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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

More on "A Common Word..."

About six weeks ago, I posted an article about the A Common Word Between Us and You (a document written by 138 Moslem scholars) and the response by many Evangelicals.

While I am no expert in Islam, what I have studied seemed in contrast to the tone of the document. And what I know about Christianity appeared in contrast to the letter written in response. So, I was thankful to see the responses from:

John Piper


and

Al Mohler

________________________________________________________________
Both men clearly articulated their concerns graciously but firmly (Mohler even responds to Brian McLaren's rebuke of Mohler's perspective). Yet, what I truly appreciated is that both men understand the need for missiology, but start with theology...knowing that without proper theology, the missiology is pointless.

I especially appreciated Mohler's reminder from John 8 that Jesus claims that missing Him is missing God. He also reminds us that to claim Islam and a Judaism that denies Christ are "Abrahamic Faiths" is to misunderstand the nature of Abraham's faith. (My Dial-up Brethren will just have to trust me...each is worth the look/listen.)

3 Comments:

  • At 2:28 PM, Blogger Zach Doppelt said…

    Danny,

    I agree with Piper's response. The challenge; however, is that he starts with assumptions that are not universally held. Assumptions concerning current evangelical Christian belief. Assumptions about the authority of scripture, Assumptions on what constitutes christianity in general... He said things about the those who signed the document, giving them the benefit of the doubt, that may not be entirely true.

    My statement here is not out of judgment per se, but more out of an understanding that evangelical Christians do not agree on fundamental doctrines. And, against what people say, there is progressively more disunity on these doctrines in the Christian church now than ever ...

    We are in a tough spot...

     
  • At 1:42 PM, Blogger Darby Livingston said…

    I agree with Zach. And because "there is progressively more disunity on these doctrines in the Christian church now" we need to continually go through the tedious, yet necessary, task of crystal clear definition and defense. I found some of the names on the response disturbing, not because they disagree with Piper's theology (they all don't). It seems they might lack his discernment.

     
  • At 10:26 AM, Blogger Zach Doppelt said…

    I think Darby's statements are getting to the heart of the issue. Why are we as believers becoming more careless in our labor in the scripture. Why are we as believers so afraid of looking judgmental, that we step over the line of discernment. It is not to say that we must be obnoxiously dogmatic, but we must be unashamedly reverent in approaching the very words God handed down to us. If we do that, then we undoubtedly will fear two extremes: adding words to God's mouth He never intended, and watering down a message He desired His people to understand. And yes, a little fear doesn't hurt once in awhile!! I should put some of this on my own blog!

     

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