Reasons to Believe

“A Jewish Christian Muslim”?

Sean Stone, son of famous moviemaker Oliver Stone, recently declared: “I am a Jewish Christian Muslim.”1 Is such a provocative religious claim justifiable?

Stone comes from a Jewish family but was baptized in the Christian tradition and has now converted to the religion of Islam. However, he doesn’t think he has technically “converted” to Islam because according to him all three of the monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) worship the same God.

“Conversion is an interesting word because I don’t believe you can convert from one God—from the same God,” Stone says. “I’ve also believed in the same Judeo-Christian God. I think it’s a misunderstanding of Islam to say that Allah is a different God. It’s a different name for the same one.”2

Straight Thinking about Monotheistic Religion

Two points come to bear on Sean Stone’s bold theological claim. First, it is possible to be culturally connected to one religious tradition but then to convert to another religion. For example, a person could be culturally or ethnically Jewish and then accept Jesus Christ as the divine Messiah and convert to historic Christianity. Messianic Jews have embraced Jesus (or Yeshua, to use His Hebrew name) as their Messiah but choose to retain their Jewish culture. Such groups like Jews for Jesus are culturally Jewish but theologically Christian. Jews for Jesus is thoroughly Trinitarian in theological orientation and thus explicitly affirms Jesus Christ’s deity.3

Second, traditional Judaism (excluding Messianic Jewish groups) and Islam categorically reject the historic Christian claim that Jesus Christ is God Incarnate (God in human flesh). Regardless of how much the three monotheistic religions have in common, by denying an essential Christian truth-claim Judaism and Islam hold a contradictory view of God to that of Christianity.

It’s not just that Judaism and Islam deny what Christianity necessarily affirms, but also Islamic theology declares that Allah is definitely not the Triune God of Christianity. Allah has no partners, equals, companions, or associates. He is not begotten, nor does he beget, nor does anyone proceed from him. Thus Allah has no coequal son and spirit.4 For Islam to be theologically true historic Christianity must be theologically false and vice versa.

So when Sean Stone says that Allah is the same God as that of Christianity, he will not receive any support for that claim from Islamic theology. Islam denies the theological heart of historic Christianity: the Trinity, the Incarnation, original sin, and Christ’s atonement on the cross.

Therefore, when it comes to the theological truthclaims of these three important monotheistic religions, it is logically contradictory to claim to be a Jewish Christian Muslim.

Subjects: World Religions/Cults

Kenneth R. Samples

I believe deeply that “all truth is God’s truth.” As an RTB scholar I have a great passion to help people understand and see the truth and relevance of Christianity’s truth-claims. Read more about Kenneth Samples.

ENDNOTES:

1. Mark Ellis, “Oliver Stone’s son converts to Islam, defends Iranian regime,” Godreports, February 25, 2012.

2. Ibid.

3. “Statement of Faith,” Jews for Jesus website, last modified June 28, 2011.

4. John L. Esposito, Islam: The Straight Path, rev. 3rd ed (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), 22.