When I first read the book “Allah: A Christian Response”, I was thinking of brutality of Serbians in Bosnian war, but this book was beyond of my expectations. The author makes interesting points, compares person and ideas very efficiently, mentions some events from the past whose memories disturb the peace of present very wisely, and tries to find common grounds between two major populations in the world.
The author states his interest that the proper Christian stance toward the God of the Qur’an and what that stance means for Christians’ and Muslims’ ability to live together well in a single and endangered world to ease animosities and overcome conflicts.
As long as Christians and Muslims continue to dialogue the conflicts will be solved and eased animosities with time. People, who are open to dialogue, by forming favorable environments, will contribute to the universal peace. From my perspective, through dialogue, misunderstandings that built up for years are discussed and tried to find a common ground. The friendships between people believing in different religions lead to change people’s point of view to each other. An aspect of mutual respect and love will increase the opportunities of friendships, co-operations, initiating common projects, and better understanding each other. I feel in my conscience that I, as a Muslim, believe in the same God with my fellow Christians. Especially, after I started to study in Moravian Theology, I witnessed many common characteristics in both Islam and Christianity. I agree with authors about approaching similarities in Muslim and Christian understandings of God: 1) Concentrate on what is common. 2) Keep an eye out for what is decisively.
Although I agree with the author about people’s deeds show their faith in God, I disagree with Luther that Muslims believe in God that they do not know. He states that Muslims are like Samaritans, because they worship the one true God, but they don’t truly and adequately know the God they are worshipping. It is impossible to agree with these remarks. Furthermore, as the author refers in the al-Ghazali’s The Ninety-Nine Beautiful Names of God, in Muslim perspective God is beyond being just Love; “Perfect inasmuch as it wants to fulfill the need of those in need and does meet them; and inclusive inasmuch as it embraces both deserving and undeserving, encompassing this world and the next, and includes bare necessities and needs, and special gifts over and above them. So He is truly and utterly merciful.” Also, God is Al-Ghaffar, which means “He who is full of forgiveness.”
The inaccessibility of God to reason alone has consequences for knowledge of God in non-Christian religions.
But his main point is that without God’s self-revelation in Christ, one cannot know God’s essence and God’s will; everything else one knows about God gets twisted, and one cannot know of and experience the most important thing: God’s unconditional love.
Religion is part of the conflict. ...