I've always been interested in Islam, ever since high school when I had a good friend on the debate team who was a practicing Muslim. She didn't wear a head scarf and would wear short sleeves, but never shorts. She was sweet, articulate, intelligent, and didn't have any desire to blow me up. I get frustrated when I hear people make sweeping comments about how violent all Muslims are. I still keep in touch with her and we've had some fascinating conversations about religion and politics.
With all that said, I'm reading a most interesting book, one that I can't put down. It's called My Year Inside Radical Islam (you can see the link down the page). And what I'm most struck with is a glaring inconsistency that's bothered me for a while about how Muslims view Christians. Here it is:
1. On the one hand, my friend has shared with me that as a Christian, I am a "person of the book", meaning that like Jews and Muslims, since I believe in only one God (monotheism), I am OK and can go to heaven, so I'm not really an infidel. The book I'm reading basically echoes this sentiment, and this inclusivism drew the author to his Muslim faith. Since we all share a reverence for the prophets of the Old Testamant, and Jesus is included as a "good teacher", then we all basically believe the same thing. There's a mistaken belief that Jews, Christians and Muslims all pray to the same god; they just call him by different names.
2. BUT, my friend also tells me that if I associate partners with God then I am committing the ultimate sin and will automatically go to hell. Muslims believe that the Christian belief in the triune God is polytheism. Because we see Jesus as the God-Man, both fully God and fully Man, they we must believe in more than one god.
So my question is: which is it? I can't seem to get a straight answer from anyone and it's bugging me. Any thoughts? I really am just curious about these theological differences
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