“So skilled is error at imitating truth that the two are constantly being mistaken for each other. It takes a sharp eye these days to know which brother is Cain and which Abel.” – A W Tozer
Recently, Larycia Hawkins, a professor at Wheaton College was placed on an administrative leave following a theological claim wholly inconsistent with the school’s Statement of Faith that affirms the belief in God as the Trinity and Jesus Christ as God and man. Her claim? That Christians and Muslims worship the same God. Any casual, even incomplete observation of Islam clearly shows that this is not only rejected by Muslims, but it is a source of apostasy.
She then asserted that she identifies with Muslims – particularly this time of year as we celebrate the birth Christ incarnate and therefor she is wearing the hijab as a symbol of her solidarity and shared identification with Muslims.
An interesting article appearing online from Christian Post is illuminating in one rather disappointing aspect: it seems there is some debate among theologians that her statement may be true, quoting one evangelical theologian, Scot McDonald, who says essentially that it would depend on what one means by “same.”
Really? This is the kind talk that could easily give theologians a bad name.
This may be a very important clue to a number of troubles occupying this generation of Christians (and at least the two or three previous) by underscoring R C Sproul’s’ belief that we are living in the most un-intellectual period in the history of Western civilization. In other words, Christians – even those who teach in an Evangelical Christian college are lacking in real intellectual probity and discernment. This is a very grave mistake for this generation in particular to be making
But what really makes this a very important news story is the possibility that Wheaton College – the school that counts among their alumni Rev. Billy Graham and whose motto reads: “Christo et Regno Ejus (“For Christ and His Kingdom”) is somehow supposed to overlook the fact that one of their teaching professors – who holds a doctorate mind you – is confused about the most basic differences between Islam and Christianity.
All Christians, that is, anyone who declares that Jesus Christ is Lord, must know this statement removes any and all debate about the total incompatibility in thinking God and Allah are the same. Christians by definition, believe Jesus Christ exists eternally and is a member of the Godhead in the Trinity, who declared without any equivocation that He is God saying, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6.
If Muslims are outraged with the idea that Jesus is God and are willing ultimately to kill anyone who makes the claim, I would then suppose it is not a stretch to think that true Christians must be willing to die for it. Does it get any more essential than that?
Once again, Dr. Albert Mohler who produces and narrates The Daily Briefing, clearly makes the case in the first segment of his December 18th broadcast under the banner: “Wheaton controversy irreducibly theological: one cannot know the living God and deny his Son”. The transcript and sound file may be found here, and I strongly recommend reading or listening to it.
Wheaton College has every right and responsibility to suspend Dr. Hawkins, which they did. Moreover, every student of hers needs to reflect on who she really is and what she believes before racing to her defense. Even Miroslav Volf who Professor Hawkins sites as her inspiration for her stance had to admit, Hawkins signed Wheaton’s Statement of Belief. (Volf, by the way, is the controversial Croatian theologian who posits the same belief as Hawkins that God and Allah are essentially the same.)
Do we believe what we declare or not? If so, why should we allow someone who doesn’t teach our students about the most essential tenet of our faith and fidelity?
Ask this question: How does your church equip the new believer and your young students? The day is soon coming when the debate will be settled for all eternity. Make no mistake: There is only one right answer to the question of who Muslims and Christians worship as God. Muslims make no pretense about the god they worship and have no patience with anyone who does not agree with them when they claim there is only one God – and he is Allah.
What do you say?