Sunday, January 29, 2012

word in common = worship in common?

John Piper, in a 2009 ETS meeting at Yale, responded to the view that because religious communities (in this case Christianity and Islam) share common language about God we therefore share a common love and worship for God.

But words in common do not mean that we mean the same thing by those words.  The Jesus presented by other world religions is a different Jesus than how he is presented in the New Testament. 

To the very religious people of his day (who sincerely and fervently worshiped God), Jesus made some strong distinctions... 

Jesus said, “I know that you do not have the love of God within you. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him” (John 5:42–43). When Jesus says, “receive him,” he means receive him for who he really is: the divine, eternal Son of God who lays down his life for the sheep and takes it up again in three days. If a person does not receive him in this way, that person, Jesus says, does not love God.
Jesus said, “The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him” (John 5:22–23). When Jesus says, “Honor the Son who sent him, he means honor the Son for who he really is as the divine, eternal Son of God who laid down his life for the sheep and took it up again in three days. The person who does not honor him in this way, Jesus says, does not honor God.
Jesus said, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also” (John 8:18–19). This means “know” Jesus for who he really is. So the person who does not know Jesus as the divine, eternal, crucified, risen, Son of God does not know God.
Piper's full statement is found here.

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