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Do We Worship the Same God?

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“Do we worship the same God?” This complex question, it seems to me, warrants a similarly complex response, one that integrates a variety of dimensions of reading and belief…

The narratives of ancient Israel, as displayed in the Tanakh, in the New Testament and in the Qur’an, are framed within and extend the terms of the religion of ancient Israel. There is therefore strong narrative warrant for speaking of the Abrahamic Religions as sharing a common frame for characterizing God’s identity as, for example, creator of the universe, revealer of His word and will, commander of human behaviour, teacher of ultimate wisdom, author of universal redemption in the time to come, a dear friend and ultimately a lover of those who love Him, the only source of our being, knowledge, and peace.

There are also narrative grounds for distinguishing different spheres of God’s self-identity as known in these different traditions. But there are, at the same time, strong narrative warrants for identifying different, and at times seemingly mutually exclusive, sub-communities within these traditions, making competing claims about the divine identities even within these traditions.