One of America’s pre-eminent evangelicals is challenging the advice of a retiring Roman Catholic Bishop in the Netherlands who has raised eyebrows worldwide by suggesting Dutch Christians pray to “Allah.”
Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, argues that it is inappropriate for Christians to call God Allah based on irreconcilable theological differences associated with the name Allah and core Christian beliefs.
The key condition behind calling the Christian God Allah is that Allah must refer to the same God as the one in the Bible. However, this requirement presents “a huge problem for both Muslims and Christians,” contends Mohler.
The theologian pointed out that the Qur’an explicitly denies that Allah has a son, and Islam considers the idea of a triune God to be blasphemy.
“Thus, from its very starting point Islam denies what Christianity takes as its central truth claim – the fact that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of the Father,” wrote Mohler on his web blog Wednesday.
“If Allah has no Son by definition, Allah is not the God who revealed himself in the Son. How then can the use of Allah by Christians lead to anything but confusion …and worse?”
Last Monday, during an interview with a Dutch TV program, 71-year-old Bishop Tiny Muskens promoted the idea of Dutch Christians calling God Allah, believing that it would ease much of the conflict between the Christian and Muslim faiths. Muskens contended that God doesn’t mind what He is called and the arguments over what to call Him is an invention of man.
“Allah is a very beautiful word for God. Shouldn’t we all say that from now on we will name God Allah? …What does God care what we call Him? It is our problem,” said Muskens, according to The Associated Press.
The retiring bishop was a former missionary to Indonesia – the most populous Muslim country in the world – for eight years, where he said priests used the name “Allah” while celebrating Mass.
In response, Mohler pointed out that it would be difficult to support the argument that “Allah” can be used as a generic term for God. The theologian said separation of Allah from the language, theology, and worship closely associated with it is difficult. Moreover, even non-Arabic speaking Muslims use Allah when referring to their god.
Another irreconcilable difference is that Jesus commanded his followers to baptize “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
“When this command is taken seriously and obeyed, the whole issue is greatly clarified – a Christian cannot baptize in the name of Allah,” stated Mohler.
“So Bishop Muskens is disingenuous at best when he suggests that God does not care about His name. This is not a matter of mere ‘discussion and bickering,’” said Mohler.
“If Allah has no son, Allah is not the father of our Lord Jesus Christ…This is no mere ‘discussion and bickering.’ This is where the Gospel stands or falls,” the theologian concluded.
Bishop Muskens in the past endorsed other controversial ideas which went against the Vatican leadership – such as those who are hungry can steal bread and that condoms should be permissible in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Sometimes, one just has to give credit to the die hard Christians of the West for their choosing to call a spade just that!
To the Catholic Church elders of Malaysia, a note of advice;
It's one thing to claim that you worship Allah as we Muslims do whereas in reality you believe in a triune concept of god which starkly differs both in context and content with what we pray to the One Supreme Almighty Lord and Creator of us all, Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala, Rabbul Alamin.
Save yourself and us the trouble. Stick to what you claim to pray to and stop confusing your flock.
It's one thing to claim that you too pray to Allah as we Muslims do when in actuality, you don't!
So, what's your real agenda?Come clean with it.
* Thanks to Brother Azril Mohd Amin for alerting the MBA about this article.
By the way, I came to learn from a prominent lawyer during my meeting with the Muslim NGO's and the Islamic authorities yesterday, that the Malaysian High Court judge Dato Lau Bee Lan (side photo) is a very active preaching Christian. No wonder that she has gone ahead and 'judged so' without considering the implications of her biased decision!
Malaysian blogger Jebat Must Die has written an excellent piece of article denouncing this judgment by her. Read here to learn more about what he is saying and the accompanying comments sent in by many of our fellow citizens, from both Christians and Muslims who do not like what the Catholic Archbishop have introduced into this nation's affairs!
He has even given a link to the Bidayuh Dictionary where the word for God in their language is not Allah-Ta'ala as some Sarawak Christian Bidayuh has claimed but 'Tampa' as in Florida, USA!
Getting pretty interesting....
I salute JMD for his crystal clear slammo whammo against those who seek to create chaos in our nation.
To those who love to create disharmony in Malaysia, just remember that 'thou shall reapeth what thou soweth!'
No doubts about it.
Update : The application for stay filed by the Malaysian Home Ministry with respect to this judgment by the judge above will be heard by her today @ 6th January 2010 at 2.30pm.
The venue is :
Tingkat 4, Kompleks Mahkamah Jalan Duta,
My question is why still her? Are there no other High Court Appeal judges available?