Posted by: Ken Brown | February 28, 2008

Do Muslims Worship the True God?

James’ last post in the our inclusivism bloggersation focused especially on the case of Muslims and whether their view of Jesus is comparable to that of the early Church. I haven’t commented on it because I don’t really feel qualified to do so, but I wanted to point out that John Piper and Rick Love have been debating almost the same subject recently. Rick argues that Muslims do indeed worship the true God (though, “in ignorance”), Piper claims that they worship a false one. Justin Taylor lists their contributions (and defends Piper’s view) at Between Two Worlds.


  1. I was once instructed by my youth pastor many years ago that those of other faith (he was referring to JW’s at the time) pray to God, but he (God) doesn’t hear/listen to their prayers.

    There’s obvious flaws in that argument, but as a young Christian I can’t decide if he was just trying to simplify the issue for me or whether he truly believed this.

    As an agnostic/atheist who turned to God I certainly believed that the one true God had heard earnest prayers I had made in times of deep reflection or need (to whatever was out there). I believe it is those prayers that God answered by bringing me into the fold later in life.

    As for all other Abrahamic faiths, my feeling is that they are worshipping the true God, but it is the false prophets and deviation that got into their doctrine and resulted in their doctrines.

    They would say the same of Christians (the early Christians made up a few things). But they have great respect for Jesus as a prophet and if we are to win some over then we should really seek common ground and be prepared to know enough of both Christian and Islamic philosophy and theology.

    That said, there is the power of the Holy Spirit to lead us in what to say if we are so called, and, of course, be aware of the perception of Christianity on the whole to the world of Islam. For example, many 1st and 2nd generation Western Muslims do not see a distinction between Western people and Christian people. To them the majority white and black, West are Christians. Therefore they don’t see how they should believe in the New Testament when most ‘christians’ don’t respect it either. The same definitely goes for Islam in the Middle East and the wider developing world.

  2. LOL, I had a youth pastor who said the exact same thing (not about JWs though). It must be in a handbook or something; I sure don’t recall ever seeing it in the Bible. In fact, doesn’t Jesus criticize just such a view in his parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector (Luke 18:9-14)?

  3. To me, that verse is addressing piety, but I believe it is apt enough to be inferred in this case, yes.


  4. It is addressing piety, but it does so by contrasting a stereotypical holy-man whose self-righteous prayers are not heard, with a stereotypical sinner whose ignorant but sincere plea is honored by God.

    I think it’s easy to read the Bible as though we are the “sincere,” when in realty we western Christians often have a lot more in common with those whom Jesus’ criticizes, than we do with the outsiders he embraced…. At least, I do, when I’m honest with myself.

    Once again, I’m reminded of Multmann: “Christian identity can be understood only as an act of identification with the crucified Christ, to the extent to which one has accepted that in him God has identified himself with the godless and those abandoned by God, to whom one belongs oneself.”

  5. […] responded: Regarding the inclusive/exclusive debate ~Ken pointed to a related conversation in: Do Muslims Worship the True God? Michael posted his seventh entry: Is Confessing Christ Necessary: Restarting the Conversation […]

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