Saturday, 12 January 2008

Influential theologian troubled by Christian-Muslim dialogue

http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080112/30829_Influential_Theologian_Troubled_by_Christian-Muslim_Dialogue.htm
12 Jan 2008
by Michelle A. Vu

A prominent theologian expressed concerns this week about the recent Christian response to a historic Muslim letter in which signers appeared unclear about their Christian identity and different beliefs of God.

The letter, titled “Loving God and Neighbor Together: A Christian Response to a Common Word Between Us and You,” failed to clearly define the Christian understanding of God as the trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, pointed out R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, on his national radio program Tuesday.

Mohler explained that Muslims also believe in Jesus but only as a prophet, not as the son of God. Therefore, Christians must distinguish what kind of God they believe in when responding to the Muslim letter, which emphasized love for a common God.

“We don’t believe that Jesus Christ is our hero. We don’t believe that Jesus Christ is merely our prophet. He is Prophet and Priest and King,” Mohler said, according to the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Towers news service. “He is the incarnate Son of God. He is the second person of the Trinity. He is the Lord over all. Any minimization of that is a huge problem.”

The high-profile Southern Baptist theologian was responding to a full-page letter endorsed by nearly 300 Christian leaders that appeared in a December issue of The New York Times. The letter was drafted by scholars at Yale Divinity School’s Center for Faith and Culture in response to an October letter signed by 138 Muslim scholars, clerics, and leaders that encouraged Muslims and Christians to work more closely for world peace.

At the heart of the Muslim letter was the “common ground” that believers of both faiths share – love for God and love for neighbors.

Signers of the Christian letter included Rick Warren, founder and senior pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., and author of The Purpose Driven Life; Bill Hybels, founder and senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Ill.; Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals; and David Neff, editor-in-chief and vice-president of “Christianity Today” Media Group.

Mohler did not sign the letter.

(read more)

See also:
Christian Scholars Apologize for Crusades (Islam Online, 27 Nov 07)

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