Do Christians and Muslims Worship The Same God? Divergence? Convergence? Both?
A. Less Precise Question: Do Christians & Muslims Worship The Same God?
B. More Precise Question: What Is It To Worship In Spirit & In Truth?
C. As per https://www.str.org/node/42619#comment-3435361127 which is copied here:
I think you’re correct to point out the clear divergence between Christianity and Islam in the categories you’ve listed. Those are real. Concrete. Absolute. The only quibble I’d make is in how to define the areas of obvious overlap in ontological real estate which is shared by both. But that is a problem which stems from the question itself, not from any possible answer.
By that I mean that this question unfortunately always asks, “Is it the *SAME GOD*?”
That’s a problem for two reasons.
The Jew today and as Christ’s contemporary did believe in and worship YHWH. But did not accept Christ. To comport with reality we need a metric which fully tackles both the overlapping ontological real estate and the concrete divergence.
This spring-boards off of reason one. Christ did not *qualify* their worship with terms which land on SAME GOD / DIFFERENT GOD but, rather, with terms which land on IN SPIRIT / IN TRUTH.
That landing strip is different than the landing strip of SAME/DIFFERENT. Christ got it right because his terms expressly do not expunge real/genuine overlapping ontological real estate. His metric comports with reality.
Whereas, the way modernity has been asking this question is, it seems, almost always along the metric of “SAME GOD / DIFFERENT GOD”, and that metric fails to comport with reality because it does expunge genuinely overlapping ontological real estate.
Whereas, Christ’s metric of IN SPIRIT / IN TRUTH references vectors landing on the fullness of wholeness in the modality of the interface amid we who are contingent beings and He Who is the Necessary Being. In said interface only All Sufficiency will do, and that by logical necessity, and *that* necessarily carries forward to an ontological location of In Spirit / In Truth, and *that* necessarily carries forward to a contingent being’s ontological location landing In Christ.
There are obvious vectors of convergence amid Christianity and Islam even as there are obvious areas of divergence. The “Net-Result” (so to speak) is the question under review. The majority of content here is through links to comments within discussions about this topic. While that is tedious at times it does give all of us access to other comments in those same discussions and thereby to views and ideas which are wider (or narrower?) than the specific comment linked. Before we move to some of those links there is a brief item about one area of convergence. Of course BOTH Converging Vectors & Diverging Vectors will be looked at. So, with that clarification, a brief look at one area of convergence:
There are large swaths of overlapping / shared ontological real estate. As Christians our own Theology has spring-boarded off of the Muslim even as the Muslim spring-boarded off of the Christian, as per,
….What is the Kalam Cosmological Argument? The word “kalam” is an Arabic word that denotes medieval Islamic theology. Muslim theologians, when Islam swept over Egypt in North Africa, absorbed the Christian thought that had been in those areas, like in Alexandria, which was the center of Christian learning. They picked up these arguments for the creation of the world that Christians had been using against Greek materialists and other philosophers. They began to develop these arguments in highly sophisticated ways for the existence of God as the creator of the universe…. https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/popular-writings/science-theology/the-scientific-kalam-cosmological-argument/
Romans 1 and 2 speak, in part, to that shared real estate. Which is fine. God does, after all, reveal Himself in and by such modes. To say that there are points of meaningful divergence is not to say that there are no points of meaningful overlap.
Convergence: Overlapping Vectors Common To Both Christianity & Islam
Converging Vectors + Diverging Vectors (Amid Christianity & Islam)
The Syntax of “Infidel” Contra The Syntax of “Gospel”
3. Comment #8 at https://www.thinkingchristian.net/posts/2018/06/no-christian-leaders-are-not-seeking-theocracy/#comment-129181 which opens with “Christianity is a non-totalitarian metanarrative…..”
“THE CURSINGS” is a chapter in the book “Reflections On The Psalms” by C.S. Lewis. The Non-Theist’s intellectually vacuous treatment of Hate & Ruin within the Human Metanarrative […by quoting Psalms “as-if” a verse is God speaking & Etc…] is there thoroughly exposed. Also on that same topic:
The final section will look at the layers within unavoidable divergence with respect to the Meta-Theology / Metaphysics of the Muslim and of the Christian. However, before we go “there”, let’s first add one more layer of convergence – not specific to Muslim/Christian per se – but rather with respect to all men:
We All Emote, Perceive, Intuit, And Reason Within The Same Pool
Christian: “….the fact that Christians do trust God in the midst of their suffering should be intriguing to atheists….”
Non-Theist: “….in the case of Allah, you are an atheist…When you see people worship him, even in difficult situations, you are not confused, intrigued or obsessed with getting to know Allah better. That is the same reaction “overall” atheists, who have given this topic any thought, have when we witness Christians doing the same thing. It is not a mystery….”
Non-Theist: “….Humans have a remarkable capacity for resilience in the face of very real suffering and threats to well-being; this is true irrespective of faith in a particular deity, or no faith at all….”
Non-Theist: “….anyone reading who thinks that is the only source of hope through suffering [should] know that there is hope even outside of Christianity….”
That is from http://disq.us/p/1sozwi7 and breaking it all down takes more than 100 words, so, a few segues are in the following:
DIVERGENCE Between the Christian Metaphysic and Islam — PART 1:
A. Scripture’s Singular Metanarrative & Its Thematic Lines – See http://disq.us/p/1z5xdbk
B. Killing Gays? Why is it that Non-Theists per their Non-Theism do not factually disagree with the Old Testament’s execution of homosexuals while the Christian *does*? – See both http://disq.us/p/1wq69q1 and also http://disq.us/p/1veigyz
The Christian disagrees with Sinai’s execution of folks for sex outside of marriage (which includes homosexual sex) because of the moral facts presented in Scripture’s Old & New Testaments. As in — the Christian metaphysic and all that (…. http://disq.us/p/1lrhj88 and http://disq.us/p/1n5tabg …). Whereas, you don’t disagree with it in any factual, ontic mode as you’ve never appealed to anything other than illusory transcendentals. Why don’t you disagree with said executions? I mean except by your mutable, frail, and finally indifferent ontic? It’s almost as if you believe — at bottom — that indifference is the end or terminus of the rational reply — of reason’s reply. […from http://disq.us/p/1nay3nr …]
A. Which comes first? Is it Immaterial & Ethic. Is it Material & Serotonin? See http://disq.us/p/1toqp5s
B. Premises, Legislation, & Reasoning Which Are Astonishingly Old-World In Their Thinking wrt The Forward March Of Science – See http://disq.us/p/1vejevw
C. Is Religion the Cause of Most Wars? – See http://disq.us/p/1u9rudl
End Brief Divergence.
DIVERGENCE (Between the Christian Metaphysic and Islam — PART 2:
Love’s Timeless Reciprocity vis-à-vis Being Itself vis-à-vis Ceaseless Self-Giving
1. Diversity within Unity in the History of Muslim Theology (by Glenn Miller) – http://christianthinktank.com/howtrin.html
2. God or Pure Act or “Being Itself” with respect to “Love Itself” cannot be World-Contingent or Creation-Contingent: https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/question-answer/love-and-justice-in-the-trinity/
3. In the Christian Metaphysic Man is not the Center. To posit otherwise is to posit a metaphysical impossibility. The center? Timeless reciprocity and a Self-Giving diffusiveness of the Ontic Self in totum — As in:
The Trinitarian Life & Love’s Ceaseless Self-Giving in and of and by the Always & Already
In the Christian metanarrative we find the Trinitarian metaphysic and, therein, love’s timeless Self-Giving and irreducible Diffusiveness of the Ontic Self with respect to …being itself… and, thereby – once again – The Always and The Already, that which is ceaselessly Beneath and Above – namely “Love & Necessity” as an ontic *singularity*.
It is there that we find in the Christian metaphysic the intellectual and moral grounds for affirming the term, “Love Himself” vis-à-vis the A and the Z of the Trinitarian Life / Trinity with respect to the Decree of the Imago Dei, and all that comes with “that”. That is to say, it is there that we find nothing less than the immutable love of the Necessary Being – and all that comes with “that”. That is to say, it is there in nothing less than Being that we find The Always and The Already constituting love’s timeless reciprocity and Self-Giving diffusiveness of the Ontic-Self in totum, and all that comes with “that”.
It is *that* explanatory terminus which is reality’s rock-bottom, reality’s irreducible substratum – the A and the Z of every possible ontic, of every possible sentence.
Recall that we are still discussing “Divergence“. The following are from http://thesometimespreacher.com/2016/01/the-beauty-of-the-infinite-by-david-bentley-hart/
“…..The rhetoric of God is Jesus Christ, offered as pure gift. As gift, Christ is infinite peace. As both gift and the rhetoric of peace, Christ is beauty, the magnificent demonstration of the self-giving love of the Trinity which crosses all boundaries, even the boundary of death….”
Two quotes of D.B. Hart from that book review:
“…..that one may speak, within the Christian tradition, of a rhetoric of peace, of a practice of rhetoric that is peaceful, because rhetoric and beauty are both already narrated by Christian thought as peace, obedient to a particular understanding of the infinite: beauty is prior to sublimity [tragic beauty] and infinity surpasses totality [the power of world systems]. Moreover, the concrete form of Christian rhetoric – Christ, the Father’s supreme rhetoric, his Word – appears within the terms of this Christian narrative of the infinite as the very form of peace, the infinite gesture of a love that simply exceeds the gesture of every violence brought against it, the real and visible beauty whose historical and aesthetic particularity invites response and variation and whose effect can inhabit time not simply as negation but as a practicable style of existence…..”
“….The God who goes to the outermost of being, in the form of a slave, and even past the limits of being into the silence of death, but who then nevertheless – and in just this particular and “slavish” shape – offers himself anew as a radiant and indestructible beauty, forever present in the midst of those who love him, has violated all Apollonian order and, at the same time, left no room for the Dionysian to occupy: the madness, turmoil, chaos, and cruelty of being, the ungovernable violence of the pagan infinite and postmodern sublime, is shown to be falsehood, lying everlastingly under the damnation of the cross, because the infinite that is has crossed all the boundaries of totality (even death, its defining horizon) and remained – forever – form. Nietzsche has every right to be appalled. Christian rhetoric, therefore, offers Christ as rhetoric, as beauty, but also has presence, mediated aesthetically by an endless parataxis of further ‘statements’ for just that reason all the more present (a presence that is rhetoric cannot be estranged from itself or made remote by the interminable deferral of rhetoric, so long as the style of its excess is sustained); the church’s only task is to enact and offer this form. As the story of Thomas’s doubt emphasizes, the resurrection of Christ imparts anew the real presence of this same Jesus of Nazareth, and in the power of the Holy Spirit he draws ever nearer, becomes ever more present, in an ever greater display of the various power of his presence. This is a beauty that does not hover over or beyond history, recalled as privation and hoped for simply as futurity, but pervades time as a music that now even the most frenetic din of violence cannot drown out….”
Mapping Infinite Consciousness
The peculiar descent & ascent of all possible syntax into/out-of Presentism and into/out-of Eternalism leave Metaphysical Naturalism in ruins – whereas – Pure Act does not “Become” with respect to Time & Timelessness. Pure Act does not “Become” with respect to the First Adam. Pure Act does not “Become” with respect to the Last Adam. To attempt the claim of, “Pure Act Becomes” entails an Uphill Ontic with respect to Pure Act (…which is a metaphysical absurdity…). Pure Act in the Downhill Ontic reveals – Communicates – all ontic possibility (… https://metachristianity.com/absolute-reference-frame-pure-act-incarnation-time/ …). There is an unavoidable sense in which [Logos v. Divine Simplicity] is by logical necessity GREATER than [Logos v. Time & Temporal Becoming] just as within that same [Logos v. Time & Temporal Becoming] we find Logos as Son being made perfect – as per the following:
The Father Is Greater Than The Son:
There is an unavoidable sense in which [Logos v. Divine Simplicity] is by logical necessity GREATER than [Logos v. Time & Temporal Becoming] just as within that same [Logos v. Time & Temporal Becoming] we find Logos as Son being made perfect – as per:
Those two links discuss the peculiar descent & ascent of all possible syntax into/out-of Presentism and into/out-of Eternalism. Added context:
The Divine Mind
“……the concept of being is one of power: the power of actuality, the capacity to affect or to be affected. To be is to act. This definition already implies that, in its fullness, being must also be consciousness, because the highest power to act — and hence the most unconditioned and unconstrained reality of being — is rational mind. Absolute being, therefore, must be absolute mind. Or, in simpler terms, the greater the degree of something’s actuality, the greater the degree of its consciousness, and so infinite actuality is necessarily infinite consciousness. That, at least, is one way of trying to describe another essential logical intuition that recurs in various forms throughout the great theistic metaphysical systems. It is the conviction that in God lies at once the deepest truth of mind and the most universal truth of existence, and that for this reason the world can truly be known by us. Whatever else one might call this vision of things, it is most certainly, in a very real sense, a kind of “total rationalism.” (David Bentley Hart.)
And again from D.B.H.,
“To speak of God, however, as infinite consciousness, which is identical to infinite being, is to say that in Him the ecstasy of mind is also the perfect satiety of achieved knowledge, of perfect wisdom. God is both the knower and the known, infinite intelligence and infinite intelligibility. This is to say that, in Him, rational appetite is perfectly fulfilled, and consciousness perfectly possesses the end it desires.” (D.B. Hart)
The Divine Mind Compels the Trinitarian Metaphysic:
Consciousness in *GOD* forces distinction void of division: It is uncanny that while, say, “Power” or “Goodness” or “Truth” all speak to some contour within Divine Simplicity such do not expressly and immediately force distinct centers of consciousness, whereas, while still within that same landscape, we do eventually come upon the affairs of *GOD* vis-à-vis Infinite Consciousness and, once we arrive “there”, we discover that the Divine Mind necessarily entails three irreducible and Infinite Loci of that which (…by logical necessity…) cannot be less than Infinite Consciousness which – it so happens – cannot be less than “Being In Totum“.
Consciousness in *GOD* finds distinction void of division: The trio of the Infinite Knower (…which in Infinite and Irreducible Consciousness cannot be less than Being in totum….) and of the Infinitely Known (…which in Infinite and Irreducible Consciousness cannot be less than Being in totum…) and of all Communique/Procession vis-à-vis Logos therein (…which is both *of* infinite consciousness and also *is* infinite consciousness, which cannot be less than Being in totum…) carries – compels even – logic and reason into a thoroughly Trinitarian metaphysic (…. https://metachristianity.com/thoroughly-trinitarian-metaphysic/ ….).