UNDERSTANDING AND APPROACHING GOD
We are all bound to the throne of the Supreme Being by a flexible chain
that restrains without enslaving us. The most wonderful aspect of the universal scheme of things is the action of free beings under divine
guidance. —Joseph de Maistre, Considerations on France
While monotheistic faiths share a fundamental belief in one God, their
understanding of His attributes differs greatly. Many of these differences, like individual strands of a spider web, may appear separate and divergent when viewed too closely.
However, these individual threads knit together a larger design, the full significance of which is recognized only when viewed as a whole. Only from a distanced perspective does the complexity of design become known, and the fact that each strand points to a central truth becomes recognized.
The difference between the almost right word & the right word is really a
large matter —it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the
lightning. —Mark Twain, Letter to George Bainton
A simple example of how several strands of evidence weave together a logical conclusion relates to the name of God. Evidence taken from Judaism, Christianity, and Islam tie together to support a conclusion that should be acceptable to all three religions. For example, recognition of God as “the Creator” and “the Almighty” are universal.
Indeed, God is universally recognized by many beautiful names and glorious attributes. When a person calls upon the Creator by any of His many beautiful names or perfect attributes, He is sure to hear the call. So what more is needed?
Well, for some people, a name. A definitive name is needed.
That the name of God in Islam is Allah should be of no surprise to anybody.
That a person might suggest that the name of God in Christianity is also Allah risks provoking consternation, if not violent protest, from the entrenched community of Western Christianity. But a visitor to the Holy Land quickly appreciates that Allah is the name by which God is known to all Arabs, Christians and Muslims alike. The Arab Christians
trace their heritage to the days of revelation in fact, their distant ancestors walked the same land as the prophet Jesus and they identify the Creator as Allah.
Their lineage prospered for 2,000 years in a land renowned for religious tolerance up until the creation of the Zionist state of Israel (a little known fact, and one hugely distorted by the Western media), freely practicing their beliefs up to the present day. And they identify the Creator as Allah.