Thursday, November 29, 2007

Abandoning the Gospel for "World Peace" Part I

In this first of a series of posts, I will examine in depth the statements and claims in the recently released letter, "A Christian Response to 'A Common Word Between Us and You.'" I will refer to this as the "Christian Response" letter for simplicity.

In this letter, Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, R0bert Schuller, Brian MacLaren, and numerous other "Christian leaders" attempt to achieve a "dialogue" based on what they claim is a "common ground" between Christianity and Islam.

Sounds great, right? Well, the problem is that in this letter, central Christian doctrines about the true nature of God, His wrath and His love, the divinity of Jesus Christ, and the truth of the Gospel are ignored, shortchanged, or obscured.

So where's the outrage?

One of the most troubling things about this letter is the fact that Dr. Duane Litfin signed it as President of Wheaton College. I wonder if Dr. Litfin, who is a member of College Church in Wheaton and has been for a number of years, was present in the congregation on Sunday, January 16, 2002 when Kent Hughes, Senior Pastor of College Church, preached the sermon entitled, "Set Apart to Save: Pluralism."

Here is a key excerpt from that sermon:

...while the followers of Mohammed may display various levels of human goodness, which they do, and human evil, which they do, their religion itself rejects the divinity of Christ and His substitutionary atonement, and thus bases its theology on a wicked blasphemy. Such a view rides on evil, and such a view will be judged by God.

No one could possibly have walked away from this sermon thinking that Christians and Muslims worship "the same God." Yet, the letter Dr. Litfin signed reads from beginning to end as if, in fact, they do. (more on this point later)

But my first question is, what part of Pastor Hughes' sermon did Dr. Litfin not understand? Did he disagree and walk out? Or has he just changed his mind recently?

Should he not be disciplined by the elders of College Church?

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