Statements on The Nature of God and Faith and Culture-National Dialogue
By: Muslim Christian Dialogue of the United States
Statement Concerning the Nature of God
There is only One God, and Muslims and Christians believe in One God, and claim to worship One God.
Participants in the 2013 Muslim-Christian dialogue of the United States emphatically state that Christians and Muslims worship the One Unique God, Who is Pre-existing, Self-existent, Self -sufficient, Everlasting, and Incomparable, which all express His Essence.
We also state that God has certain attributes. He is: Living, All-Knowing, Possessing Ultimate Will, All-Powerful, All-Hearing, All-Seeing, Communicating, and Creating.
Islam teaches that God has 99 beautiful names. They can also be found in Torah and Gospel. In His acts, He is the Creator, the Sustainer, the Guide, the Merciful, the Compassionate, and the Revealer, the Resurrector, the Gatherer on Judgment Day, and the Judge. We agree that we cannot know the essence of God. We can know the existence of God by means of: His creation; scriptural revelation; inspiration to individuals; and signs and acts.
Muslims believe that the Qur'an is the revealed Word of God. Christians believe the Word of God is Jesus the Messiah and that the Bible is the written witness to Jesus.
We understand that we have differences on the subject of the Trinity and we will continue to dialogue in this area.
Statement on Faith and Culture
1. Islam and Christianity are under attack by the modern, relativistic, secular culture.
2. We need to stand together to prevent the encroachment of secularism and emphasize our common ethics and morality.
3. Shaitan (Satan) will continue to tempt us and we need to be firm and strong to stand against him.
4. Throughout history Christianity and Islam have related to their cultures in diverse ways.
Richard Niebuhr in his Christ and Culture created five categories of the relationships of religion to culture. We have restated our common understanding of these categories below:
A. Religion against Culture. Islam and Christianity stand in opposition to immoral and unethical practices in our cultures.
B. The Religion of Culture. Ideally, our cultures would be harmonious with our religions.
C. Religion above Culture. Some religious groups sometimes incorrectly see Religion as separate from and above Culture.
D. Religion and Culture in Paradox. Religion and Culture will be in constant struggle until the End of Time.
E. Religion the Transformer of Culture. We seek to influence Culture in a more godly direction by the way in which we live our lives.