Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Pope and Islam

The Cross defeats the CrescentEvery now and then Jamie Glazov at FrontPage gathers together people of differing opinions for symposia on various subjects. A recent one is Symposium: The Pope and Islam.

This is a good and interesting read. Thomas Haidon is a Muslim who is forthright about the problems surrounding the practice of his faith. Bat Ye'or is excellent. Sadly, the sole Christian, Serge Trifkovic is marginalized. At the end he give a "no holds barred" explanation of why the God of Orthodox (and orthodox) Christians and the God (Allah) of Islam are NOT the same God, and he is exactly correct.
Trifkovic: Oh, dear: we seem to have strayed not only from the topic but also from common courtesy. So be it, let's get on with it and start with the most important point of all: do we all "believe in the same God"?

Of course we do not.

The formal argument first. It is clear and fairly simple. The Christian God of the Creed is trinitarian: the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things seen and unseen; the Son, our Lord and Savior, eternally begotten of the Father; and the Holy Spirit, the giver of life. This is the orthodox faith, "which except a man shall have believed faithfully and firmly he cannot be in a state of salvation." The doctrine of the Deity of Christ is essential. Unless the Son is truly God and "one with the Father," Christians would be idolaters. If He were but a prophet, Christians would be foolishly entrusting themselves to a created creature in the vain hope of salvation.

Islam, on the other hand, violently and explicitly rejects and condemns the Christian doctrine of God (Kuran 4:171), the Trinity (5:37), and the deity of Christ (5:72, 5:17), and Allah unambiguously condemns Christians as disbelievers worthy of destruction (9:29-30). Muhammad's insistence that there is a heavenly proto-Scripture and that previous "books" are merely distorted and tainted copies sent to previous nations or communities means that these scriptures are the "barbarous Kuran" as opposed to the true, Arabic one. (Let's leave aside for a minute the puzzling question of how any degree of "distortion" of the Kuran could produce either an Old or a New Testament.) The Muslim Tradition also regards the non-canonical Gospel of Barnabas, and not the New Testament, as the one that Jesus taught. To cut the long story short, orthodox Islam teaches that it alone worships one true God that Judaism and Christianity tell lies about - lies for which Christians and Jews will be punished in hell.

"One God" cannot be trinitarian and infinitely transcendent. Christians and Muslims cannot be both right. Their convergent paths do not lead to the same hilltop.
There is much more, read it all. There is excellent material here, and it is good to finally see that at least one practicing Muslim is aware of our problems with his faith.

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