Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God?

I see this question a great deal on the interwebs, lots of people ask me my educated opinion, and there are dozens or hundreds of books written about this. Yet most people are not going to read those books, but they might read a short, under two minute write up. So, as a Christian priest who believes in the Trinity and follows Jesus as God incarnate, and who also serves as a chaplain at a school with many Muslim families, and also teaches World Religions year after year, here is my answer:


Doing what Jesus did

Jesus said... "Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father." (John 14:9-12)

There are as many different ways of interpreting Jesus' life as there are interpreters, and the myriad of lenses used in looking at Jesus can be overwhelming. We can analyze him using sociological, historical, literary, ethical, mystical, and theological lenses. And within the theological lenses we can look at him from Orthodox, Catholic, Lutheran, Reformed, Anglican, Evangelical, Pentecostal, Fundamentalist, and dozens of other perspectives.

And yet, in the midst of a bewildering variety of ways of seeing Jesus Christ, our central concern in living as a Christian is (or at least should be) to live "in Christ": To imitate, emulate, and seek to embody Christ in such a way that we can say with Saint Paul "it is no longer I that lives, but Christ lives in me" (Galatians 2.20). So what kind of lens can we use to view Jesus that most effectively helps us imitate Christ and live in Christ?


On Atheist Heroes and the possibility of Altruism

Recently, a friend of mine started a discussion about whether acts of pure altruism are possible. Altruism is defined in my dictionary as “the practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others”. Philosophically, Altruism can only exist if there is a category of action which creates benefit for others, while creating no benefit (or even a detriment) to self. 


First Post of 2017

I'm not much of one for New Year's Resolutions. I figure that if one is serious about changing their lives, they won't wait to start that change at an arbitrary time, such as the beginning of a year. So, what I am writing here is not so much what I will start doing now, as much as activities I have already started doing. 

Thus, in 2017, as in 2016, I resolve to make more time for the things that bring value to my life, and use less time on the things that take value from my life.

Top 10 activities that add value:
  • Praying/Meditating
  • Discussing
  • Lifting
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Teaching
  • Serving
  • Encouraging
  • Hiking
  • Playing
Bottom 10 activities that take value:
  • Worrying
  • Brooding
  • Ranting
  • Procrastinating
  • Resenting
  • Fearing
  • Arguing
  • Judging
  • Complaining
  • Stressing

This is a bunch of stuff to make us think hard about our incredible love affair with the God of the universe, our astounding infidelities against him, and his incredible grace to heal and restore us through Christ. Everything on this site is copyright © 1996-2015 by Nathan L. Bostian so if you use it, cite me... otherwise you break the 8th commandment, and make God unhappy. You can contact the author by posting a comment.