Inter-religious dialogue

I appreciate the give and take that is characteristic of this blog. I was conversing with a Palestinian Muslim not long ago. After talking about how we appreciated one another’s respective traditions, we agreed that, well, we had sharp disagreements! We were mutually annoyed with two trends that shape Christian-Muslim dialogue: first when, disagreements lead to violence, and second, when Christians in the West pretend that we are both the same. But we are not.

Mohammed said, “If Allah had a son, I would be the first to worship him.” Islam does not believe in the Trinity, the Deity of Christ, or that Jesus suffered death on the cross. We must always talk (and act) in a peaceable and irenic fashion, but it does us no good to assume that we are the same.

11 thoughts on “Inter-religious dialogue

  1. Did I ever read something like “religions are perfect but people who follow them?” I think I did.

    Now I am sure that with a more tolerant view of things we can take our understanding beyond of biased thinking.

    In my experience I never conditionated my love to God to one religion, instead I thought every religions gives “another” piece of the “puzzle”.

    Another piece is to understand about politics and history coz without this 2 perspectives the chances to stop blaming in one another will be reduced. What I mean is, u can “forgive” christianity violence or islamic terrorism whenever u get to understand how politicians, priests and other religious leaders have corrupted the institutions.Like how Constantine edited the Bible and made up the concept of Trinity or how Talibans manipulated the islamic teachings in favor to their political interests.

    Understanding history gives us the ability to be more tolerant and still a believer no matter how corrupted some christians or muslims could be.

    Feith should not be attached to any institution nor we shall submit our hopes to people…we better only rely on God.

    Maybe this is why I my option was islam: direct communication with God, and I dont submit my self to nobody`s judgement…

  2. Sherezada,

    Where in the blazes did you hear “Constantine edited the Bible and made up the concept of Trinity” from?

  3. OH THE STRUGGLE ,FOR WHO HAS GOD ON THEIR SIDE, OH WHO IS RIGHT. The ant trying to comprehend his creator. Thanks God for God. Talk on. Maybe it’s the one God three person verbage. “Free you mind and the rest will follow.” How long has inter religious dialogue been going on? Are we trying to understand one anothers common ground, and then accept the differences, which would be there is God,

  4. Salam!

    Father Neo I will pretend I never watched National Geographic documentaries.

    So I will give u some other sources.For example I started to think about the nature of God when I was 15 years old and read “A brief history of time” by Stephen W. Hawking coz he said that science was after one singlem formula that could explain the whole universe its origin, present and future.

    So later I kept reading and found some other stuff in history facts and studies such as the following:

    The First Council of Nicaea, held in Nicea in Bithynia (in present-day Turkey), convoked by the Roman Emperor Constantine I in 325, was the first ecumenical[1] conference of bishops of the Christian Church, and most significantly resulted in the first uniform Christian doctrine. With the creation of the Nicene Creed, a precedent was established for subsequent ‘general (ecumenical) councils of Bishops’ (Synods) to create statements of belief and canons of doctrinal orthodoxy— the intent being to define unity of beliefs for the whole of Christendom.

    The purpose of the council was to resolve disagreements in the Church of Alexandria over the nature of Jesus in relationship to the Father; in particular, whether Jesus was of the same substance as God the Father or merely of similar substance…u can read more in

    Or there is also this book by a German philologist, Dietrich Schwanitz “Bildung, Alles was man wissen muss” might also like to read that The Britannica Encyclopedia’s Trinity article states: “Neither the word Trinity nor the explicit doctrine appears in the New Testament, nor did Jesus and his followers intend to contradict the Shema in the Old Testament: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord” (Deuteronomy 6:4).”

    Nor jews nor muslims believes in trinity but only in the oneness of God coz even Jesus never claimed him self as a son of God, he is a prophet indeed a superior human being, but still a human being.And it is said God doesnt have sons nor daughters coz thinking that would entail that He needed a female to do so. Having sons is a property of inferior beings such as us and all the animals. God´s nature is a different one, and He doesnt breed. So God is not object of this kind of comparisons.

    And there is another source from another religious and scientific perspective here:

    I hope u find this interesting as I did long ago.

  5. “We must always talk (and act) in a peaceable and irenic fashion, but it does us no good to assume that we are the same.”

    I’d say it depends upon at what level we’re talking.

    I mean, we all recognize that we are one human race and as such, have the same needs and wants. We all need food, water, shelter. We all want some level of freedom from the threat of violence, oppression, tyranny. We long for safety and comfort for our families, friends and community.

    Beyond these basics, we mostly all recognize at some level much the same morality. Every religion espouses some form of the Golden rule – that we ought to do unto others as we’d have them do unto us.

    AND, unfortunately, we almost all have a tendency to find ways to explain why it’s okay to deviate from that Golden Rule at times.

    We certainly have many differences, too and we’re not the same – no two of us are, whether we’re talking two christians or a muslim and a christian.

    But in many ways, our commonalities are more profound than our differences.

  6. Anny,
    I grow weary of the Unitarian, Bahai, or whatever you’re pushing drivel. Yea, we all agree there is a God–yada yada.

  7. Jazztheo…eso fue un gesto de rudeza innecesaria!…

    Any one if free to make a comment as long as I know, and as long the one who starts the dialogue strives hard for having the ways of Jesus (PBUH) I dont see the problem.

    In fact it would be the Jesus way to tolerate everyone here. He knew is only up to God to judge people, not to us.

  8. sherezada,

    no hablo espanol…though I’m working on it!

    Not sure you are understanding me…my comments were only meant to be complimentary to you.

    Hopefully the good padre can clear this up for us.


    In the interest of space, I will be brief.

    First, you said: “I thought every religions gives “another” piece of the “puzzle”.”

    statements like this are frustrating because, in the guise of modesty, they make claims at least as bold and narrow as the views they dismiss as narrow or arrogant. in short, the claim that every religion gives another piece to the puzzle presupposes both that you have seen the whole picture and have analysed and understood the essence of every religion to see how they all fit together. it also entails that everyone who does not share your view is wrong.

    secondly, on constantine and the trinity: you stated that constantine “made up” the concept of the Trinity. father stace asked where you heard that, and you responded by claiming that constantine called together the council and that the doctrine of the trinity is not explicitly stated in the bible. true enough, but that doesn’t provide evidence for your claim that constantine “made up” the whole concept (or edited the bible).

    third–on the Trinity: to take one scriptural example (out of dozens): look at philippians 2:5-11. in that passage, the pre-existence of Christ is clearly affirmed, and then, paul (the devout jew) does something incredible, in v. 9-11, he quotes a passage from Isaiah about YHWH and takes it to refer to Christ, using notably the same word–Lord–for Christ that in the Septuigant (Greek translation of OT–the translation Paul used) is used to translate the name of God (YHWH)!

    so, the council of Nicaea tries to work out a logic and a vocabularly to describe beliefs and practices that christians had held and done from the very beginning.

  10. Dear Tim…I read this is an inter religious dialogue.

    So there was nothing to stop me from speaking out my mind…and I have said “my mind” not an absolute truth. LoL and I am not arrogant. God knows me best and He is sufficent witness for me.

    In fact, becoz of this, I rathered to say the puzzle thing instead of saying “islam is the only truth”…I didnt becoz I try to be respectful.

    And u should not find frustrating the fact that is possible to view new things, other perspectives to understand the world, God and life than those we hold to.

    So I´ll tell you what happens when some one doesnt share my view: I listen, I learn and anythings I keep it to my self.

    Islam is very clear about this: we can not guide people, only Allah can (swt)we are powerless and we will be judge only upon our own deeds. What u do, what u think…that is between you and Allah.

    And about Constantine…history give us more proofs that he did had something to with the trinity concept that you having proofs to proof the opposite.

    And about the language…what ever issues and missunderstanding might arise from this sutils differences, will not change the nature of God: oneness.

    …if Jesus was God…why he looked at the sky and said: “Father why have u abandone me”…why in the mountain was he praying??? doesnt make any sense to be praying to him self right? did Moses, Noah and Ibrahim went to hell coz they didnt worship Jesus?

    The God of Ibrahim, is only one…and is the same than the God of Jesus (PBUH).

    May God be with u

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