Monday, July 18, 2005

If I make a word-play on 'Allah,' will my blog get bombed?

A reader suggested I post a discussion on

the teaching of the Church re the God of Islam, and whether He is the God of Christianity? I think this needs some thought and open discussion and it may as well start with you. Yes, I know what the CCC says, but in what sense are we to understand teaching?



Well, in all honesty, its not a topic that gets my motor running, however, since I am shamelessly doing whatever it takes to get people to read my blog (as evidenced by the picture of the Danish cheesecake below), I thought: "why not?"

But now, I have to go look up the section of the
Catechism he mentions . . . hmm . . .

I think the relevant paragraph would be:

841 The Church's relationship with the Muslims.

The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day.

(I copied this from St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Picayune, Mississippi, thanks Fr. Snyder, the pastor!)

Before I comment, let me just say, I don't wish to get into a big argument about this, because at the end of the day, we preach Christ, crucified, as St. Paul said, and Christ our Lord revealed his divinity, and the Trinity. So however we approach our Muslim friends, we still invite them to faith in the triune God, and in Christ, the fullness of the triune God's revelation to man, and humanity's only salvation.

I think what the Catechism is saying is that, the actual differences between Muslim and Christian understandings of Christ, and God -- which are fundamentally important and significant -- notwithstanding, we acknowledge the intentions of Muslims to be to worship the one and only God there is, who we Christians believe to be YHWH, revealed in the Old Testament, and come in the flesh in Jesus Christ -- who told us of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. (I don't get to call Him that very often, so indulge me.) And, to that extent, God "gives them credit" for at least believing partially in him. And, insofar as there is only ONE truth, any truth found in Islam, comes from the one, true God.

I note the paragraph says, "they profess to hold the faith of Abraham"--a nice touch, insofar as it irks me when a priest, or a catechist, casually refers to Islam as an "Abrahamic faith." Well, let's wait and ask Abraham about that, shall we?

Now, perhaps someone wants to comment on this. Have at it.

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