Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God? SBC President Says It's Complicated
J.D. Greear, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, says that missionaries who suggest Muslims and Christians worship the same God may not be wrong. His remarks came as part of a YouTube video posted Monday by the Gospel Coalition. Greear formerly served as a missionary to Muslims and wrote a book called Breaking the Islam Code.
Greear does emphasize that Islam is a "false way of salvation" and that Christianity is the only way to relationship with God. But he frames the question as a complicated subject for missionaries in the field who are looking for a way to effectively evangelize to Muslim populations.
In the video, Greear says:
I'm not trying to be evasive, but I do think you've got to make sure you're asking the right question. If the question is, "Are there multiple ways to God and does God receive the worship of Christian and Muslims alike?", the answer is absolutely not. Because Islam is a false way of salvation. It presents basically salvation by works and it outright denies several key things that Christianity teaches about God, like God being a Trinity and the personal nature of God and just a number of things. There is some question as to—Muslims say they worship the God of Abraham. And some missionaries have found it helpful to start with that and say, like Jesus said to the woman at the well in John 4, "Who you think you're worshipping, you're not actually worshipping." When Jesus confronted her—a Samaritan woman who was worshipping wrongly and had wrong ideas about God—He didn't say, "You're worshipping a different God." He said, "You're attempting to worship the one Creator, God, the wrong way." And I've heard people talk about that as an approach to Muslims. and I think it has some merit. I think when you're a missionary on the field, one of the things that you're trying to do is you're trying to say is you're trying to say, "This God who we believe has created the world, has been speaking through the prophets—this God was revealed fully in Jesus. He is a Trinity. And Muhammad is not an accurate prophet of Him." If somebody says that, I have less problems with them saying Christians and Muslims are attempting to worship the same God, but in entirely two different ways.
Watch the video to hear Greear's full remarks.