Bock

Interacting with Islam and Joint Christian-Islamic Statements Feb 9 08

Many may not be aware of a joint statement issued last winter between moderate Islamic leaders and many evagelicals. It was a first tentative step toward a call for dialogue. It produced some reaction in the evangelical community, showing just how sensitive living in a pluralistic religious global context can be.

Many may not be aware of a joint statement issued last winter between moderate Islamic leaders and many evagelicals. It was a first tentative step toward a call for dialogue. It produced some reaction in the evangelical community, showing just how sensitive living in a pluralistic religious global context can be.

This week Duane Litfin, one of the evengelical who signed the statement, withdrew his name from the letter (along with the school’s provoist and chaplain). What makes this news to note is the explanation he gives about why he changed his mind. It shows the difficuly the entire area raises. I think Litfin’s explanation is clear in revealing the complexities of such issues. It is well expressed. Christianity Today reporte on this story and here is the link so you can think through the issue as well.

http://blog.christianitytoday.com/ctliveblog/archives/2008/02/wheaton_college.html

The original statement comes from the Yale Center for Faith and Culture. Here is the link:

http://www.yale.edu/faith/abou-commonword.htm

7 Comments

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      bock

      Posting on change dlb

      A key goal iof mine in all of this is to be sure everyone is fair in a theological world where many get too worked up without appreciating the complexities of theology in a modern and global context. So thanks for your comment.

       

      dlb

  • Avatar

    bock

    Your opinion dlb

    I absolutely understand Dr. Litfin’s dilemma. We need to be able to discuss religion respectfully, and love our neighbor (ie, all people). In aiddition, there are differences between the faiths that we need to appreciate as well. We do not help each other understand one another by not understanding such differences.

    dlb

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    Laurie Schlaepfer

    Christian response to “A Common Word”
    I am glad Dr. Litfin decided to remove his name. While I sincerely appreciate and recognize the good intentions of the Response, I believe it showed a lack of understanding of Islamic terminology, doctrine and methodology. The “Common Word” letter is a classic example of an Islamic Da’wa (call to Islam) toward Christians. According to the earliest biography of Muhammad (Ibn Ishaq), the “common word” verse was “revealed” to Muhammad when he received a deputation of Christians from Najran (Yemen). The verse comes at the end of a long polemic against the Christian understanding of Jesus. It calls on Christians to not “ascribe partners” or take others for lords beside God, referring specifically to our declaration that Jesus is Lord. It is no coincidence, then, that this verse serves as the theme of the “Common Word” letter. So when reading the Christian response, I was so sad that there was no reference to Jesus as our Lord. Are we ashamed of Him? For fear of offending do we refrain from calling Him our Lord when reaching out to Muslims? There were many red flags in “A Common Word”, and our Christian response was naive and acquiescent.

    • Avatar

      bock

      Allah and God of the Bible, the Same dlb

      This question is more complicated than it seems. If one asks, is this the pursuit of the same God, then in a sense the answer is Yes, for there is according to both faiths only one God. However, if one considers the attributes of the God each faith believes in, then the answer is No, because the two faiths conceive of God very differently.

      dlb