Info on 2011 Holy Land Pilgrimage

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October 16, 2006


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steve the z

I wander if the pope's purpose was to illicit a response, and hopefully it was one of dialogue rather than violence. I hope that was his plan, just because it would mean he is a bit sly and moving with purpose. If not, then, well at least the response was (I skimmed the article) dialogue. There seemed a genuine desire to build a bridge from the muslims to the Catholics/Christians, this is good.

I hope the pope is showing signs of purpose, picking up where John Paul left off. I doubt the impact on radicals in either religon will be significant on how they think, but maybe we can identify them within our religons before they hurt people.


[ed note: I copied Judy's comment from another related post up to this one, as it relates well to both]

Do we worship the same God....
umm, is this a trick question? The answer is...yes?

If the answer is not yes, then revelation must be an anthropological construct (in other words, we made our God up, and so did they). God becomes an idol of a particular culture, a divine being owned by a 'preferred race' rather than the creative force of the universe.

I think God has to be God, the creator is the creator, and our revelations are sufficient, but incomplete. Allahu Ackbar - invocation to prayer for muslims, meaning "God is greater". Doesn't mean Allah is greater than the 'christian' god, it means God is greater than any way we can conceive of God, greater than anything we can believe out of our limited imaginings.

I believe what we are called to is faithfulness, compassion, forgiveness and justice and we're not called to a certainty in a particular way of knowing the unknowable.

Heretical parting words...
Wow, imagine if the injuction 'there is no compulsion in religion' was a tenet that had been espoused by the Christian church? I guess we would be more of a group of do-ers of the word, rather than merely 'believers' whose job it is to make more believers.


My question is more from the perspective of the Muslim schools of thought - do THEY say that all of us worship the same God?

Also, I suggest that there is another alternative when speaking about "revelation" as opposed to a human construct. I think a set of "sacred writings" for a faith group might be revelation, or it might equally be a lot of "made up" rubbish IMHO, - (the fuss over the Gospel of Judas comes to my mind). But I think that topic will call for another full post.


I suppose one way of answering that question would be to consider the fruit of the religion?


Given the statements and quotes presented by the Islamic scholars at the end of this section of the letter, it would seem to me that they don't argue that Muslims & Christians worship the same God, but rather that they look upon Christianity as a rather "incomplete" religion at best- much the same way perhaps that some in the early church looked upon the One of the neo/platonists. Augustine's comparison of the Word of the platonists and the Word which he discovered in John's gospel is a good example.

Judy - I suspect that some popular western/christian views of Islam are somewhat removed from what Islam itself teaches, particularly as we read through this letter, cf. the relation of reason/faith and the idea of transcendence.

Peter - a valid point, though I wouldn't want to apply it liberally throughout my own personal history!

Final note: Jesus taught us both to believe and to act - I would suggest that an intergrated ("whole") Christian faith comprises both - a balancing act only accomplished by grace.

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blank stare...

  • Copyright Rev. Joseph Walker, St Timothy's Anglican Church

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