Here is a surprisingly good article, by today’s standards, from a secular publication that touts the virtues of tolerance as consistently applied. It regards Wheaton professor, Larycia Hawkins, who has gotten into trouble with this evangelical Christian college for showing her solidarity with Muslims on something of a theological level. What it doesn’t do, however, is touch upon the interesting question of what is so wrong with claiming that Christians and Muslims all worship the same God.
The problem is that “God” is simply a word, and words have meaning. The meanings of most words are pretty uncontroversial and agreed upon by all parties. Some are not as well defined, though. For instance, the meaning of the word “liberal” depends upon the country or historical time-frame to which one is referring. The definition of the word “God” is perhaps the most controversial of all, and is the very reason why there are different religions to begin with. Some take “God” to be the universe, or an impersonal force, or a physical being, or an immaterial person, or a plurality of beings. If “God” were a pitcher, then each religion fills it with a different fluid.
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Theophilus: “I heard the gunman was a recent convert to Islam.”
Lucretius: “That’s not Islam. Islam teaches peace. That’s some violent, fascist group.”
Theophilus: “Whatever religion it was is a real problem that needs to be addressed.”
Lucretius: “I don’t think it’s even a religion.”
Theophilus: “These people certainly think it’s a religion, and there’s a whole lot of them. In fact, they think it’s authentic Islam.”
Lucretius: “I think they are wrong about that.”