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This isn’t the first time people have debated this question, and unfortunately, it may not be the last. Neither the Old Testament faithful nor even the earliest Christians could have articulated orthodox Trinitarianism as we understand it, which as a doctrine wasn’t fully worked out by the church until the fourth century.One reason opinions flew in every direction is this: That question is not only unhelpful but perhaps worse than unhelpful. So reducing the question to the presence or absence of historic Trinitarianism is not a helpful way of getting at the key difference between Islam and Christianity. The decisive issue between Islam and Christianity is, quite simply, the gospel—the Bible’s account of what God has done, is doing, and will yet do through his Son to redeem his creation.The above analysis supplies the clarity we need by focusing on only three unchallenged points: (1) Christianity’s confession of God’s eternal, Son-centered, Spirit-empowered plan of redemption as revealed in the Bible; (2) Islam’s explicit rejection of that plan; and (3) Christ’s verdict about the implications of such a rejection.For many, these three points answer the underlying question they were asking in the first place.According to the gospel, God has not left the claim “We want you God, but we do not want your Son” available to us.Such a claim is an affront to God and an insult to the costly redemption he has provided through Jesus: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John ).If our goal is to compare Christianity and Islam, this is the difference we need to grasp.This crucial difference is why, as always in this discussion, the person of Jesus Christ constitutes the essential line in the sand.
According to the New Testament, God sent his eternal Son into the world to that “Way.” From the Father’s Son-centered redemptive purposes from “before the creation of the world” (Eph. –28)—through it all a triune God has been working his Son-centered, Spirit-empowered plan of redemption.ast winter, the Internet was abuzz over the question “Do Muslims and Christians worship the same God? During the contentious debate, Trinitarianism was often offered up as the core difference between Islam and Christianity: Christianity embraces it, Islam does not.” A cacophony of largely Christian voices exhausted themselves arguing these complex issues, to almost no one’s satisfaction. But this observation, while accurate, does not automatically locate the decisive issue.For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus (1 Tim. As you come to [Jesus], a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ (1 Pet. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also (1 John ).Christians affirm each of these biblical claims about Jesus, while Islam rejects them.