Tim Keller: Do We All Worship the Same God?

In December 2015, Larycia Alaine Hawkins, an associate professor at Wheaton College, decided to wear an Islamic head covering as a sign of solidarity with Muslims. She wrote in a Facebook post on December 10:

I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book. And as Pope Francis stated last week, we worship the same God.

But do we all really worship the same God?

If we are honest with the distinctive texts of each religion (the Bible, the Qur’an, the Book of Mormon, etc.) and the various traditions that understand these texts, we must recognize that real differences exist between each religion.

It is not intolerant to admit this and civilly discuss these differences. If we consider each religion on its own terms, we come to realize that Christianity is the only religion to claim that God is one in essence and three in persons.

The doctrine of the Trinity distinguishes Christianity from other monotheistic religions (Judaism and Islam) that otherwise may seem similar. If our doctrine of God is different from what Islam teaches about Allah, then it’s pretty safe to say that we do not worship the same God. The object of our worship (God) is different; therefore we worship different gods.

If we probe a little further, we see clearly that Christianity proclaims the finished work of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who lived the life that we could never have lived and died the death that we could not die. Islam, like the rest of the world religions, ultimately tells us to try harder to be a good person in order to get into heaven.

It’s the difference between the law and the gospel—“Do this and live” and “It is finished, now live.” A religion like Islam can tell us that God is Judge, but it cannot tell us who God is as our Savior in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Only Christianity promises that.

Watch Video

In this video, Tim Keller (pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City) gives a short answer to this question. 

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Nicholas Davis

Nicholas Davis is lead pastor of Redemption Church (PCA) in San Diego, California. Nick has worked for White Horse Inn for several years, has written over one hundred articles for Core Christianity, and has work featured in Modern Reformation, Fathom Magazine, Mockingbird NYC, Church Leaders, Banner of Truth, and other places. Nick and his wife, Gina, have three sons. He blogs at nicholasmartindavis.com. Connect with Nicholas on Twitter @MundaneMinister.

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