Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God?
Finding clarity and charity in the midst of tension.
It is extremely rare that something happens in little old Wheaton, Illinois, and becomes news all over the world. But in December, that happened. And now, almost daily, what happens in Wheaton is being published in the Washington Post, The New York Times, and the Guardian in the U.K. From The Atlantic to Al Jazeera, everyone's got an opinion, and it seems like everyone's upset.
For those of you who have been spared the social media tsunami, here's what happened. On December 10, Dr. Larycia Hawkins, professor of political science at Wheaton College, posted on her Facebook page that during Advent, to show solidarity with Muslims, she would wear the hijab, the headscarf worn by some women within conservative Islam. She was doing this, she wrote, because "I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because … we worship the same God."
Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God? Think about it: when my Muslim optician goes to Jummah prayers on Friday, and I come to church on Sunday, are we worshiping the same God? That question started a contentious debate, with Christian voices weighing in: "Yes, we do worship the same God," or "No, we don't—not even close," or "It's all semantics." How would you answer?
If you're like most Christians, you may be confused. Or uncertain. LifeWay Research released a study showing that Americans overall are evenly split: 46 percent believe that Muslims and Christians worship the same God, while 47 percent disagree.
Even if you have no connection whatever with Wheaton, I think you need to know whether Christians and Muslims worship the same God. This goes to the heart of each faith. So as a ...
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Kevin A. Miller is the Executive Director of Ministry Advancement at Christianity Today and senior pastor at Church of the Savior in Wheaton, Illinois.