Jewish Journal

Bishop: Christians should call God ‘Allah’

by Brad A. Greenberg

August 16, 2007 | 1:06 pm

AP courtesy of the WP:

THE HAGUE, Netherlands—A Dutch Catholic bishop who once said the hungry were entitled to steal bread and advocated condom use to prevent AIDS has made headlines again, this time by saying God should be called Allah.

“Allah is a very beautiful word for God. Shouldn’t we all say that from now on we will call God Allah?” Bishop Tiny Muskens said in an interview broadcast this week. “God doesn’t care what we call him.”

This reminds me of a debate in the Presbyterian Church USA denomination last summer on the names by which we should call God. A committee report—they’ll form one to discuss putting in a new water fountain—came up with these acceptable nicknames for the Father, Son and Holy Ghost:

  • Sun, Light and Burning Ray
  • Compassionate Mother, Beloved Child and Life-giving Womb
  • Giver, Gift and Giving
  • Rainbow of Promise, Ark of Salvation, and Dove of Peace
  • Lover, Beloved and the Love, and Binds Together Lover and Beloved
  • Overflowing Font, Living Water, Flowing River
  • One From Whom, the One Through Whom, and the One in Whom We Offer Our Praise
  • Rock, Cornerstone and Temple
  • Fire That Consumes, Sword That Divides, and Storm that Melts Mountains

To which my pastor, the Rev. Mark Brewer of Bel Air Presbyterian, a church largely out of sync with the more liberal denomination, quipped: ““You might as well put in Huey, Dewey and Louie.”

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