William Lane Craig

At the Cross and Crescent Conference in Charleston last week, William Lane Craig, Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology and Houston Baptist University spoke on the concept of God in Islam and Christianity.

He dealt with the major objection of Islam to the doctrine of the Holy Trinity and the rejection of the divinity of God the Son. Islam says that God cannot have a Son because God is without peer. Believers in the divinity of Christ are consigned to hell in the Koran. Muhammad misunderstood the Trinity. He thought the Trinity was composed of the Father and Mary who had a Son because she was called the Mother of God. He rejected the concept of God as three persons. Yet it is possible to understand the Trinity as three centers of self-consciousness and yet be one being using the analogy of a triangle having three sides and yet being one figure.

Philosophically you can understand God as the greatest being conceivable. God must be perfect. Perfection requires perfect love. Love by nature must give itself away to another. Therefore God being love must not be single but a plurality. In Islam, God is understood to be concentrated on himself. In Christianity, God is a perfect being of self-giving love.

Craig argued that the Muslim concept of God is rationally objectionable. He is a morally deficient concept. In the Bible God is described as love who gave himself in Christ for sinners (Romans 5:8). In the Koran it is taught that God does not love sinners. Allah rewards only those who have earned it. God’s love has to be earned. This is a morally deficient God. When Muslims cannot accept the Christian belief that God is love it shows that they are deceived by Satan. He is the enemy whom God does not love, not human sinners. Jesus told us to love our enemies, to love unbelievers. Chapter Nine of the Koran is uncompromising in the forced conversion or extermination of Jews, Christians and pagans. ISIS proclaims the Koranic teaching to “kill them wherever you find them.” The God of Muhammed does not love people.

He concluded by stating that the majority of Muslims are nominal in their belief but the jihadists like ISIS and Boko Haram radicalize adherents and seek to expand their influence by violent means.