“Building Interfaith Bridges”
A review of
Allah: A Christian Response.
by Miroslav Volf.
Review by Bob Cornwall.
[This review originally appeared on the reviewer’s blog
and is reprinted here with permission.]
Do Christians and Muslims worship a common God? In the opinion of many Muslims and Christians the answer to this question is a rather simple and stark no. Muslims might point to the Christian doctrine of the Trinity as proof that Christians worship a divinity far different from the one described by their strict monotheism. Christians might respond in quite the same way, suggesting that the fact that Muslims don’t accept the Trinity is proof that Allah isn’t the same as the God they worship. Others might suggest that while the Christian God is a God of love, Muslims serve a violent, wrathful, and vengeful God. In response to these claims, there would be counterclaims, of course. The question, however, is an important one because Christianity and Islam claim the allegiance of more than half the world’s population and adherents of these two faiths find themselves in conflicts around the globe.
There is no question that there are differences between the Christian and Islamic faiths, differences that include but go beyond the doctrine of the Trinity, but according to Miroslav Volf, a Yale theology professor who has been in active conversation with Muslims, there are also significant commonalities. In his view, these commonalities can provide an important foundation for conversations that could help build bridges between the two faith communities.