Friday, December 18, 2015

Do they worship the same God with an as it pertains to America's Founding Political Theology?

Let us begin by quoting the militant unitarian John Adams, 2nd President of the United States and one of America's key Founders:
"It has pleased the Providence of the first Cause, the Universal Cause, that Abraham should give religion not only to Hebrews but to Christians and Mahomitans, the greatest part of the modern civilized world."

-- John Adams to M.M. Noah, July 31, 1818.
Check out John Fea's post on the controversy. Bottom line, Wheaton, an evangelical Christian college, is formally disciplining a professor for suggesting they do. Check out Francis Beckwith's outstanding post which Fea links to. And also the Washington Post article by Miroslav Volf.

My beef with Wheaton isn't the notion that Christians and Muslims worship different gods; I think evangelicals or other kinds of Christians are entitled in good faith to hold that position. But as Volf, Beckwith and others demonstrate, one could also be a devout orthodox Christian and believe they do worship the same God, the God of Abraham.

Wheaton should respect that intellectual diversity. That's my issue with them. The "key Founders" like John Adams were on the side of believing Jews, Christians and Muslims worshipped the same God. Hence the above quotation by John Adams.

There is one issue I have with some of the orthodox Christians who believe Christians and Muslims worship different gods that gets discussed in the linked articles. I don't like specially plead hypocritical arguments and assertions and this is one of them: That Jews and Christians worship the same God, Muslims a different one.

Almost all of the arguments that can be made on behalf of the case that Christians and Muslims worship different gods can also be used to prove Christians and Jews worship different gods.

For instance, orthodox Christians worship a Triune God, Muslims a unitary One. Jews worship a unitary God as well. The Muslim's God doesn't have an only begotten Son (Jesus). Well Jews reject Jesus as God's only begotten Son and that He is Messiah.

They either all worship the same God or different gods. You can't have it both ways. Dr. Gregg Frazer, by the way, is consistent here. He not only believes they all worship different gods, but that "Christians" who reject the Trinity worship a different God as well.

Likewise one of the articles intimates, wrongly in my opinion, that orthodox Christians don't dare suggest that Jews and Christians worship different gods. I think plenty still do. And in the past, when Antisemitism was more acceptable, I'm sure many notable theologians endorsed the notion that since rejecting Jesus as Messiah, Jews no longer worship the same God Christians do. 

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