while disagreeing.
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« Reply #20 on: May 02, 2012, 08:03:00 PM »

All right, then.  Smiley
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« Reply #21 on: May 02, 2012, 08:18:52 PM »

Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Balkhī wasn't called "the Roman" for nuttin'.
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« Reply #22 on: May 02, 2012, 08:20:44 PM »

Wow, I'm Muslim and I didn't know it? Then why did we have Christmas all those years?  Huh
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« Reply #23 on: May 02, 2012, 08:24:56 PM »

I think the theory that Allah and God the Father are the same stands to reason.  The problem with the Mozzies is that you cannot properly worship God the Father without also worshiping the entire Trinity.  You can believe in God and not worship Him.

"Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble."  The Epistle of James, 2,11.
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« Reply #24 on: May 02, 2012, 08:50:17 PM »

I think the theory that Allah and God the Father are the same stands to reason.

It may, but it is difficult to separate the Muslim Allah from the Qur'an, Muhammad, hadith, sunna, etc. 

The only thing we have that indicates Allah is God the Father is the Qur'an, which we view as either full of mistakes, made up, or intentionally deceptive.
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« Reply #25 on: May 02, 2012, 09:16:33 PM »

Really, the most dyed-in-the-wool Thomist should go Muslim. But that is a discussion for another day.

I've always thought so.

Yeah, because St. Thomas Aquinas thought the Crucifixion was faked.  Roll Eyes C'mon, I know you guys aren't supposed to like 'scholasticism,' whatever that is, but really!

What akimori said about me. I did more than read Aquinas. I helped Jesuits get through their studies and am rather aware of the Thomist literature from Aquinas till today for a lay person.

What you obviously have never read is serious Muslim thought as evidenced in your response to my point, which is rather pedestrian and common place, that Islam gave us the Enlightenment(s) for a variety of reasons.

While studying with those Jesuits I lived with Muslims, one a Muslim teacher and scholar of Islamic thought and philosophy, which for him meant Scholasticism.

The breadth and depth of Muslim systematic theology is staggering.

Again, for another time.
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« Reply #26 on: May 02, 2012, 09:18:35 PM »

Yes, I have read Muslim thought. How would you know if I hadn't?

Who do you think you are?
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« Reply #27 on: May 02, 2012, 09:19:44 PM »

The only thing we have that indicates Allah is God the Father is the Qur'an, which we view as either full of mistakes, made up, or intentionally deceptive.

Really these claims don't hold to scholarship. The notion that the Qur'an is full of mistakes is no longer taken very seriously and the textual criticism shows that the Qur'an was for all intents and purposes a rather unified document from early on.

Lazily googling will give you the infos. Just read the wikipedia articles. I've looked them over at times and they are quite good.

As far as the deceptive part goes, it is hard to actually read generously the account of Muhammed's life and think of him as driven by intentional deceit.
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« Reply #28 on: May 02, 2012, 09:20:46 PM »

The only thing we have that indicates Allah is God the Father is the Qur'an, which we view as either full of mistakes, made up, or intentionally deceptive.

Really these claims don't hold to scholarship. The notion that the Qur'an is full of mistakes is no longer taken very seriously and the textual criticism shows that the Qur'an was for all intents and purposes a rather unified document from early on.

Lazily googling will give you the infos. Just read the wikipedia articles. I've looked them over at times and they are quite good.

As far as the deceptive part goes, it is hard to actually read generously the account of Muhammed's life and think of him as driven by intentional deceit.

Snide and heretical at once. You've got many talents!
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« Reply #29 on: May 02, 2012, 09:24:48 PM »

Yes, I have read Muslim thought. How would you know if I hadn't?

Who do you think you are?

I said "serious".

I can tell from your obvious ignorance on the subject.

Then again, perhaps it is a matter of understanding.

Anyone who has read systematic Islamic theology and doesn't see that it is a rather elegant and sophisticated Scholasticism or acts like such a suggestion is madness, hasn't done much serious reading or even read just the basic tenets of Islamic theology from its classical period till today.

If you would like a suggestion for a "The Islamic Way" so to speak, I would suggest:

Vision of Islam (Visions of Reality) by Sachiko Murata and William Chittick.

http://www.amazon.com/Vision-Visions-Reality-Sachiko-Murata/dp/1557785163/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1336008556&sr=8-1
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« Reply #30 on: May 02, 2012, 09:25:40 PM »

The only thing we have that indicates Allah is God the Father is the Qur'an, which we view as either full of mistakes, made up, or intentionally deceptive.

Really these claims don't hold to scholarship. The notion that the Qur'an is full of mistakes is no longer taken very seriously and the textual criticism shows that the Qur'an was for all intents and purposes a rather unified document from early on.

Lazily googling will give you the infos. Just read the wikipedia articles. I've looked them over at times and they are quite good.

As far as the deceptive part goes, it is hard to actually read generously the account of Muhammed's life and think of him as driven by intentional deceit.

Snide and heretical at once. You've got many talents!

Where are the heresies? And it is hardly snide. Sorry I don't ascribe to your Islamophobia.
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« Reply #31 on: May 02, 2012, 09:26:40 PM »

And I don't buy your theories about Muslim culture being the origin of all things. Sorry pal, I don't have to agree with you.

Go praise Muhammed where they usually do, in a mosque.
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« Reply #32 on: May 02, 2012, 09:27:19 PM »

Quote from: orthonorm

I can tell from your obvious ignorance on the subject.


And here is where I stop taking you seriously.
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« Reply #33 on: May 02, 2012, 09:38:57 PM »

The only thing we have that indicates Allah is God the Father is the Qur'an, which we view as either full of mistakes, made up, or intentionally deceptive.

Really these claims don't hold to scholarship. The notion that the Qur'an is full of mistakes is no longer taken very seriously and the textual criticism shows that the Qur'an was for all intents and purposes a rather unified document from early on.

Lazily googling will give you the infos. Just read the wikipedia articles. I've looked them over at times and they are quite good.

As far as the deceptive part goes, it is hard to actually read generously the account of Muhammed's life and think of him as driven by intentional deceit.

Actually, you are reading too much into my wording.  There are mistakes in the Qur'an, perhaps not in dictation, recording, grammatical inference, but in theology, understanding, and the presentation of who the supreme deity is.  [Added to clarify] As an Orthodox Christian (what I meant by "we") the Qur'an is full of mistakes.

I'll pass on the googling prescription, lazily or not.

The account of Muhammad's life written by whom? When?  Oh, it's sympathetic to his story? How objectively shocking.  Then the deception comes from another source.  Who might that be?  
« Last Edit: May 02, 2012, 09:48:22 PM by Cognomen » Logged

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« Reply #34 on: May 02, 2012, 09:46:42 PM »

The only thing we have that indicates Allah is God the Father is the Qur'an, which we view as either full of mistakes, made up, or intentionally deceptive.

Really these claims don't hold to scholarship. The notion that the Qur'an is full of mistakes is no longer taken very seriously and the textual criticism shows that the Qur'an was for all intents and purposes a rather unified document from early on.

Lazily googling will give you the infos. Just read the wikipedia articles. I've looked them over at times and they are quite good.

As far as the deceptive part goes, it is hard to actually read generously the account of Muhammed's life and think of him as driven by intentional deceit.

Actually, you are reading too much into my wording.  There are mistakes in the Qur'an, perhaps not in dictation, recording, grammatical inference, but in theology, understanding, and the presentation of who the supreme deity is.

I'll pass on the googling prescription, lazily or not.

The account of Muhammad's life written by whom? When?  Oh, it's sympathetic to his story? How objectively shocking.  Then the deception comes from another source.  Who might that be?  

You realize that this method of reading puts the claims of Christianity into greater jeopardy than Islam.

The Koran, I am kicking it old school, and other likely contemporaneously writing of Mohamed doesn't paint him into some "perfect" human.

Again, if you are not interested, there is no point. But I would suggest passing on repeating vague criticisms especially when they are likely to more damning towards the claims of most Christians.

 
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« Reply #35 on: May 02, 2012, 09:50:23 PM »

I'll just settle the argument and say that the ultimate scholastics are the Buddhists.
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« Reply #36 on: May 02, 2012, 09:54:25 PM »

The only thing we have that indicates Allah is God the Father is the Qur'an, which we view as either full of mistakes, made up, or intentionally deceptive.

Really these claims don't hold to scholarship. The notion that the Qur'an is full of mistakes is no longer taken very seriously and the textual criticism shows that the Qur'an was for all intents and purposes a rather unified document from early on.

Lazily googling will give you the infos. Just read the wikipedia articles. I've looked them over at times and they are quite good.

As far as the deceptive part goes, it is hard to actually read generously the account of Muhammed's life and think of him as driven by intentional deceit.

Actually, you are reading too much into my wording.  There are mistakes in the Qur'an, perhaps not in dictation, recording, grammatical inference, but in theology, understanding, and the presentation of who the supreme deity is.

I'll pass on the googling prescription, lazily or not.

The account of Muhammad's life written by whom? When?  Oh, it's sympathetic to his story? How objectively shocking.  Then the deception comes from another source.  Who might that be?  

You realize that this method of reading puts the claims of Christianity into greater jeopardy than Islam.

The Koran, I am kicking it old school, and other likely contemporaneously writing of Mohamed doesn't paint him into some "perfect" human.

Again, if you are not interested, there is no point. But I would suggest passing on repeating vague criticisms especially when they are likely to more damning towards the claims of most Christians.

This method of reading?  Determining that some scripture is true while others are false?  I'm not following.

Of course the Koran doesn't paint him as some "perfect" human; who suggested it did, and why is that relevant?

I am very interested in the subject and have studied it in some detail, but I really don't know what you are getting at.  Additionally, I have no idea how my vague criticisms, in other words, what our Church believes, are damning towards claims of Xtians.
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« Reply #37 on: May 02, 2012, 09:55:51 PM »

This thread should be locked. Sad
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« Reply #38 on: May 02, 2012, 09:56:08 PM »

Quote from: Cognomen


This method of reading?  Determining that some scripture is true while others are false?  I'm not following.

Of course the Koran doesn't paint him as some "perfect" human; who suggested it did, and why is that relevant?

I am very interested in the subject and have studied it in some detail, but I really don't know what you are getting at.  Additionally, I have no idea how my vague criticisms, in other words, what our Church believes, are damning towards claims of Xtians.

Don't worry, he just likes to look like he's more posh than the rest of us dopes.  Tongue
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« Reply #39 on: May 02, 2012, 09:56:27 PM »

This thread should be locked. Sad

Dingdingding! Yes.
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« Reply #40 on: May 02, 2012, 09:57:35 PM »

I'll just settle the argument and say that the ultimate scholastics are the Buddhists.

Awesome. I'll take your word for it. Though it seems to me from the small of amount of writing I've read on from the Dalai Lama (sp?), he is either a transcendental materialist or playing that angle to woo Western money and attention.

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« Reply #41 on: May 02, 2012, 10:02:43 PM »

Quote from: orthonorm

I can tell from your obvious ignorance on the subject.


And here is where I stop taking you seriously.
Go praise Muhammed where they usually do, in a mosque.
Yeah....
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« Reply #42 on: May 02, 2012, 10:06:50 PM »

Well here's a kicker....

Since Muslims declare to worship the God of Abraham
and
Since Christians declare to worship the God of Abraham, which is the Trinity, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit....

LOL - Then TO Christians (in Christian perspective) they should see Muslims as just "erroneous Christians", because technically they worship the God of Abraham, that we know of as the Trinity.

Hmmmz... And they get 40 virgins....
no... wait... That would turn into a mighty honey do list later.
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« Reply #43 on: May 02, 2012, 10:08:32 PM »

I'll just settle the argument and say that the ultimate scholastics are the Buddhists.

Awesome. I'll take your word for it. Though it seems to me from the small of amount of writing I've read on from the Dalai Lama (sp?), he is either a transcendental materialist or playing that angle to woo Western money and attention.



The Dalai Lama's public teaching is not the best source on Buddhist doctrine, even for his own Geluk school. Young monks spend a lot of time learning how to argue with positions no one has held for 2000 years.
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« Reply #44 on: May 02, 2012, 10:24:03 PM »

The only thing we have that indicates Allah is God the Father is the Qur'an, which we view as either full of mistakes, made up, or intentionally deceptive.

Really these claims don't hold to scholarship. The notion that the Qur'an is full of mistakes is no longer taken very seriously and the textual criticism shows that the Qur'an was for all intents and purposes a rather unified document from early on.

Lazily googling will give you the infos. Just read the wikipedia articles. I've looked them over at times and they are quite good.

As far as the deceptive part goes, it is hard to actually read generously the account of Muhammed's life and think of him as driven by intentional deceit.

Actually, you are reading too much into my wording.  There are mistakes in the Qur'an, perhaps not in dictation, recording, grammatical inference, but in theology, understanding, and the presentation of who the supreme deity is.

I'll pass on the googling prescription, lazily or not.

The account of Muhammad's life written by whom? When?  Oh, it's sympathetic to his story? How objectively shocking.  Then the deception comes from another source.  Who might that be?  

You realize that this method of reading puts the claims of Christianity into greater jeopardy than Islam.

The Koran, I am kicking it old school, and other likely contemporaneously writing of Mohamed doesn't paint him into some "perfect" human.

Again, if you are not interested, there is no point. But I would suggest passing on repeating vague criticisms especially when they are likely to more damning towards the claims of most Christians.

This method of reading?  Determining that some scripture is true while others are false?  I'm not following.

Of course the Koran doesn't paint him as some "perfect" human; who suggested it did, and why is that relevant?

I am very interested in the subject and have studied it in some detail, but I really don't know what you are getting at.  Additionally, I have no idea how my vague criticisms, in other words, what our Church believes, are damning towards claims of Xtians.

Then you were intentionally vague about your criticisms of the Koran. If you don't take the typical criticisms and thus agree with the notion that the Koran is a singular document within the history of the Arabic language and quite different from any other "words" from have from Mohamed, then awesome.

As far as the Qur'an being "internally" theologically flawed, sorry but the Christian Scriptures are actually much more complicated and contradictory, which I find frankly to be a strength incidentally. (FWIW, I am not expert on the Koran; however, it ain't hard to see how it is more consistent throughout in its understanding of God. And how it leads thus much to a more easily to systematic theology, which again I find to be a weakness. After all it is written in direct light of engagement of neo-Platonic with Semitic thought. The Muslims didn't have as much trouble of having to make their Scripture speak Greek so to speak, ironically as some would say.)

And to notions of the veracity of the claims about people's lives based on their "biased" nature, toss out all your lives of the Saints, Gospel, etc.

A generous reading of charity rather than suspicion I find over the long run will find the real problems which lie within texts. Ones you can actually discuss with those who love them, as you have as well.








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« Reply #45 on: May 02, 2012, 10:24:50 PM »

I'll just settle the argument and say that the ultimate scholastics are the Buddhists.

Awesome. I'll take your word for it. Though it seems to me from the small of amount of writing I've read on from the Dalai Lama (sp?), he is either a transcendental materialist or playing that angle to woo Western money and attention.



The Dalai Lama's public teaching is not the best source on Buddhist doctrine, even for his own Geluk school. Young monks spend a lot of time learning how to argue with positions no one has held for 2000 years.

I know. It is my way of saying I know jack about Buddhism in any systematic manner.
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« Reply #46 on: May 02, 2012, 10:37:23 PM »

The only thing we have that indicates Allah is God the Father is the Qur'an, which we view as either full of mistakes, made up, or intentionally deceptive.

Really these claims don't hold to scholarship. The notion that the Qur'an is full of mistakes is no longer taken very seriously and the textual criticism shows that the Qur'an was for all intents and purposes a rather unified document from early on.

Lazily googling will give you the infos. Just read the wikipedia articles. I've looked them over at times and they are quite good.

As far as the deceptive part goes, it is hard to actually read generously the account of Muhammed's life and think of him as driven by intentional deceit.

Actually, you are reading too much into my wording.  There are mistakes in the Qur'an, perhaps not in dictation, recording, grammatical inference, but in theology, understanding, and the presentation of who the supreme deity is.

I'll pass on the googling prescription, lazily or not.

The account of Muhammad's life written by whom? When?  Oh, it's sympathetic to his story? How objectively shocking.  Then the deception comes from another source.  Who might that be?  

You realize that this method of reading puts the claims of Christianity into greater jeopardy than Islam.

The Koran, I am kicking it old school, and other likely contemporaneously writing of Mohamed doesn't paint him into some "perfect" human.

Again, if you are not interested, there is no point. But I would suggest passing on repeating vague criticisms especially when they are likely to more damning towards the claims of most Christians.

This method of reading?  Determining that some scripture is true while others are false?  I'm not following.

Of course the Koran doesn't paint him as some "perfect" human; who suggested it did, and why is that relevant?

I am very interested in the subject and have studied it in some detail, but I really don't know what you are getting at.  Additionally, I have no idea how my vague criticisms, in other words, what our Church believes, are damning towards claims of Xtians.

Then you were intentionally vague about your criticisms of the Koran. If you don't take the typical criticisms and thus agree with the notion that the Koran is a singular document within the history of the Arabic language and quite different from any other "words" from have from Mohamed, then awesome.

As far as the Qur'an being "internally" theologically flawed, sorry but the Christian Scriptures are actually much more complicated and contradictory, which I find frankly to be a strength incidentally. (FWIW, I am not expert on the Koran; however, it ain't hard to see how it is more consistent throughout in its understanding of God. And how it leads thus much to a more easily to systematic theology, which again I find to be a weakness. After all it is written in direct light of engagement of neo-Platonic with Semitic thought. The Muslims didn't have as much trouble of having to make their Scripture speak Greek so to speak, ironically as some would say.)

And to notions of the veracity of the claims about people's lives based on their "biased" nature, toss out all your lives of the Saints, Gospel, etc.

A generous reading of charity rather than suspicion I find over the long run will find the real problems which lie within texts. Ones you can actually discuss with those who love them, as you have as well.









I find this intriguing. Any chance you could expound on it? Does it have to do with transience?
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« Reply #47 on: May 02, 2012, 10:46:32 PM »

The only thing we have that indicates Allah is God the Father is the Qur'an, which we view as either full of mistakes, made up, or intentionally deceptive.

Really these claims don't hold to scholarship. The notion that the Qur'an is full of mistakes is no longer taken very seriously and the textual criticism shows that the Qur'an was for all intents and purposes a rather unified document from early on.

Lazily googling will give you the infos. Just read the wikipedia articles. I've looked them over at times and they are quite good.

As far as the deceptive part goes, it is hard to actually read generously the account of Muhammed's life and think of him as driven by intentional deceit.

Actually, you are reading too much into my wording.  There are mistakes in the Qur'an, perhaps not in dictation, recording, grammatical inference, but in theology, understanding, and the presentation of who the supreme deity is.

I'll pass on the googling prescription, lazily or not.

The account of Muhammad's life written by whom? When?  Oh, it's sympathetic to his story? How objectively shocking.  Then the deception comes from another source.  Who might that be?  

You realize that this method of reading puts the claims of Christianity into greater jeopardy than Islam.

The Koran, I am kicking it old school, and other likely contemporaneously writing of Mohamed doesn't paint him into some "perfect" human.

Again, if you are not interested, there is no point. But I would suggest passing on repeating vague criticisms especially when they are likely to more damning towards the claims of most Christians.

This method of reading?  Determining that some scripture is true while others are false?  I'm not following.

Of course the Koran doesn't paint him as some "perfect" human; who suggested it did, and why is that relevant?

I am very interested in the subject and have studied it in some detail, but I really don't know what you are getting at.  Additionally, I have no idea how my vague criticisms, in other words, what our Church believes, are damning towards claims of Xtians.

Then you were intentionally vague about your criticisms of the Koran. If you don't take the typical criticisms and thus agree with the notion that the Koran is a singular document within the history of the Arabic language and quite different from any other "words" from have from Mohamed, then awesome.

As far as the Qur'an being "internally" theologically flawed, sorry but the Christian Scriptures are actually much more complicated and contradictory, which I find frankly to be a strength incidentally. (FWIW, I am not expert on the Koran; however, it ain't hard to see how it is more consistent throughout in its understanding of God. And how it leads thus much to a more easily to systematic theology, which again I find to be a weakness. After all it is written in direct light of engagement of neo-Platonic with Semitic thought. The Muslims didn't have as much trouble of having to make their Scripture speak Greek so to speak, ironically as some would say.)

And to notions of the veracity of the claims about people's lives based on their "biased" nature, toss out all your lives of the Saints, Gospel, etc.

A generous reading of charity rather than suspicion I find over the long run will find the real problems which lie within texts. Ones you can actually discuss with those who love them, as you have as well.









I find this intriguing. Any chance you could expound on it? Does it have to do with transience?

Maybe, can you tell what you mean by transience?
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« Reply #48 on: May 02, 2012, 10:57:53 PM »

The idea that God changes. If God is described differently at different times, then it could indicate that God is indeed different at different times. I've heard some arguments from you about why this is a good thing. The only other explanation I thought for your statement was that it indicates how fundamentally incomprehensible God is, but that really doesn't seem like your style.
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« Reply #49 on: May 02, 2012, 11:06:22 PM »

Then you were intentionally vague about your criticisms of the Koran.
I was.  Nor were the criticisms necessarily mine.

Quote
If you don't take the typical criticisms and thus agree with the notion that the Koran is a singular document within the history of the Arabic language and quite different from any other "words" from have from Mohamed, then awesome.

I think the document is singular, and I think it's transcription, composition, whatever you want to call it was a far more organized process than Xtian scriptures.  In terms of its content, I am largely limited to English, and so have little authority to comment on the uniqueness of it in Arabic.  As to where the content came from...? 

Quote
As far as the Qur'an being "internally" theologically flawed, sorry but the Christian Scriptures are actually much more complicated and contradictory, which I find frankly to be a strength incidentally. (FWIW, I am not expert on the Koran; however, it ain't hard to see how it is more consistent throughout in its understanding of God. And how it leads thus much to a more easily to systematic theology, which again I find to be a weakness. After all it is written in direct light of engagement of neo-Platonic with Semitic thought. The Muslims didn't have as much trouble of having to make their Scripture speak Greek so to speak, ironically as some would say.)

The theology is flawed in that it contradicts the truth (according to Christians), not in that it doesn't meet qualifiers which deem it excellent theology.  The Qur'an (and Islam) can be quite compelling.  Although Islamic complex theology exists, there is really not much need for it.  No need for divisive Christological debates and the like.  The idea that the existing Semitic populations of the Byzantine Empire were all forced to accept it is nonsense.  They appreciated freedom from the petty, mind boggling, out of touch yammering, along with the simplicity of the message.  This hasn't changed much in the Holy Land to this day.  Just ask an Arab Patriarch...

That said, I've always found the abrogation arguments a bit unconvincing.

Quote
And to notions of the veracity of the claims about people's lives based on their "biased" nature, toss out all your lives of the Saints, Gospel, etc.
Of course, but I am an Orthodox Christian and so I try to believe the stories of the Saints.  I don't try to believe the "biased" stories about Muhammad. 

I have to escape the Western, logic confined mindset and enter the Eastern world... Hah! I had to do it, but I couldn't continue any longer with that bit.

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A generous reading of charity rather than suspicion I find over the long run will find the real problems which lie within texts. Ones you can actually discuss with those who love them, as you have as well.

I think we're in agreement on this.

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« Reply #50 on: May 02, 2012, 11:11:30 PM »

Then you were intentionally vague about your criticisms of the Koran.
I was.  Nor were the criticisms necessarily mine.

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If you don't take the typical criticisms and thus agree with the notion that the Koran is a singular document within the history of the Arabic language and quite different from any other "words" from have from Mohamed, then awesome.

I think the document is singular, and I think it's transcription, composition, whatever you want to call it was a far more organized process than Xtian scriptures.  In terms of its content, I am largely limited to English, and so have little authority to comment on the uniqueness of it in Arabic.  As to where the content came from...? 

Quote
As far as the Qur'an being "internally" theologically flawed, sorry but the Christian Scriptures are actually much more complicated and contradictory, which I find frankly to be a strength incidentally. (FWIW, I am not expert on the Koran; however, it ain't hard to see how it is more consistent throughout in its understanding of God. And how it leads thus much to a more easily to systematic theology, which again I find to be a weakness. After all it is written in direct light of engagement of neo-Platonic with Semitic thought. The Muslims didn't have as much trouble of having to make their Scripture speak Greek so to speak, ironically as some would say.)

The theology is flawed in that it contradicts the truth (according to Christians), not in that it doesn't meet qualifiers which deem it excellent theology.  The Qur'an (and Islam) can be quite compelling.  Although Islamic complex theology exists, there is really not much need for it.  No need for divisive Christological debates and the like.  The idea that the existing Semitic populations of the Byzantine Empire were all forced to accept it is nonsense.  They appreciated freedom from the petty, mind boggling, out of touch yammering, along with the simplicity of the message.  This hasn't changed much in the Holy Land to this day.  Just ask an Arab Patriarch...

That said, I've always found the abrogation arguments a bit unconvincing.

Quote
And to notions of the veracity of the claims about people's lives based on their "biased" nature, toss out all your lives of the Saints, Gospel, etc.
Of course, but I am an Orthodox Christian and so I try to believe the stories of the Saints.  I don't try to believe the "biased" stories about Muhammad. 

I have to escape the Western, logic confined mindset and enter the Eastern world... Hah! I had to do it, but I couldn't continue any longer with that bit.

Quote
A generous reading of charity rather than suspicion I find over the long run will find the real problems which lie within texts. Ones you can actually discuss with those who love them, as you have as well.

I think we're in agreement on this.



All you had to say was that I am a Christian and thus reject Islam.

Sheesh.

Selam.
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« Reply #51 on: May 02, 2012, 11:14:05 PM »

All you had to say was that I am a Christian and thus reject Islam.

Sheesh.

Selam.

Sigh... So right.
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« Reply #52 on: May 02, 2012, 11:17:22 PM »

The idea that God changes. If God is described differently at different times, then it could indicate that God is indeed different at different times. I've heard some arguments from you about why this is a good thing. The only other explanation I thought for your statement was that it indicates how fundamentally incomprehensible God is, but that really doesn't seem like your style.

I started a reply before yours. I'll try to get back to it.

God IS comprehensible. It's part of the Gospel.

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That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life— 2 the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things we write to you that your[a] joy may be full.
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« Reply #53 on: May 02, 2012, 11:21:08 PM »

I am a Christian, and I reject Islam. And I don't believe in Islamophobia.

And I like green chiles, pugs, and bagels.

Sorry, I just thought I should try to balance out the negativity in the earlier part of the post.
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« Reply #54 on: May 02, 2012, 11:22:09 PM »

As far as the Qur'an being "internally" theologically flawed, sorry but the Christian Scriptures are actually much more complicated and contradictory, which I find frankly to be a strength incidentally. (FWIW, I am not expert on the Koran; however, it ain't hard to see how it is more consistent throughout in its understanding of God. And how it leads thus much to a more easily to systematic theology, which again I find to be a weakness. After all it is written in direct light of engagement of neo-Platonic with Semitic thought. The Muslims didn't have as much trouble of having to make their Scripture speak Greek so to speak, ironically as some would say.)

Amen, amen.
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