Wednesday, April 02, 2008

A Response to "A Common Word Between Us and You"

In October 138 Muslim scholars released a document entitled A Common Word Between Us and You calling for peaceful coexistence and mutual understanding. In response scholars at Yale Divinity School's Center for Faith and Culture drafted a response Loving God and Neighbor Together which was endorsed by a number of Christian leaders. Many, including myself, found the response misguided and unworthy of support. In the weeks that followed, some of the signatories, realizing their error, withdrew their support or expressed regrets that they had signed it. Some admitted that they had not read the statement carefully enough. Others defended their actions, admitting that the response was not what it could have been, but it was well-intentioned.

Good intentions aside, the need for a more adequate response by evangelical Christians was recognized by the International Institute for Religious Freedom (IIRF), of which I am part. Led by Dr. Thomas Schirrmacher, we wrestled for several weeks to come up with a response that we believed maintained a biblical balance between being gracious to the authors of the Common Word but also uncompromising in our commitment to the truth of Christ. While undoubtedly imperfect, I do believe that it is a significant improvement over the Yale response.

This week, the World Evangelical Alliance released the result of our work entitled We Too Want to Live in Love, Peace, Freedom and Justice. You can download a copy by clicking here.

No comments: