November 5, 2001

Mohler says Jews worship different God
___By Trennis Henderson
___Kentucky Western Recorder
___LOUISVILLE, Ky.--Neither Muslims nor Jews worship the same God as Christians, according to Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
___"It is often said--in fact it is now routinely claimed--that Muslims worship the same God as the Jews and the Christians," Mohler said.
___But Christians do not serve the same God as that of Jews and Muslims, he insisted, because the Jews have rejected Christ and the Muslims have replaced the God of the Bible with Allah.
___Mohler spoke about Islam, Judaism and Christianity during a recent chapel message titled "Theology Matters." The message was part of the school's annual Heritage Week.
___His comments about Judaism are reminiscent of remarks made two decades ago by Bailey Smith, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention.
___Smith, who declared in 1980 that "God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew," unleashed a firestorm of protests. He later met with national Jewish leaders, expressing "deep regret for any hurt to the Jewish community." Smith said if he had to do it over again, "knowing how it would be misinterpreted," he would not make the initial statement.
___Mohler's assessment that Muslims worship a different God than Christians is not likely to draw protest from Baptists, but his distinction between the God of Judaism and Christianity could. Many Baptists--conservatives and moderates alike--see Christianity as a fulfillment or extension of Judaism and have sought to build bridges between the two religions.
___In his chapel address, Mohler said if the God of the Bible is to be believed, then Christians have no choice but to speak the truth about other religions, including Islam and Judaism. He quoted John 14:9, where Jesus said, "He who has seen me has seen the Father."
___"That's a very difficult statement," he said. "We believe that there is one God who has revealed himself in the Old Testament and the New Testament. We must be very clear that to reject Jesus Christ is to reject the Father."
___That view "is so politically incorrect," Mohler acknowledged. "It breaks all the rules of American etiquette. But if the Christian church will not be clear about the Christian gospel, who will?"
___The Christian God is the only God, Mohler said, and he is known through salvation through Jesus Christ alone.
___"On what authority would we possibly say such impolite things?" Mohler asked. "There is only one authority, and that is the authority of God's inerrant and infallible word. ... There is no arrogance in this, for it is not ours. We are saved by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ."

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