Mark Oppenheimer’s “Beliefs” column for Feb. 19, 2016, tackles a complicated subject: Facebook Post Revives Debate on Whether Monotheists Worship Same God.
The column delves into the topic by referencing the news story generated in December 2015 when “Larycia Hawkins, an associate professor at Wheaton College, an evangelical Christian school near Chicago, posted on Facebook a photograph of herself wearing a hijab, with the caption: ‘I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book. And as Pope Francis stated last week, we worship the same God.’
“The ensuing uproar was widely covered by the news media, and Dr. Hawkins eventually left her position at Wheaton, with a deal that both sides agreed not to disclose.”
The column then goes on to describe an age-old debate about whether or not various religions actually do worship “the same God.”
For one of his sources, Oppenheimer turns to Prof. Yahya Michot:
“Yahya M. Michot, who teaches Islam at Hartford Seminary, in Connecticut, said that from a Muslim point of view there was no question that there is one god, whom even non-Western traditions point toward.
‘As a Muslim,’ Professor Michot said, ‘I believe that all the prophets, from Adam to Muhammad,’ including Jesus, ‘but also the Buddha and myriads of others we don’t know about,’ called on us ‘to worship the same one God, merciful and compassionate.’
‘The people speaking of different gods are sectarian extremists wanting to stir up division among humans and are unfaithful to their own prophets,’ Professor Michot added.”