A Christian think tank formed by the National Council of Churches of Singapore, Trinity Theological College and The Bible Society of Singapore.
The question whether Christians and Muslims worship the same God has been asked by many for a long time.
A recent article in Christianity Today notes that this question is ‘a perennial one’, that it was one of the ‘top questions of 2014’, and that the evangelical community and the American population are split over it.
It has received increased attention in recent months following the comments made by Wheaton professor Larycia Hawkins who stated on Facebook in December 2015, “I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book. And as Pope Francis stated last week, we worship the same God.”
Since then, various church leaders and theologians have weighed in on both sides of the debate, adding further to the confusion.
On the one side are those who argue that Christians and Muslims worship the same God, even though Muslims do not acknowledge the Trinity as Christians do. The relationship between Christianity and Judaism is used as a parallel.
As Miroslav Volf argues,
‘For centuries, a great many Orthodox Jews have strenuously objected to those same Christian convictions: Christians are idolaters because they worship a human being, Jesus Christ, and Christians are polytheists because they worship “Father, Son and the Spirit” rather than the one true God of Israel. What was the Christian response?... Instead of rejecting the God of the Jews, Christians affirmed that they worship the same God as the Jews, but noted that the two religious groups understand God in partly different ways.’
by Bishop Emeritus Robert Solomon
Many doctrinal debates have taken place within the Christian community, some of them in an atmosphere of intense acrimonious dispute. Some have been settled quite satisfactorily, others continue to simmer, while yet others have been newly sparked.
We shall look at three examples, one that took place long ago and has been settled, one that is more recent and still going on, and a third that is emerging.
The first few centuries of the church were spent in clarifying the doctrine of the Trinity and the Person of Christ. In AD 325, the Council of Nicaea, the first such ecumenical council, was convened to deal with a heresy associated with Arius who taught that Jesus was a created Son of God, thus a lesser being than God. Arius claimed that “there was once when the Son was not”. Opposing his view was Athanasius and almost all of the bishops gathered in Nicaea. They ruled that Arianism was heretical and came up with the Nicene Creed, stating that Jesus is “very God of very God, begotten not made, being of one substance with the Father…”
by Dr Roland Chia
At Brighton College, one of the most prestigious private schools in Britain, gender distinct uniforms have been abolished. This means that the students in the school could choose to wear trousers or a skirt, a blazer or a bolero jacket.
Teachers in some preschools in America are not allowed to call the children “boys and girls” because to do so would promote unhelpful gender stereotypes.
In its 2015 Report, the Commons Women and Equalities Select Committee suggests that Britain should adopt the ‘self-declaration’ model that is currently used in Ireland, Argentina, and Denmark. Instead of undergoing sexual reassignment surgery, transgendered people should be allowed to simply declare the sex of their choice by filling a form.
The LGBTQI community has produced a glossary that lists a bewildering number of different expressions of gender and orientations. These include skoliosexual (people who are attracted to transsexual people), genderqueer (people who think of themselves either as pangender or genderless), third gender (people who do not identify with either male or female), and many more.
Every month the ETHOS Institute publishes five articles on a variety of topics on its website. These articles have attracted many readers who find them informative and engaging.
However, we realise that although our articles cover a wide range of subjects, some issues and themes may not have received the attention they deserve.
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Yours sincerely in Christ,
Dr Roland Chia
Theological and Research Advisor
ETHOS Institute for Public Christianity
- 24 May 2017 - ETHOS Engagement Series Public Lecture: 'Labour Justice & Migrant Workers in Singapore'
by Dr Stephanie Chok
Venue: Bible House Level 4 Seminar Room
Time: 7.30pm - 9.00pm
Click HERE to register.
- 24 August 2017 - ETHOS Engagement Series Public Lecture: Daily Work as Divine Vocation
Speaker: Dr Robert Banks
Venue: Bible House Level 5
Time: 7.30pm - 9pm
More details coming soon.