If you are following the news, you are well aware of the Wheaton professor who has been put on leave pending a review of her theological position.  I won’t comment on the controversy directly as some details are still forthcoming.  What I will offer are quotes (both made long before the present controversy) by two theologians followed by my own reflections.

Miroslav Volf: “…all Christians don’t worship the same God, and all Muslims don’t worship the same God. But I think that Muslims and Christians who embrace the normative traditions of their faith refer to the same object, to the same Being, when they pray, when they worship, when they talk about God. The referent is the same. The description of God is partly different.”

Timothy George: “Is the Father of Jesus the God of Muhammad? The answer is surely Yes and No. Yes, in the sense that the Father of Jesus is the only God there is. … Christians and Muslims can together affirm many important truths about this great God—his oneness, eternity, power, majesty. … But the answer is also No, for Muslim theology rejects the divinity of Christ and the personhood of the Holy Spirit—both essential components of the Christian understanding of God. … Apart from the Incarnation and the Trinity, it is possible to know that God is, but not who God is.”

My thoughts: Trinitarianism doesn’t make God “partly different” contra Miroslav Volf. Timothy George’s statement is irenic and clarifies the seminal issue.  Yes, we are called to love. Jesus made that eminently clear. But a call to love is not a call to blur crucial theological realities. Volf likes to use the description of “sufficiently similar” when it comes to Christian and Muslim’s view of God.  This strikes me as special pleading.



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