I preached my first sermon at my summer placement at Ponsonby Baptist today. After the service, I met a young Muslim man from Bahrain. He was in the country seeking asylum, and said he wanted to come to church because Christianity was similar to Islam. I agreed – there is much that Islam and Christianity have in common (see previous post ‘god is like… pt 2‘). I made sure he knew he was welcome.
Here is yet another example of the ‘both/and’ of both similarities and differences between any two religions or even sects (or even worldviews). People who use religious disagreement to argue against the existence of a God (the argument from contradictory revelations) over emphasize difference at the expense of very real agreement. And people who use religious agreement to justify a casual approach to belief (‘…ah, they’re all basically the same…’) over-emphasize sameness at the expense of the very real disagreement.
It’s not “watering down” Christianity to recognise that both it and Islam are within the category of creational, ethical (and eschatological) monotheism any more than it is watering down Pentecostalism to recognise that it and Methodism both exist within the Protestant wing of the Church.