Wheaton, letter writer both wrong

Published 9:00 pm Monday, February 1, 2016

By Myrtle Virginia Thompson

A recent letter writer (“Allah, God and Sunday morning, Jan. 26) Googled the word “Allah” and wrote, “I concluded very quickly that the Muslim God (Allah) and the Christian God (the God of Abraham) are the same.”

I submit he should not have “quickly concluded” until he has adequately studied the subject. I appreciate Google, but Google is not doing a theological study. Any attempt to syncretize the Christian and Muslim faith will always result in a clash of creeds and error.

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I spent more than 25 years in three Muslim countries, dealing with languages other than English — Urdu, Persian and Arabic. In Pakistan, I studied the national language, Urdu, for five years. That language is composed mostly of Arabic and Persian.

Muslims in Pakistan know immediately when a person is a Christian by their use of the word for God. For them, the word for God is translated from the Persian language, Khuda (God) or Khudavand (Lord.)

When referring to the God of the Bible, Christians do not use “Allah.” In Iran, Persian Christians also use Khuda and Khudavand. Only Muslims use Allah.

In the United Arab Emirates, there is no other word in Arabic for God. We sang a Christian song, “Allah Muhabba…” (“God is love.”) The Muslims speak of their 99 names for God, but I could not find any one of them that translate to “God is love.”

Every Arab Christian knew the difference in the concept of God as He is known in the Bible. It is not the same concept as Allah in the Koran.

In his Gospel, Mark writes in the first verse, “The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” No Muslim believes that. In John 8:58, Jesus said, “Before Abraham, I am.” No Muslim believes that, but it is what Jesus said about Himself. Yet it is a central tenet of the biblical Christian faith.

If the letter writer talked to a Muslim and said Jesus is God, he might risk the stoning Jesus was threatened with by the Jews in John 10:31.

From creation in Genesis to the Book of Revelation, the Bible is a continuing narrative, with Jesus as the focal point. Christians believe salvation comes through the shed blood of Christ. No Muslim believes that.

In John 1:29, John calls Jesus “the Lamb of God,” going back to Exodus 12 when the blood of a lamb had to be shed for the Jews’ “salvation” from Egypt.

Jesus alone is the Savior Who came into the world at the appointment of God. He calls God His Father in John 10:30. No Muslim believes that.

We cannot link Christianity and Islam by a simple use of the word Allah. Isaiah 42:8 says God will not share His glory with another.

In the matter of Wheaton College and Professor Hawkins, I think Wheaton must have been asleep or in diversity/PC mode, instead of properly vetting this professor.

My husband and I both did graduate work at Wheaton, a son graduated from the college and a younger son graduated from Wheaton Academy. All of us would have been able to recognize this professor’s false teaching and decried it.

Myrtle Virginia Thompson is a Suffolk resident and former missionary. Email her at mvtgrt@gmail.com.