Between Allah & Jesus: Part 1
How would a Christian and a Muslim debate Jesus and Muhammad; the Bible and the Qu'ran; and theology and religion? Follow the compelling conversation as imagined by Peter Kreeft, in part one of this excerpt from his new novel "Between Allah and Jesus.” Then join a discussion between Beliefnet’s Muslim and Christian bloggers.
BY: By Peter Kreeft
“The primary object of your faith is Jesus, rather than your book, your New Testament, isn’t that right?”
“But the primary object of our faith is not Muhammad but the Qur’an. That is why we resented it when you used to call our religion Muhammadanism. That would be like calling Christianity ‘Saint Paulism’ or ‘Saint Peterism.’ ”
“I see,” Evan said. “Our two religions differ about what is the primary object of faith.”
“The primary object of faith on earth, yes. We have the same object of faith in heaven, God. And that is the same God, the one and only God, the God of Abraham. So we agree about the most
important thing, even if we disagree about the next two most important things, scriptures and prophets.”
“No, I don’t think that’s right,” protested Evan. “I don’t think we mean the same thing by God.”
“But of course we do!” answered ‘Isa, in a surprised tone of voice.
“No,” Evan pressed. “If you don’t worship the Father of Jesus, then we’re not worshiping the same God. Jesus said, ‘If you don’t know the Son, you don’t know the Father.’ And we believe him. And you don’t know Jesus as the Son, so you don’t know God the Father. So we have to believe your Allah is not the same God we worship, as you say he is. Our God has a Son. Yours doesn’t.”
“Evan, you know logic as well as I do, and that is just bad logic.”
“I will show you. You Christians all believe in the Trinity, don’t you?”
“And that means you say that God is three persons?”
“Yes. Not three Gods, three persons making up one God.”
“And some of you—Protestants and Roman Catholics, I think—believe that the third person, the Holy Spirit, proceeds from the Father and the Son, isn’t that right? Isn’t that in one of your creeds?”
“Yes, it’s in the Nicene Creed.”
“But Eastern Orthodox Christians don’t believe that, do they? They believe that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father alone, not from the Father and the Son together, isn’t that right? Isn’t that one of the differences between you?”
“Yes. I’m surprised you know so much about Christianity.”
“Now you agree with the Western churches about this, rather than the Eastern churches, right?”
“Do you believe that Eastern Orthodox Christians worship the same God that you Western Christians do?”
“But you believe that they have that one thing wrong about the Trinity?”
“Yes . . .”
“Well, then, why don’t you use the same logic on them as you used on me? Why don’t you tell them that they are worshiping another God, a false God?”
Evan was silent, thinking. ‘Isa went on: “Or else, if you admit that you and they are worshiping the same God even though one of the two of you has this one thing wrong about God, namely, this thing about the Holy Spirit, then why can’t you say that Christians and Muslims are worshiping the same God even though one of those two religions has this one thing wrong about God, namely whether he is a Trinity or not?”
“That’s a good point of logic, ‘Isa. I will have to think about that,” answered Evan, scratching his beard.
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