Stress-testing the
mind of Christ

Where a recovering ex-atheist rams the Bible into other worldviews to see what breaks (note: Scripture cannot be broken)


proofs
Rome: “Catholics adore the one God, Allah”

A quick little argument showing how, on Rome’s own terms, Catholics believe that God’s secret identity is Allah.

The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.

So says the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Part 1, Section 2, Chapter 3, Article 9, Paragraph 3, Sub-paragraph 841, if I understand the organization of the catechism correctly—it seems rather long and complicated considering it’s such an important document).

Let’s make an argument!

  1. Muslims and Catholics together adore the one God
  2. Muslims adore Allah
  3. Therefore, Allah is the one God
  4. Therefore, Catholics adore Allah

Yeap, it holds water

I’ve seen Catholics respond to this by saying that the argument doesn’t follow, because Muslims deny certain truths about God, like that he is manifest in Jesus. So, to draw an analogy, you might adore Batman and yet believe that he is not Bruce Wayne; so you can adore God and yet believe that he is not Jesus. But there’s an obvious problem with that comeback, because neither my argument nor the catechism is couched in terms of denial, but rather of affirmation. So we can construct a valid parallel argument from the perspective of Selina Kyle, who knows Batman’s secret identity, in regards to Vicki Vale, who does not:

  1. Vicki and Selina together adore Batman (because…)
  2. Vicki adores Bruce
  3. And Bruce is Batman
  4. So of course Selina also adores Bruce

You’ll notice the argument isn’t trying to prove anything new—rather, it’s retracing the steps of reasoning used to get to Rome’s conclusion (premise [1]) in the first place. My conclusion, premise [4], is simply an entailment of Rome’s original line of reasoning.

The premises follow exactly because the argument is framed from the perspective of someone claiming greater knowledge than the parties whom the arguments are about. Catholics say Muslims adore God—and Selina says Vicki adores Batman—not because the epistemically impoverished Muslims believe that Allah is God—or the epistemically impoverished Vicki believes that Bruce is Batman—but because the epistemically gifted Catholics (and Selina) claim to know it.

But if Allah is God like Bruce Wayne is Batman, then Catholics, who adore God and know about his “secret identity”, automatically adore Allah too. Just like someone who adores Batman, and knows his secret identity as Bruce Wayne, must adore Bruce too. They adore them both because they know they’re one and the same person.

The upshot

Well, it’s obvious enough, innit? Catholics explicitly identify Allah with God. Since Christians explicitly deny that Allah is God—he is just another false idol—it follows that Catholics are not Christians, but rather some kind of “enlightened Muslims”. It’s nice to have it confirmed by Rome that Roman Catholicism is not a Christian denomination, but rather a sect of Islam.

7 comments

  1. steve hays

    But you’re missing the point. The question is whether or not the church of Rome is the one true Islamic sect. You still can’t compare the one, holy, catholic, and apostlic Islamic sect with those schismatic Prots!

  2. James Strong

    How about this:
    1. Muslims and Catholics together adore the one God
    2. Catholics adore Yaweh
    3. Therefore, Yaweh is the one God
    4. Therefore, Muslims adore Yaweh.

    Or… wait, don’t protestants also adore the one God? Err, why, yes they do! Oh my! Protestants are secretly islamic!

    I’m going to assume sarcasm, but your argument makes no sense.

  3. Dominic Bnonn Tennant

    Hey James, sure, that’s another way to frame the argument. But there are two problems for you:

    Firstly, if your argument is valid, then my argument is valid. So you’re “defeating” me by handing me victory. My reductio ad absurdum goes through by your own implicit admission.

    Secondly, I don’t see how your [4] is any better than mine. It’s obviously just as absurd to say that Muslims worship YHVH as to say that Catholics worship Allah. And if you don’t think it’s obvious, you need to explain why not. In what sense is Allah identical to YHVH?

    Or… wait, don’t protestants also adore the one God? Err, why, yes they do! Oh my! Protestants are secretly islamic!

    And if Protestants were to claim that Muslims adore the one God, then the argument would be equally valid against them. Can you point me to any Protestant group who claims this? And explain why I should take them as representative of all Protestants?

  4. Brendon Ward

    Nice. That Catholic catechism has some very, very dodgy doctrinal statements most pew sitting Catholics would never be aware of. They do after all, believe they are members of the church, when, according to Romes own doctrine, those in the pews are NOT the church, but the benefactors of the church’s ministry.

    One of their doctrines is that man is actually a god in his own right. Not elohim, lower case, to which Psalm 82:6 refers, but El, capital case. It was referenced in a Ken Hovind DVD, and its unfortunate I cannot find the reference.

    On another note:

    I have a friend, Ben Taylor, who is putting together a website to network some of the various Reformed groups around the country (e.g. Reformed, Reformed Baptist, Grace Presbyterian…). I have copied a link from you links page to him. He was particularly interested in links to New Zealand blog sites of/from a Reformed position.

  5. Pedro Corso

    There are so many way we could get throught this, like:

    “Ok, they’re wrong/they’ve made a mistake.”

    or

    “They said muslims profess the Abraham’s faith, which makes the statement only partially true because Catholics also believe in Abraham. BUT they believe in something else that starts differing from our faith, but then again, they said that just to point out that this counts in their salvation.”

    or even

    “It’s out of context!”

    or I could just refute you the traditional way: it doesn’t matter what document you choose, the Catholic’s actual comprehention of God comes from T. Aquino. Just for the final proof, take Aquino’s definition of God and compare it to Allah. You’ll just see that they are not the same.

  6. Warren Lotter

    So basically what Pedro is implying is that in general the left hand of the Roman Catholic Church doesn’t know what the right hand of the Roman Catholic Church is doing. So much for their claims of a singular tradition.

  7. Gabriel

    Glad to see Pedro admit Rome has contradicted itself, and has therefore defeated his own position himself. Saves us a lot of work when the Papists are honest.

  I don’t post ill-considered articles and I don’t sponsor ill-considered comments. Take a moment to review what you’ve written…