President Bush's statement that Muslims and Christians both worship the same God because they both believe in one God may be politically correct but it is theologically and philosophically wrong.
What if someone was knocking on your front door? Your wife says "It must be Bill" but you say, "It must be John". Both of you may agree that someone is knocking on your front door, but that doesn't mean both of you believe it's the same person.
The character of the God revealed in the Koran might share some similarities with the character of the God revealed in the Christian Scriptures but in many other ways they are dissimilar. They are not the same God. Unlike the God of the Koran, the God of the Christian Scriptures is a Triune God and the God of the Christian Scriptures is a personal God. Furthermore the God of the Christian Scriptures reveals that we cannot earn our salvation through good works, punishing ourselves, or even by simply believing that He exists. The God of the Christian Scriptures became a sinless Man in the Person of Jesus Christ, lived a perfect and sinless life, and died and shed His blood on the Cross to pay for all the wrongs and sins of mankind and bodily rose from the grave.
Just as a co-signer to a loan legally takes the blame for someone else's debt when the loan is in default so, too, Christ (God the Son) because of His love for us took the blame for our sins and was punished on the Cross by God the Father. On the Cross God showed His justice and love. Christ's death satisfied the infinite justice of God the Father because of the infinite worth of the life of His Son Who died to pay for our sins. Christ's bodily resurrection from the grave is God's proof that all who genuinely believe in His Son are forgiven of their sins and are guaranteed eternal life. God can forgive our sins without violating His justice when we genuinely put our faith in His Son Jesus Christ to save us.
The Christian Scriptures say, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
Jesus said that those who worship God must worship Him in spirit and in truth. What we believe about God is just as important as believing that there is a God. Jesus said "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto to the Father but through Me" (John 14:6).
The God that Christians worship is the only true and real God. Although genuine Christians will never be perfect or sinless in this life, God works in the hearts and lives of true Christians to do good deeds out of personal love for Him. Christians are not saved by good works but they are saved for good works!
All this doesn't mean that there should be enmity or war between Christians and Muslims or people of any other faith. All should give freedom to each other to believe as they do and live in peace with one another. Tolerance doesn't have to mean acceptance of the other person's point of view but it does mean respecting the mutual liberties and freedoms of the conscience and of the heart.
The author, Babu G. Ranganathan, is an experienced Christian writer. Mr. Ranganathan has his B.A. degree with concentrations in theology and biology. As a religion and science writer he has been recognized in the 24th edition of Marquis Who's Who In The East. The author's article "The Natural Limits of Evolution" and many other articles may be accessed at his website www.religionscience.com .
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