What shall we call God?
Excerpt:
"Allah is a very beautiful word for God. Shouldn't we all say that from now on we will name God Allah? ... What does God care what we call him? It is our problem."

I don't see any problem with this, do you? As Shakespeare tells us, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." Certainly we don't quibble about the spelling and pronunciation of "Jesus," right? I mean, it's not like adopting the name of a god from an anti-Christian religion could possibly lead to any confusion or a false impression that we're all praying to and serving the same person, is there?

>>shakes head<<

Reminds me of "The Last Battle," Lewis' conclusion to the Chronicals of Narnia. The Ape and the invading Calormenes begin teaching the Narnians that Aslan and Tash (the Calormene god) are one and the same, and neither means either more or less than the other. They even combine their names to make "Tashlan."
Of course, this had two major consequences. First, it was the beginning of the end for Narnia. Second, well, both the ape and the majority of the Calormenes met a very unpleasant end when Tash turned out to be much more real than they had believed.
Link: Dutch Bishop suggests we all call God 'Allah'
Annette, Wednesday, 8-15-07 2:02 PM
re: What shall we call God?
He's right from the perspective of God probably not caring what set of syllables we put together to refer to Him, but the set of syllables carry meaning for people, and that meaning is important. If the syllables are truly irrelevant, why not call Him Satan, or Ganesha, or Hitler, or David?

Once a name takes on meaning for people, it truly matters what name you use. All of the associated knowledge and implications come with the name. When you swap names around you end up with total confusion or, as Annette mentioned, the false impression of equivalence. Peace and positive relations with people are good goals, but we must not compromise or confuse truth in pursuit of them.
David, Wednesday, 8-15-07 3:04 PM
re: What shall we call God?
the problem with this argument, as i see it, is that its making the assumption that the God that we believe in, and the god Allah are one and the same and therefore can be combined in name.

i honestly don't think there is a problem with changing God's name. a name is just a label or a handle, point of communication so we know what each other is talking about. the God we believe in has had many different names throughout history (Isaiah 9:6, though i recognize that those are descriptors, not names). changing the name doesn't change who the person is, though it does change our perception them.

what i DO have a problem with is the assumption that all of our gods are the same so why not exchange names? they are very different. from what i understand, the historical account of god Allah was that he was content being worshiped one among many in a communal temple, and then one day decided he was better than everyone else. i can't see our God every being content being one among many.

i agree that "Allah" is a beautiful word, but so is "Jezebel". its the association behind the name that's important. one common thread i've noticed in a lot of the articles posted here about people admiring islam, is that they confuse the beauty of the gesture with the doctrine. we must look past the gesture to the meaning behind it.

so, like david said, when you swap names around you end up with confusion. its just a bad idea.


ROUS  Christina Reagan, Wednesday, 8-15-07 6:30 PM
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