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 Post subject: Do Catholics and Jews believe in the same God?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:33 pm 
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For those of you who are going to shouting "Yes!" at least hear me out.

1. It is written "He that is of God, heareth the words of God. Therefore you hear them not, because you are not of God." (John 8:47)
If the Jews are not of God on account of there rejecting of Christ, how can they be said to truly be believers in or worshipers of the true God?

2. Some might say because the Old Testament religion foreshadows the New Covenant, so Jews are grandfathered in as worshipers of the God of the Old Testament. However, after Christ there were major reforms to what is today Judaism that made it very different from the Biblical religion such as the introduction of Talmudic commentaries specifically designed to discredit Christianity.

3. The Jewish idea of God is erroneous. Jews today explicitly deny the Trinity, which is more than the ignorance of the OT Patriarchs but is an active rejection of the true nature of God.

4. There seems to be less a reason to say that Muslims do not worship the same God as Catholics. (3) and arguably (2) applies to both religions, but (1) does not apply to Muslims. But people are more reluctant to say that Muslims worship the true God than that Jews worship the true God, ergo it would seem that either Muslims have been misjudged or Jews too do not worship the true God.

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 Post subject: Re: Do Catholics and Jews believe in the same God?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 2:16 pm 
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Yes.

1. Insofar as they're not baptized, they're not children of God. But that doesn't mean they don't believe in God. It means he has not adopted them as his children,
2. Changes to peripherals or practices don't change the God of Judaism.
3. You probably have erroneous beliefs about nearly everyone you know. It doesn't mean you don't know those people.
4. Muslims do worship God. Like the Jews, they have many false beliefs about him.

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 Post subject: Re: Do Catholics and Jews believe in the same God?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:03 pm 
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Some who would claim the label of Jews don't, because some forms of Judaism have degenerated into a vague sort of ethical (drifting with the modern winds, mostly) deism that's pretty much indistinguishable from Unitarianism. But there are many Jews who emphatically do emphasize the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God who revealed Himself on Mt. Sinai. Saying that they don't worship God is on dangerous ground.

Wanna bet you can't find Catholics whose beliefs about God are, in good faith, erroneous? You don't want to go down that road either.

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 Post subject: Re: Do Catholics and Jews believe in the same God?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:44 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Some who would claim the label of Jews don't, because some forms of Judaism have degenerated into a vague sort of ethical (drifting with the modern winds, mostly) deism that's pretty much indistinguishable from Unitarianism. But there are many Jews who emphatically do emphasize the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God who revealed Himself on Mt. Sinai. Saying that they don't worship God is on dangerous ground.


So follow up; why is there any controversy on whether or not Muslims believe in the same God?

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 Post subject: Re: Do Catholics and Jews believe in the same God?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:04 pm 
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ForeverFaithful wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Some who would claim the label of Jews don't, because some forms of Judaism have degenerated into a vague sort of ethical (drifting with the modern winds, mostly) deism that's pretty much indistinguishable from Unitarianism. But there are many Jews who emphatically do emphasize the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God who revealed Himself on Mt. Sinai. Saying that they don't worship God is on dangerous ground.


So follow up; why is there any controversy on whether or not Muslims believe in the same God?

Because it is emotionally satisfying to put people with whom you disagree in the category of "other," and few categories of disagreement or classification are more fundamental than religious ones. Compounding that is that it is emotionally uncomfortable to class someone as "like" your self when you strong and fundamental disagreements with them. It's what lies behind every question about the religious/political/ideological class of any given domestic terrorist or mass shooter.

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 Post subject: Re: Do Catholics and Jews believe in the same God?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 8:02 pm 
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Alternatively: Even Jews who reject Christianity can reasonably claim that they believe in the same God their ancestors believed in; what they reject is additional information about that God, not what they already believed. Islam, on the other hand, is in some sense a rupture from the previous system that can't make as strong a claim to the history.

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 Post subject: Re: Do Catholics and Jews believe in the same God?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 8:12 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Alternatively: Even Jews who reject Christianity can reasonably claim that they believe in the same God their ancestors believed in; what they reject is additional information about that God, not what they already believed. Islam, on the other hand, is in some sense a rupture from the previous system that can't make as strong a claim to the history.

I guess we differ on how significant we think the loss of the temple and the addition of the Talmud were to the formation of modern Juadism.

Tbh I don't really buy that either Jews or Muslims worship a different God because that would contradict Vatican I (and Romans) which says God is known by natural reason. Since the differences between the Jewish and Muslim ideas of God are primarily concerned with doctrines of faith, it would seem inadequate that these errors would entail they don't believe in the true God.

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 Post subject: Re: Do Catholics and Jews believe in the same God?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 9:04 pm 
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So you believe that Moses didn’t worship the true God?

Why did Moses appear in the transfiguration of Jesus Christ?

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 Post subject: Re: Do Catholics and Jews believe in the same God?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 9:22 pm 
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The motto of scholasticism was 'never deny, rarely affirm, always distinguish'

So the question 'do Christians and the members of any other non-Christian monotheistic religion worship the same God?' always has at least two answers, both yes and no, depending on what you mean by 'the same God'.

In one sense, the answer is 'yes' because there is only one God, therefore anyone who worships God can only worship the God who exists, they cannot worship something that does not exist. There is only one God that can be worshipped, not multiple gods.

In another sense, the answer is 'no' because one could say that they do not understand the true nature of God, they worship a false image of God based on their faulty understanding.

However, in this case, there are an awful lot of Christians who do not worship the true God because their understanding of God is faulty, and I'm not thinking of Unitarians, I'm thinking of those Christians, such as a great number if not the majority of eastern Christians, as well as philosophers such as William Lane Craig and Alvin Plantinga who reject divine simplicity.

Divine simplicity is necessary in order to maintain a consistent understanding of theism. Divine simplicity means that God has no parts, he has no properties that are distinct from his own nature. For example, it is not accurate to say that 'God exists' it would be more accurate to say that God is existence itself. Likewise, it is not accurate to say that 'God is good' it would be more accurate to say that 'God is goodness itself. Divine simplicity means that no property that is possessed by God is any sense distinct from God himself.

Now, what happens if you reject divine simplicity? There are a whole host of problems that come with the rejection of divine simplicity, but probably the biggest one is that if God is not simple, then he must be contingent.

A common objection made by atheists is 'if God created everything, then who created God?' If you assume divine simplicity, then this question is meaningless, because God IS EXISTENCE ITSELF, therefore, he is a logically necessary being.

But if you reject divine simplicity then it is not true that the existence of God is logically necessary, because existence is merely a property that God has, and it is not true that God is existence itself, and thus the question 'who created God?' is a good question that really deserves an answer.

So, do the Christians who reject divine simplicity worship the same God? I'm not sure that they do.

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 Post subject: Re: Do Catholics and Jews believe in the same God?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:00 pm 
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Did Jews during the Babylonian exile not worship God? The Temple was gone....

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 Post subject: Re: Do Catholics and Jews believe in the same God?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:21 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Did Jews during the Babylonian exile not worship God? The Temple was gone....

There was no Talmud...

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 Post subject: Re: Do Catholics and Jews believe in the same God?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:28 pm 
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Doom wrote:
The motto of scholasticism was 'never deny, rarely affirm, always distinguish'

So the question 'do Christians and the members of any other non-Christian monotheistic religion worship the same God?' always has at least two answers, both yes and no, depending on what you mean by 'the same God'.

In one sense, the answer is 'yes' because there is only one God, therefore anyone who worships God can only worship the God who exists, they cannot worship something that does not exist. There is only one God that can be worshipped, not multiple gods.

In another sense, the answer is 'no' because one could say that they do not understand the true nature of God, they worship a false image of God based on their faulty understanding.

However, in this case, there are an awful lot of Christians who do not worship the true God because their understanding of God is faulty, and I'm not thinking of Unitarians, I'm thinking of those Christians, such as a great number if not the majority of eastern Christians, as well as philosophers such as William Lane Craig and Alvin Plantinga who reject divine simplicity.

Divine simplicity is necessary in order to maintain a consistent understanding of theism. Divine simplicity means that God has no parts, he has no properties that are distinct from his own nature. For example, it is not accurate to say that 'God exists' it would be more accurate to say that God is existence itself. Likewise, it is not accurate to say that 'God is good' it would be more accurate to say that 'God is goodness itself. Divine simplicity means that no property that is possessed by God is any sense distinct from God himself.

Now, what happens if you reject divine simplicity? There are a whole host of problems that come with the rejection of divine simplicity, but probably the biggest one is that if God is not simple, then he must be contingent.

A common objection made by atheists is 'if God created everything, then who created God?' If you assume divine simplicity, then this question is meaningless, because God IS EXISTENCE ITSELF, therefore, he is a logically necessary being.

But if you reject divine simplicity then it is not true that the existence of God is logically necessary, because existence is merely a property that God has, and it is not true that God is existence itself, and thus the question 'who created God?' is a good question that really deserves an answer.

So, do the Christians who reject divine simplicity worship the same God? I'm not sure that they do.



Essentially we agree. We have to admit at some level that we all worship the same God just some of us wrongly.

However, there is also a real sense in which we do not worship the same God since our understandings are incompatible.

On this latter point, either it's irrelevant in all cases (Muslims do worship the same God but wrongly) or its relevant in all cases (Muslims, Jews, and many non-Catholic Christians can not be said to worship the true God because there errors are too grevious)

I do not think Jews have a better claim than the Muslims do; but I am also willing to say both worship God given the first point but also Vatican I

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 Post subject: Re: Do Catholics and Jews believe in the same God?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:37 pm 
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ForeverFaithful wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Did Jews during the Babylonian exile not worship God? The Temple was gone....

There was no Talmud...

I don't think that's relevant. The Talmud rejected additional information; it didn't change what the Jews had always known.

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 Post subject: Re: Do Catholics and Jews believe in the same God?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 11:17 pm 
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ForeverFaithful wrote:

However, there is also a real sense in which we do not worship the same God since our understandings are incompatible.



To be honest, I'm not sure that's really true.

The traditional understanding of God, which I will call 'classical theism', is not something that was invented by Christians. Classical theism has its roots in Plato and Aristotle. There is, in fact, a direct line of descent from Plato to Aristotle to the Neoplatonists like Plotinus, to Saint Augustine to Saint Thomas to today.

There is nothing uniquely Christian about classical theism, Jewish philosophers such as Maimonides, held to classical theism, as do many Jewish, Christian and other non-Christian philosophers today. Classical theism is a very ancient philosophical understanding of God.

If someone holds to the basic principles of classical theism, then I think they have a very good understanding of God. Do they have a complete understanding or at least an understanding that is as complete as it could be? Maybe not. But it is not accurate to say that their understanding of God is 'incompatible' with the traditional Christian view, it is merely incomplete.

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 Post subject: Re: Do Catholics and Jews believe in the same God?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 6:07 am 
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ForeverFaithful wrote:
Tbh I don't really buy that either Jews or Muslims worship a different God because that would contradict Vatican I (and Romans) which says God is known by natural reason. Since the differences between the Jewish and Muslim ideas of God are primarily concerned with doctrines of faith, it would seem inadequate that these errors would entail they don't believe in the true God.

I presume you've read Nostra Aetate, especially NA 3, which says:

    The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all- powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth,(5) who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the day of judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting.

So . . . does Vatican II contract Vatican I? How do you harmonize your claim that Muslims (and Jews) worship a different God when your church explicitly says they "adore the one God", etc.?

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 Post subject: Re: Do Catholics and Jews believe in the same God?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 6:58 am 
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theJack wrote:
ForeverFaithful wrote:
Tbh I don't really buy that either Jews or Muslims worship a different God because that would contradict Vatican I (and Romans) which says God is known by natural reason. Since the differences between the Jewish and Muslim ideas of God are primarily concerned with doctrines of faith, it would seem inadequate that these errors would entail they don't believe in the true God.

I presume you've read Nostra Aetate, especially NA 3, which says:

    The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all- powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth,(5) who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the day of judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting.

So . . . does Vatican II contract Vatican I? How do you harmonize your claim that Muslims (and Jews) worship a different God when your church explicitly says they "adore the one God", etc.?


You'll notice I don't claim that Jews and Muslims worship another God.

But also Nostra Aetate isn't even a description of Catholic beliefs, it's a catalogue of what other religions believe on their own terms. Why did the council fathers feel the need to write it? Who knows. But it doesn't tell Catholics what they should believe

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 Post subject: Re: Do Catholics and Jews believe in the same God?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 7:23 am 
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ForeverFaithful wrote:
You'll notice I don't claim that Jews and Muslims worship another God.

The thread title asks if Catholics and Jews believe in the same God. If you say no, necessarily, you're saying the believe in another God (another than Catholics).

With that said, I misread your sentence here:
Quote:
I don't really buy that either Jews or Muslims worship a different God because that would contradict Vatican I (and Romans) which says God is known by natural reason.

Regardless of all that, it does seem to me that NA3 settles the question definitively. Yes, Jews, Catholics, and Muslims all worship the same God.

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 Post subject: Re: Do Catholics and Jews believe in the same God?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:43 pm 
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theJack wrote:
ForeverFaithful wrote:
Tbh I don't really buy that either Jews or Muslims worship a different God because that would contradict Vatican I (and Romans) which says God is known by natural reason. Since the differences between the Jewish and Muslim ideas of God are primarily concerned with doctrines of faith, it would seem inadequate that these errors would entail they don't believe in the true God.

I presume you've read Nostra Aetate, especially NA 3, which says:

    The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. They adore the one, God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all-powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth,(5) who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the day of judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving, and fasting.

So . . . does Vatican II contract Vatican I? How do you harmonize your claim that Muslims (and Jews) worship a different God when your church explicitly says they "adore the one God", etc.?



Nostra Aetate DOES NOT SAY that Muslims worship the same God it says only that Muslims CLAIM TO worship the God of Abraham, Nostra Aetate is merely a descriptive document which says 'Muslims believe X, Buddhists believe y, Hindus believe z' etc, it says absolutely nothing, one way or the other, about the truth of the claims made by each religion mentioned. It is essentially an encyclopedia article if one were to do a Google search on the question 'what do Muslims believe?' you would get something like the statement above. As a merely descriptive document, Nostra Aetate has no doctrinal or dogmatic force.

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 Post subject: Re: Do Catholics and Jews believe in the same God?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:47 pm 
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ForeverFaithful wrote:

But also Nostra Aetate isn't even a description of Catholic beliefs, it's a catalog of what other religions believe on their own terms. Why did the council fathers feel the need to write it? Who knows.



It is the result of misunderstood sarcasm. In response to the proposal that the council should issue a statement about Judaism, one bishop stood up and sarcastically quipped 'why stop with Judaism, why not Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism as well?' His point was that making a statement about another religion was a waste of time. Apparently failing to understand sarcasm, the Council Fathers voted to make a statement about the other religions as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Do Catholics and Jews believe in the same God?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:21 pm 
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Doom wrote:
ForeverFaithful wrote:

But also Nostra Aetate isn't even a description of Catholic beliefs, it's a catalog of what other religions believe on their own terms. Why did the council fathers feel the need to write it? Who knows.



It is the result of misunderstood sarcasm. In response to the proposal that the council should issue a statement about Judaism, one bishop stood up and sarcastically quipped 'why stop with Judaism, why not Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism as well?' His point was that making a statement about another religion was a waste of time. Apparently failing to understand sarcasm, the Council Fathers voted to make a statement about the other religions as well.


That story really seems unbelievable. Do we have the minutes of that event?

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