Have you ever been involved in a conversation with someone who said something like this, "Muslims and Christians and Jews all worship the same God?" Did you believe them? Do you believe the political pundits gussying up to the move to allow Islam a place in politics when they say Islam's Allah is the same as the God of the Jews and the Christians? Here are three reasons why I don't believe that and neither should you.
Reason #1: Etymologically They are Not the Same.
Reason #2: Because of Abrogations in Islamic Revelation, They are Not the Same.
So what I would like to do here is discuss briefly (ya, right!) the personal attributes conveyed in orthodox Christianity and what it teaches about how God discloses (reveals) Himself.
At first glance of the Shema, the word LORD is used, which is one of many names for the Judeo Christian God. Remember earlier in this post, I mentioned that the word, God, is generic title. In Islam, as in the case of Judaism, Allah and God (YHWH) respectively, are seen as a monad.
God (title) is triune, which means that He (personally) reveals Himself through the Persons of the Trinity. Yes God is one God but He is triune in His personal nature. Taking this title/personal relationship a little further, God reveals Himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Sometimes when we speak in theological terms, we use phrases like, “God the Father,” “God the Son,” or “God the Holy Spirit.” Notice the title “God” with the person. Are you starting to see it?
The Father (Who) is God (Title) (Luke 3:21-22; c.f., Matthew 3:16,17). The Son (Who) is God (Title) (see John 1:1, 14; 8:58). The Holy Spirit (Who) is God (Title) (See Acts 5:3,4) . God is not three Gods but one God. As the great hymn, “Holy, Holy, Holy” declares, “God in three Persons, blessed Trinity.” It is like the mathematical equation, 1 X 1 X 1 = 1. God, in His essence is a divinely, all powerful, infinite, and personal. He is distant, but He is also imminent. With all these infinite attributes, wouldn’t it stand to reason that God is able to disclose Himself in this manner? All three are revealed to be God, all at the same time.
Again, God is transcendent, but He is also imminent. Although God is distant, He desires us to know Him intimately; unlike Islam where the Muslim will say that Allah is knowable only when they pray the salat. But the Muslim will say that you cannot know God in the personal sense, like we claim that we know God in the Christian context. I find it interesting that the Muslim is willing to admit that Allah (God) is loving, but how do they know that if they cannot know God personally and intimately? If God is loving and He is only a monad, who was God loving before he created man?
But God in Islam is not knowable in the personal sense of knowing another person. How does the Christian and those who hold to a monadic view of God come to know Him personally?
We come to know God through His Son, Jesus who is fully God and fully man, and through the working of the Holy Spirit who takes up residence in the life of the believer upon believing that Jesus is the only way, truth and life, and the only one who can bring us to God the Father.