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What on Earth is "truthmongering?"

Reader comment on item: Is Allah God? - Continued
in response to reader comment: Let's agree to disagree

Submitted by John Paul (United States), Sep 26, 2006 at 18:48

To zzaazzeefrazzee:

I would love to agree to disagree. In fact, that is what I was doing.

On the other hand, when I offered a rather obvious statement about what Christians believe concerning Jesus of Nazareth, you questioned whether I am justifying a religious crusade. This sort of rhetoric only demonstrates what kind of days we are in - and what kind of days we are headed for.

Friend, I fail to see how an explanation of how Christianity and Islam are fundamentally different is the equivalent of "sectarian hate spewed from religious absolutists." On such a basis one could argue that all churches and mosques be nailed shut tomorrow. Can we not even mention the fact of our differing beliefs? Or shall we all someday face charges of "vilifying Islam?"

Indeed, if we were all agreeing to disagree, it would not be illegal to practice Christianity in Saudi Arabia.

And what is truthmongering? Should we not love and pursue the truth? Let us indeed be merchants of the truth.

I think I have already explained the difference between Elohim and Allah, at least from a Christian perspective. For Christians, Elohim is the name of God as He revealed Himself in creation, as opposed to His Divine Name YHWH, by which He revealed Himself to the people of Israel. Indeed, there continued to be worshippers of of the True God under the name El, or El Elyon even after the Exodus. In fact, Moses's father-in-law, Jethro, was a priest of El Elyon. From a biblical perspective then, Jethro was not an idolater.

But Christians also believe that "Elohim" hints at the plurality in the divinity, as does the ancient Jewish prayer the Shema. And, they believe that the God of Israel became incarnate in Jesus Christ. "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." So begins the Gospel according to John. This text means that for Christians, there are at least two persons who share the Divine Nature. (Of course they also believe that the Holy Spirit is God.)

Presumably you know all or some of this already. My point is that this belief about the nature of God is at the very core of Christianity, and of course is set forth in all its creeds. For this reason, the concept of the deity as understood by Christians cannot ever be reconciled with the concept of the deity as taught by Muhammad. For Christians, God is not so much One that He is not Three.

Even if Elohim and Allah were linguistic cognates, this means nothing when we are engaging in a discussion of theology.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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