Chrislam?

Rick Warren, megachurch pastor and author of the Purpose Driven Life, is working to reconcile evangelicals and Muslims:

The Rev. Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest and one of America’s most influential Christian leaders, has embarked on an effort to heal divisions between evangelical Christians and Muslims by partnering with Southern California mosques and proposing a set of theological principles that includes acknowledging that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.

The effort, informally dubbed King’s Way, caps years of outreach between Warren and Muslims. Warren has broken Ramadan fasts at a Mission Viejo mosque, met Muslim leaders abroad and addressed 8,000 Muslims at a national convention in Washington D.C.

Saddleback worshippers have invited Muslims to Christmas dinner and played interfaith soccer at a picnic in Irvine attended by more than 300 people. (The game pitted pastors and imams against teens from both faiths. The teens won.)

The effort by a prominent Christian leader to bridge what polls show is a deep rift between Muslims and evangelical Christians culminated in December at a dinner at Saddleback attended by 300 Muslims and members of Saddleback’s congregation.

At the dinner, Abraham Meulenberg, a Saddleback pastor in charge of interfaith outreach, and Jihad Turk, director of religious affairs at a mosque in Los Angeles, introduced King’s Way as “a path to end the 1,400 years of misunderstanding between Muslims and Christians.”

The men presented a document they co-authored outlining points of agreement between Islam and Christianity. The document affirms that Christians and Muslims believe in “one God” and share two central commandments: “love of God” and “love of neighbor.” The document also commits both faiths to three goals: Making friends with one another, building peace and working on shared social service projects. The document quotes side-by-side verses from the Bible and the Koran to illustrate its claims.

“We agreed we wouldn’t try to evangelize each other,” said Turk. “We’d witness to each other but it would be out of ‘Love Thy Neighbor,’ not focused on conversion.” . . .

Warren has faced criticism from some evangelicals for his outreach to Muslims. Late last year, he issued a statement flatly denying rumors that he promulgates what critics term “Chrislam,” a merging of Islam and Christianity.

The “rumor is 100 percent false,” Warren wrote at Pastors.com, a website he founded that provides practical advice to church leaders. “My life and ministry are built on the truth that Jesus is the only way, and our inerrant Bible is our only true authority.”

via Rick Warren builds bridge to Muslims | muslims, warren, saddleback – Life – The Orange County Register.

Getting along, being kind to one another, making friends–that’s fine.  But why come up with a joint theological statement like that?  If Muslims and Christians have the same God, isn’t that “Chrislam”?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Mark

    I don’t see how. There’s no joint affirmation of Christ.

    Jews also affirm they worship the God of Abraham, the only one, true God. They don’t affirm Christ — in fact, Muslims have better things to say about Jesus than do Jews — yet we don’t insist Jews worship a different god.

  • Mark

    I don’t see how. There’s no joint affirmation of Christ.

    Jews also affirm they worship the God of Abraham, the only one, true God. They don’t affirm Christ — in fact, Muslims have better things to say about Jesus than do Jews — yet we don’t insist Jews worship a different god.

  • Pete

    “We’d witness to each other but it would be out of ‘Love Thy Neighbor,’ not focused on conversion.”

    ??????????

  • Pete

    “We’d witness to each other but it would be out of ‘Love Thy Neighbor,’ not focused on conversion.”

    ??????????

  • larry

    The key lays in what Luther said, “…then you must know that there is no other God than this Man Jesus Christ”
    And:
    “[T]rue Christian theology . . . does not present God to us in His majesty, as Moses and other teachings do, but Christ born of the Virgin as our Mediator and High Priest. Therefore when we are embattled against the Law, sin, and death in the presence of God, nothing is more dangerous than to stray into heaven with our idle speculations, there to investigate God in His incomprehensible power, wisdom, and majesty, to ask how He created the world and how He governs it. If you attempt to comprehend God this way and want to make atonement to Him apart from Christ the Mediator, making your works, fasts, cowl, and tonsure the mediation between Him and yourself, you will inevitably fall, as Lucifer did, and in horrible despair lose God and everything.”

    –Martin Luther, Lectures on Galatians: Chapters 1-4

    That’s where all speculation leads and Warren is not surprising. I was pointing this out to my family during catechism studies, what does it mean that Christ is the light of the world, that Word of God is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path, that Christ is the light that shines into the deep darkness of the world and that as Peter says the light has shown into the darkness, and likewise what is the darkness of the world, the world wisdom, the spiritual powers of darkness? The darkness is speculation away from the narrow Word. As I explained to them the Word is like a light beam, it shines in the darkness, where it shines there is light, where it does not there is only darkness and in the darkness the Christian does not go or consider. The worldly wisdom and darkness are one and the same, all variations of speculation as opposed to revelation. Faith hears the light and thus sees the lighted Word, speculation whispers from the darkness, “hath God said really”, “what has God said”, “what about X”. The light speaks clearly, “he who is baptized and believes is saved”, “this baptism saves you”, “this is my body/blood…given/shed…for you for the forgiveness of your sins”, etc…These are Christ/Word/Light shining into the darkness, penetrating it, breaking in upon it and around the beamed light is darkness. Darkness whispers from the corners of the darkness, “but what about all those that don’t get saved”, “but what about those that fall away”, “how can water do such things”, “how can God be in bread and wine”, “how can God be three in one”, “how can God communicate His attributes to His Human body”, “how can Mary be the Mother of God”.

    Thus, on one hand light shines forth into the darkness (fallen human reason/speculations) and on the other the darkness perceives it not nor can it. The Christian faith stays with the revelation, the Light (the Word, Christ, the revealed God). Great minded men speculate and are led astray away from the light, the powers of this world rule the darkness and bind men’s minds from the light.

    These is the reason Lutheran’s have always said quoting Scripture, “the Word of the Lord Endures Forever (VDMA)”. As Luther points out revelation, not reason, leads one through Scripture. Reason tends to pause and be offended at the points of revelation as it did from the fall forward.

    Thus, doctrine always matters or one gets situations like this.

  • larry

    The key lays in what Luther said, “…then you must know that there is no other God than this Man Jesus Christ”
    And:
    “[T]rue Christian theology . . . does not present God to us in His majesty, as Moses and other teachings do, but Christ born of the Virgin as our Mediator and High Priest. Therefore when we are embattled against the Law, sin, and death in the presence of God, nothing is more dangerous than to stray into heaven with our idle speculations, there to investigate God in His incomprehensible power, wisdom, and majesty, to ask how He created the world and how He governs it. If you attempt to comprehend God this way and want to make atonement to Him apart from Christ the Mediator, making your works, fasts, cowl, and tonsure the mediation between Him and yourself, you will inevitably fall, as Lucifer did, and in horrible despair lose God and everything.”

    –Martin Luther, Lectures on Galatians: Chapters 1-4

    That’s where all speculation leads and Warren is not surprising. I was pointing this out to my family during catechism studies, what does it mean that Christ is the light of the world, that Word of God is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path, that Christ is the light that shines into the deep darkness of the world and that as Peter says the light has shown into the darkness, and likewise what is the darkness of the world, the world wisdom, the spiritual powers of darkness? The darkness is speculation away from the narrow Word. As I explained to them the Word is like a light beam, it shines in the darkness, where it shines there is light, where it does not there is only darkness and in the darkness the Christian does not go or consider. The worldly wisdom and darkness are one and the same, all variations of speculation as opposed to revelation. Faith hears the light and thus sees the lighted Word, speculation whispers from the darkness, “hath God said really”, “what has God said”, “what about X”. The light speaks clearly, “he who is baptized and believes is saved”, “this baptism saves you”, “this is my body/blood…given/shed…for you for the forgiveness of your sins”, etc…These are Christ/Word/Light shining into the darkness, penetrating it, breaking in upon it and around the beamed light is darkness. Darkness whispers from the corners of the darkness, “but what about all those that don’t get saved”, “but what about those that fall away”, “how can water do such things”, “how can God be in bread and wine”, “how can God be three in one”, “how can God communicate His attributes to His Human body”, “how can Mary be the Mother of God”.

    Thus, on one hand light shines forth into the darkness (fallen human reason/speculations) and on the other the darkness perceives it not nor can it. The Christian faith stays with the revelation, the Light (the Word, Christ, the revealed God). Great minded men speculate and are led astray away from the light, the powers of this world rule the darkness and bind men’s minds from the light.

    These is the reason Lutheran’s have always said quoting Scripture, “the Word of the Lord Endures Forever (VDMA)”. As Luther points out revelation, not reason, leads one through Scripture. Reason tends to pause and be offended at the points of revelation as it did from the fall forward.

    Thus, doctrine always matters or one gets situations like this.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    I insist that Jews are worshipping a different God.

    God revealed Himself in Christ Jesus. No Christ…no God. Not the One that we know, anyway.

    Hopefully God will lift the blinds from their eyes one day.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    I insist that Jews are worshipping a different God.

    God revealed Himself in Christ Jesus. No Christ…no God. Not the One that we know, anyway.

    Hopefully God will lift the blinds from their eyes one day.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    “Apart from Jesus Christ, God might as well be the devil.”

    (not sure who said it…but they are spot on)

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    “Apart from Jesus Christ, God might as well be the devil.”

    (not sure who said it…but they are spot on)

  • TE Schroeder

    They introduced the King’s Way as “a path to end the 1,400 years of misunderstanding between Muslims and Christians”? It seems to me that they have understood each other pretty well for 1,400 years, which is why they have not been united. Their agreements are not producing clarity; both sides are denying precisely what they believe for the sake of getting along.

    I don’t see how anyone can take Rick Warren seriously when he insists, “My life and ministry are built on the truth that Jesus is the only way, and our inerrant Bible is our only true authority.” He concedes both of these truths for the sake of this outreach.

    And outreach which has no intention on conversion? What’s the point? I don’t think Jesus quite said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation … you know, just to give them something to think about, to build bridges, and maybe to get to understand each other better. There’s no real urge to get them into the kingdom.”

    One, or both, of these groups is being disingenuous.

  • TE Schroeder

    They introduced the King’s Way as “a path to end the 1,400 years of misunderstanding between Muslims and Christians”? It seems to me that they have understood each other pretty well for 1,400 years, which is why they have not been united. Their agreements are not producing clarity; both sides are denying precisely what they believe for the sake of getting along.

    I don’t see how anyone can take Rick Warren seriously when he insists, “My life and ministry are built on the truth that Jesus is the only way, and our inerrant Bible is our only true authority.” He concedes both of these truths for the sake of this outreach.

    And outreach which has no intention on conversion? What’s the point? I don’t think Jesus quite said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation … you know, just to give them something to think about, to build bridges, and maybe to get to understand each other better. There’s no real urge to get them into the kingdom.”

    One, or both, of these groups is being disingenuous.

  • Booklover

    There has always been a dreadful dearth of knowledge of Church history and Church doctrine amongst megachurches.

    There you go.

  • Booklover

    There has always been a dreadful dearth of knowledge of Church history and Church doctrine amongst megachurches.

    There you go.

  • Abby

    This last weekend I heard Dr. Adam Francisco, Associate Professor of History at Concordia, Irvine CA on “Apologetics and the Challenge of Islam.” He offered three key points for witnessing to Muslims: 1) Build rapport, 2) Jesus: the focus, 3) Jesus: the facts. And he explained how to use these to share the Gospel with Muslims. Really excellent presentation. He also highly recommends a set of DVDs called “Truth Unlocked: Keys to Reaching Your Muslim Neighbor.” This comes with guide book and workbooks as well. (Contact info: tobiascom.com and/or info@tobiascom.com)

    What Rick Warren is doing could come under Adam’s first point: building rapport. However, if there is no intentional proclamation of the Gospel how can it be called “outreach?” (Or “mission”?) I have had this discussion with a Personnel Director of a Mission Dept. asking how someone can be called a “missionary” who is only on the field as an accountant? And this person does not present the Gospel verbally as a pastor or teacher would. The same is true of building projects, contractors, business managers, etc. These are all necessary functions, but if they are not “proclaiming” how can they be labelled “missionary?” It seemed to me that this was used to bump up the numbers of missionaries sent. I totally agree with relief and mercy projects. It seems to me whatever project we are engaged in should include an intentional preaching/teaching ministry.

    A joint theological statement formed by Rick Warren with the Muslims would seem to be very confusing to the Muslims. It softens the edge too much and may make the Muslims feel that we are validating their false doctrines. This is not different than pulpit fellowship between churches with widely variant doctrinal beliefs–such as non belief in the Trinity or the Real Presence in Holy Communion as opposed to only being a symbol.

    I totally agree with Dr. Franisco’s approach. Find ways to build friendship and relationship but including intentional presentation of the Gospel. This requires some learning on our part. At this website, go to page 3 and you will find several lessons taught by Dr. Francisco on this subject: http://vimeo.com/channels/faithcapo

    Maybe someday Dr. Francisco could locate the funding and make some teaching videos for our congregations. Because we are all going to have or now have Muslim neighbors. And we should not be afraid of them. For Christ died for them too. Conversions are hard, but they do happen.

  • Abby

    This last weekend I heard Dr. Adam Francisco, Associate Professor of History at Concordia, Irvine CA on “Apologetics and the Challenge of Islam.” He offered three key points for witnessing to Muslims: 1) Build rapport, 2) Jesus: the focus, 3) Jesus: the facts. And he explained how to use these to share the Gospel with Muslims. Really excellent presentation. He also highly recommends a set of DVDs called “Truth Unlocked: Keys to Reaching Your Muslim Neighbor.” This comes with guide book and workbooks as well. (Contact info: tobiascom.com and/or info@tobiascom.com)

    What Rick Warren is doing could come under Adam’s first point: building rapport. However, if there is no intentional proclamation of the Gospel how can it be called “outreach?” (Or “mission”?) I have had this discussion with a Personnel Director of a Mission Dept. asking how someone can be called a “missionary” who is only on the field as an accountant? And this person does not present the Gospel verbally as a pastor or teacher would. The same is true of building projects, contractors, business managers, etc. These are all necessary functions, but if they are not “proclaiming” how can they be labelled “missionary?” It seemed to me that this was used to bump up the numbers of missionaries sent. I totally agree with relief and mercy projects. It seems to me whatever project we are engaged in should include an intentional preaching/teaching ministry.

    A joint theological statement formed by Rick Warren with the Muslims would seem to be very confusing to the Muslims. It softens the edge too much and may make the Muslims feel that we are validating their false doctrines. This is not different than pulpit fellowship between churches with widely variant doctrinal beliefs–such as non belief in the Trinity or the Real Presence in Holy Communion as opposed to only being a symbol.

    I totally agree with Dr. Franisco’s approach. Find ways to build friendship and relationship but including intentional presentation of the Gospel. This requires some learning on our part. At this website, go to page 3 and you will find several lessons taught by Dr. Francisco on this subject: http://vimeo.com/channels/faithcapo

    Maybe someday Dr. Francisco could locate the funding and make some teaching videos for our congregations. Because we are all going to have or now have Muslim neighbors. And we should not be afraid of them. For Christ died for them too. Conversions are hard, but they do happen.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Actually, I would argue that respect of another faith would entail the respect of their distinctives, and not an attept at blurring the differences. The latter is disrespectful, imho.

    I myself would encourage what Gene calls “Getting along, being kind to one another, making friends”. But not fuzzy theology. Whereas there is certainly a shared historical background, that does not imply that Christians, Jews and Moslems have the same view of God, and thus they cannot worship Him together. Wether we call that worshipp a different God, or worshipping a false version of God is neither here nor there. But we cannot gloss over the fact that we confess a Trinitarian Deity, while both Jews and Moslems hold that notion in contempt. We can respect them, but we cannot share theologies.

    But I would again caution against the knee-jerk reaction that says that because we do not worship the same God, aggression is in order. Never.

    This is also the argument I would use against the fuzzy New Agers in the West. They willy nilly grab notions from Hinduism and Buddhism etc, and make up stuff, primarily for monetary gain. Not a good thing either.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Actually, I would argue that respect of another faith would entail the respect of their distinctives, and not an attept at blurring the differences. The latter is disrespectful, imho.

    I myself would encourage what Gene calls “Getting along, being kind to one another, making friends”. But not fuzzy theology. Whereas there is certainly a shared historical background, that does not imply that Christians, Jews and Moslems have the same view of God, and thus they cannot worship Him together. Wether we call that worshipp a different God, or worshipping a false version of God is neither here nor there. But we cannot gloss over the fact that we confess a Trinitarian Deity, while both Jews and Moslems hold that notion in contempt. We can respect them, but we cannot share theologies.

    But I would again caution against the knee-jerk reaction that says that because we do not worship the same God, aggression is in order. Never.

    This is also the argument I would use against the fuzzy New Agers in the West. They willy nilly grab notions from Hinduism and Buddhism etc, and make up stuff, primarily for monetary gain. Not a good thing either.

  • Joe

    Mark @ 1 “yet we don’t insist Jews worship a different god.”

    Of course we do.

    KK @ 9 – I completely agree that you cannot respectfully dialog with someone of another faith without acknowledging the points of disagreement. I would add that not only is it disrespectful to try to gloss over the differences, it is ineffective. You can’t work toward a true understanding of each other if you are not willing to actually acknowledge each other’s beliefs.

  • Joe

    Mark @ 1 “yet we don’t insist Jews worship a different god.”

    Of course we do.

    KK @ 9 – I completely agree that you cannot respectfully dialog with someone of another faith without acknowledging the points of disagreement. I would add that not only is it disrespectful to try to gloss over the differences, it is ineffective. You can’t work toward a true understanding of each other if you are not willing to actually acknowledge each other’s beliefs.

  • http://Www.Toddstadler.com tODD

    If Muslims and Christians have the same God…

    Now hold on a second. Did Warren actually say that?

    Here’s how the OC Register reporter summarized his claim in the lede:

    …proposing a set of theological principles that includes acknowledging that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.

    But if you look at the apparently relevant details in the article, here is what you see:

    The men presented a document they co-authored outlining points of agreement between Islam and Christianity. The document affirms that Christians and Muslims believe in “one God”…

    Maybe I’m wrong, but it appears to me that the reporter is the confused one here. He is mistaking an acknowledgment that both Islam and Christianity are monotheistic faiths as some sort of statement that they both worship the same god.

    That is, he misunderstands the document’s use of the phrase “one God”. I don’t see, at least in the context of the article, a confession that Christians and Muslims worship the same “one God”. Rather, they’re just saying that they each worship “one God”. There’s a difference.

    Admittedly, for many Muslims, it’s somewhat of a step forward merely to admit that Christians are monotheists.

    Still, given Warren’s explicit claim in the article that “Jesus is the only way”, it seems likely to me that the confusion here lies with the journalist, not Mr. Warren and Mr. Turk.

  • http://Www.Toddstadler.com tODD

    If Muslims and Christians have the same God…

    Now hold on a second. Did Warren actually say that?

    Here’s how the OC Register reporter summarized his claim in the lede:

    …proposing a set of theological principles that includes acknowledging that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.

    But if you look at the apparently relevant details in the article, here is what you see:

    The men presented a document they co-authored outlining points of agreement between Islam and Christianity. The document affirms that Christians and Muslims believe in “one God”…

    Maybe I’m wrong, but it appears to me that the reporter is the confused one here. He is mistaking an acknowledgment that both Islam and Christianity are monotheistic faiths as some sort of statement that they both worship the same god.

    That is, he misunderstands the document’s use of the phrase “one God”. I don’t see, at least in the context of the article, a confession that Christians and Muslims worship the same “one God”. Rather, they’re just saying that they each worship “one God”. There’s a difference.

    Admittedly, for many Muslims, it’s somewhat of a step forward merely to admit that Christians are monotheists.

    Still, given Warren’s explicit claim in the article that “Jesus is the only way”, it seems likely to me that the confusion here lies with the journalist, not Mr. Warren and Mr. Turk.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Todd @ 11
    Totally agreed. I think this is a tempest in a teapot.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Todd @ 11
    Totally agreed. I think this is a tempest in a teapot.

  • Jon

    Tempest perhaps, but Pastor Rick really needs to clarify what’s going on here.

  • Jon

    Tempest perhaps, but Pastor Rick really needs to clarify what’s going on here.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    Chris Rosebrough did a show on this topic. I have only listened to part of it so I will let him speak for himself.

    http://0352182.netsolhost.com/F4F022712.mp3

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    Chris Rosebrough did a show on this topic. I have only listened to part of it so I will let him speak for himself.

    http://0352182.netsolhost.com/F4F022712.mp3

  • kerner

    Joe, You said @10:

    “Mark @ 1 “yet we don’t insist Jews worship a different god.”

    Of course we do. ”

    Well, first of all, whadda you mean “we” kemo sabe?

    Maybe many Christians make that distinction, but as a country, I’m not sure of that at all. I hear about our religious heritage being “Judeo-Christian” all the time. In our desire to teach religious tolerance in the left hand kingdom (which is absolutely, I believe, the right thing to do) I also believe that we have pretty much taugfht most Americans that Jews and Christians worship the same God, and that the differences between Christianity and Judaism are trivial, distinctions without differences. So, if the Rick Warren program continues, will we be a Judeo-Islamo-Christian culture? Would that be a bad thing?

    I bring this up not because I want to foster disrespect for Jews or Muslims, but because I struggle with how to behave in this increasingly pluralist culture. I have gone to a Jewish temple for the funeral of a friend. A Muslim friend attended the funeral of my father. When one of his relatives dies, do I attend the funeral at his mosque? I think most of us would not feel too uncomfortable at a Jerwish funeral or wedding, but would have a harder time going to a mosque for any reason.

    And at any funeral not conducted by Christians, just what is there to say to the survivors? Weddings are easier, I suppose. But we always come back to the problem of having to find a way to say:

    1. I respect you.
    2. I respect your culture and many of the things it has accomplished.
    3. I respect your right to practice a religion that I disagree with, but
    4. On the other hand, respectfully, that religion is going to send you, and everyone of your ancestors, and everyone you teach it to, straight to Hell. Have a nice day.

    Easier said than done.

  • kerner

    Joe, You said @10:

    “Mark @ 1 “yet we don’t insist Jews worship a different god.”

    Of course we do. ”

    Well, first of all, whadda you mean “we” kemo sabe?

    Maybe many Christians make that distinction, but as a country, I’m not sure of that at all. I hear about our religious heritage being “Judeo-Christian” all the time. In our desire to teach religious tolerance in the left hand kingdom (which is absolutely, I believe, the right thing to do) I also believe that we have pretty much taugfht most Americans that Jews and Christians worship the same God, and that the differences between Christianity and Judaism are trivial, distinctions without differences. So, if the Rick Warren program continues, will we be a Judeo-Islamo-Christian culture? Would that be a bad thing?

    I bring this up not because I want to foster disrespect for Jews or Muslims, but because I struggle with how to behave in this increasingly pluralist culture. I have gone to a Jewish temple for the funeral of a friend. A Muslim friend attended the funeral of my father. When one of his relatives dies, do I attend the funeral at his mosque? I think most of us would not feel too uncomfortable at a Jerwish funeral or wedding, but would have a harder time going to a mosque for any reason.

    And at any funeral not conducted by Christians, just what is there to say to the survivors? Weddings are easier, I suppose. But we always come back to the problem of having to find a way to say:

    1. I respect you.
    2. I respect your culture and many of the things it has accomplished.
    3. I respect your right to practice a religion that I disagree with, but
    4. On the other hand, respectfully, that religion is going to send you, and everyone of your ancestors, and everyone you teach it to, straight to Hell. Have a nice day.

    Easier said than done.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Not having read the primary source, I said what I said. However, I think Todd might well be on to something here.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Not having read the primary source, I said what I said. However, I think Todd might well be on to something here.

  • Jerry

    The only question is which Rick Warren…

  • Jerry

    The only question is which Rick Warren…

  • http://www.jkjonesthinks.blogspot.com J. K. Jones

    Is there any place where Rick W. has directly commented on the subject?

    I would like to get the story ‘straight from the hourse’s mouth.’ I agree with tODD that it is quite possible that the journalist was confused.

    There are many (!) things that Warren can be criticized for, but we must be careful that our criticism is accurate.

  • http://www.jkjonesthinks.blogspot.com J. K. Jones

    Is there any place where Rick W. has directly commented on the subject?

    I would like to get the story ‘straight from the hourse’s mouth.’ I agree with tODD that it is quite possible that the journalist was confused.

    There are many (!) things that Warren can be criticized for, but we must be careful that our criticism is accurate.

  • Bob

    Naw, I’d rather see us slaughtering each other.

    I like what Rick’s doing.

  • Bob

    Naw, I’d rather see us slaughtering each other.

    I like what Rick’s doing.

  • Joe

    Kerner – by “we” I mean the church.

    “So, if the Rick Warren program continues, will we be a Judeo-Islamo-Christian culture? Would that be a bad thing?”

    Maybe – is our culture compatible with Islamic cultures, will that culture conform at all to ours? I don’t know. Some Muslims seem to have little difficulty living here. Others have a difficult time. I am sure we’ll probably find out in the not too distant future. Given the heavy emphasis on theocracy in many Islamic cultures, some of the Tony Perkins crowd might find an unsuspecting ally in the Muslim community. :)

    “When one of his relatives dies, do I attend the funeral at his mosque?”
    Why wouldn’t you? I fail to see what this has to do with Rick Warren’s (potential) syncratism. Attending a funeral service does not implicate your belief system. You go for your friend, to support him. You can save your discussion of their false beliefs for a more appropriate time. You don’t have to have your 4 point discussion with him in the midst of his grief. Perhaps in grief, an opportunity will present itself, but you don’t have to walk into the mosque with a placard that says, “I’m sorry for your lose, but you’re going to hell.” I would also suspect that your Muslim friend would not expect you to validate his belief system at the funeral. I would image he would turn to his imam for guidance, much the way you would look to your pastor and not your Muslim friend.

  • Joe

    Kerner – by “we” I mean the church.

    “So, if the Rick Warren program continues, will we be a Judeo-Islamo-Christian culture? Would that be a bad thing?”

    Maybe – is our culture compatible with Islamic cultures, will that culture conform at all to ours? I don’t know. Some Muslims seem to have little difficulty living here. Others have a difficult time. I am sure we’ll probably find out in the not too distant future. Given the heavy emphasis on theocracy in many Islamic cultures, some of the Tony Perkins crowd might find an unsuspecting ally in the Muslim community. :)

    “When one of his relatives dies, do I attend the funeral at his mosque?”
    Why wouldn’t you? I fail to see what this has to do with Rick Warren’s (potential) syncratism. Attending a funeral service does not implicate your belief system. You go for your friend, to support him. You can save your discussion of their false beliefs for a more appropriate time. You don’t have to have your 4 point discussion with him in the midst of his grief. Perhaps in grief, an opportunity will present itself, but you don’t have to walk into the mosque with a placard that says, “I’m sorry for your lose, but you’re going to hell.” I would also suspect that your Muslim friend would not expect you to validate his belief system at the funeral. I would image he would turn to his imam for guidance, much the way you would look to your pastor and not your Muslim friend.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    “I know of no god but the One that suckled at Mary’s breast.” Any one who denies Jesus is God, be they Jew, Muslim or hindu, denies my God, and worships another. It’s that simple. Jesus or nothing.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    “I know of no god but the One that suckled at Mary’s breast.” Any one who denies Jesus is God, be they Jew, Muslim or hindu, denies my God, and worships another. It’s that simple. Jesus or nothing.

  • –helen

    Kerner @ 15
    I hear about our religious heritage being “Judeo-Christian” all the time.

    I read that in the papers. I don’t hear it in my Bible class, where I am taught that believers in Christ are the new Israel (which includes as many Jews as believe in Him).

  • –helen

    Kerner @ 15
    I hear about our religious heritage being “Judeo-Christian” all the time.

    I read that in the papers. I don’t hear it in my Bible class, where I am taught that believers in Christ are the new Israel (which includes as many Jews as believe in Him).

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Interesting article on the use of the term”Judeo-Christian” over at wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judeo-Christian).

    Turns out that modern usage of the term originated in the US in the late thirties, and is essentially politcal in nature, with a resurgence in the 90′s Culture wars. It was first used either to describe a Jewish convert to Christianity, or as a negative view of shared aspects between Christianity and Judaism (Nietsczhe’s judenchristlich).

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Interesting article on the use of the term”Judeo-Christian” over at wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judeo-Christian).

    Turns out that modern usage of the term originated in the US in the late thirties, and is essentially politcal in nature, with a resurgence in the 90′s Culture wars. It was first used either to describe a Jewish convert to Christianity, or as a negative view of shared aspects between Christianity and Judaism (Nietsczhe’s judenchristlich).

  • DonS

    tODD @ 11 got it right. This thing has been flying around the Internet since the article published on Sunday, because of this confusion over the “same God” thing. The document actually says “one God”, i.e. both Islam and Christianity are monotheistic. It does not say or imply that we worship the same God.

    Tempest in a teapot, indeed.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 11 got it right. This thing has been flying around the Internet since the article published on Sunday, because of this confusion over the “same God” thing. The document actually says “one God”, i.e. both Islam and Christianity are monotheistic. It does not say or imply that we worship the same God.

    Tempest in a teapot, indeed.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    What will determine whether or not Mr. Warren is acting wisely is how he will handle it when, in the middle of one of these “friendship encounters,” the issue of theology comes up, and particularly the gospel. If Warren and his people use it as an opportunity to springboard into Christ as being the only way, I will be the first to stand up and applaud him. But if Warren sidesteps it, or waters it down, then the man should re-evaluate whether or not he should be doing this.

    The problem I often see with friendship evangelism is that sometimes it stays at the “friendship” level and doesn’t move to the “evangelism” level for fear of being offensive. It makes the good the enemy of the best, and more often than not, when the unbeliever is offended by the gospel, the one sharing the gospel automatically presumes guilt on his part for “not being more effective,” forgetting that it is the Spirit of God, not man’s autonomous decision, that regenerates the heart of an unbeliever.

    BTW, interesting that this is brought up at this time; R.C. Sproul and Abdul Saleed have been doing a series on Christianity and Islam for the past few days.

    One last thing, regarding the “one God/same God” point. I have no problem with the phrase “one God” provided it is made perfectly clear, without assumption, that Allah is not the God of the Bible (including Jesus Christ as the second Person of the Trinity)

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    What will determine whether or not Mr. Warren is acting wisely is how he will handle it when, in the middle of one of these “friendship encounters,” the issue of theology comes up, and particularly the gospel. If Warren and his people use it as an opportunity to springboard into Christ as being the only way, I will be the first to stand up and applaud him. But if Warren sidesteps it, or waters it down, then the man should re-evaluate whether or not he should be doing this.

    The problem I often see with friendship evangelism is that sometimes it stays at the “friendship” level and doesn’t move to the “evangelism” level for fear of being offensive. It makes the good the enemy of the best, and more often than not, when the unbeliever is offended by the gospel, the one sharing the gospel automatically presumes guilt on his part for “not being more effective,” forgetting that it is the Spirit of God, not man’s autonomous decision, that regenerates the heart of an unbeliever.

    BTW, interesting that this is brought up at this time; R.C. Sproul and Abdul Saleed have been doing a series on Christianity and Islam for the past few days.

    One last thing, regarding the “one God/same God” point. I have no problem with the phrase “one God” provided it is made perfectly clear, without assumption, that Allah is not the God of the Bible (including Jesus Christ as the second Person of the Trinity)

  • Leif H

    How long until we see Warren write “Purpose Driven Muslim” ? :)

  • Leif H

    How long until we see Warren write “Purpose Driven Muslim” ? :)

  • Orianna Laun

    Tempest in a teapot? Perhaps. Yes, it may be jumping to conclusions to say it is promoting a unified religion. However, one has to ask the hard question: Is this the end goal? Maybe Pastor Warren is merely reaching out to his neighbors. If so, fine. If it is a step on a path to “Chrislam,” then we all need to be wary. There are matters of Shariah Law and such which Christians cannot agree with, but must understand in order to understand Islam. Yes, the teaching is “love one’s neighbors.” What gets left behind is the definition of “neighbor.” A Christian definition is anyone for whom Christ has died (that is, any human). Not so in Islam. Infidels are not included. [By the way, I am not making this up off the top of my head--I know and have heard a professor who grew up under Shariah speak on this subject.] We need to be very wary.

  • Orianna Laun

    Tempest in a teapot? Perhaps. Yes, it may be jumping to conclusions to say it is promoting a unified religion. However, one has to ask the hard question: Is this the end goal? Maybe Pastor Warren is merely reaching out to his neighbors. If so, fine. If it is a step on a path to “Chrislam,” then we all need to be wary. There are matters of Shariah Law and such which Christians cannot agree with, but must understand in order to understand Islam. Yes, the teaching is “love one’s neighbors.” What gets left behind is the definition of “neighbor.” A Christian definition is anyone for whom Christ has died (that is, any human). Not so in Islam. Infidels are not included. [By the way, I am not making this up off the top of my head--I know and have heard a professor who grew up under Shariah speak on this subject.] We need to be very wary.

  • Grace

    This news should come as NO SURPRISE. The letter below is dated, Novemeber 27, 2007, just over four years ago.

    Below is a letter which was signed by many so called Christian leaders, among those who signed the letter:

    Brian D. McLaren, Author, Speaker, Activist – Emergent Church

    Tony Jones, National Coordinator, Emergent Village- which is part of the “Emergent Church” movement

    Rick Warren, Founder and Senior Pastor, Saddleback Church

    Robert Schuller, Founder, Crystal Cathedral and Hour of Power

    Khaleej Times Online

    Christian leaders ask for Muslim forgiveness
    (Wam)

    26 November 2007

    “ABU DHABI—Peaceful relations between Muslims and Christians stand as one of the central challenges of this century, according to leading Christian leaders.”

    Part of letter below which is in the article:

    “Muslims and Christians have not always shaken hands in friendship; their relations have sometimes been tense, even characterized by outright hostility. Since Jesus Christ says, “First take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbour’s eye” (Matthew 7:5), we want to begin by acknowledging that in the past (e.g. in the Crusades) and in the present (e.g. in excesses of the “war on terror”) many Christians have been guilty of sinning against our Muslim neighbours. Before we “shake your hand” in responding to your letter, we ask forgiveness of the All-Merciful One and of the Muslim community around the world.

    A Christian Muslim

    Read the rest, and the names of those who signed.

  • Grace

    This news should come as NO SURPRISE. The letter below is dated, Novemeber 27, 2007, just over four years ago.

    Below is a letter which was signed by many so called Christian leaders, among those who signed the letter:

    Brian D. McLaren, Author, Speaker, Activist – Emergent Church

    Tony Jones, National Coordinator, Emergent Village- which is part of the “Emergent Church” movement

    Rick Warren, Founder and Senior Pastor, Saddleback Church

    Robert Schuller, Founder, Crystal Cathedral and Hour of Power

    Khaleej Times Online

    Christian leaders ask for Muslim forgiveness
    (Wam)

    26 November 2007

    “ABU DHABI—Peaceful relations between Muslims and Christians stand as one of the central challenges of this century, according to leading Christian leaders.”

    Part of letter below which is in the article:

    “Muslims and Christians have not always shaken hands in friendship; their relations have sometimes been tense, even characterized by outright hostility. Since Jesus Christ says, “First take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbour’s eye” (Matthew 7:5), we want to begin by acknowledging that in the past (e.g. in the Crusades) and in the present (e.g. in excesses of the “war on terror”) many Christians have been guilty of sinning against our Muslim neighbours. Before we “shake your hand” in responding to your letter, we ask forgiveness of the All-Merciful One and of the Muslim community around the world.

    A Christian Muslim

    Read the rest, and the names of those who signed.

  • Grace

    The above post @ 28 should read:
    Christian leaders ask for Muslim forgiveness rather thaan “AChristian Muslim”

  • Grace

    The above post @ 28 should read:
    Christian leaders ask for Muslim forgiveness rather thaan “AChristian Muslim”

  • Bob

    Ah, Grace…always ready with a character assassination.

    Might do you good to read Luther’s Small Catechism, with his comments about speaking the best of a brother in Christ…not the worst, which you seem to specialize in.

  • Bob

    Ah, Grace…always ready with a character assassination.

    Might do you good to read Luther’s Small Catechism, with his comments about speaking the best of a brother in Christ…not the worst, which you seem to specialize in.

  • http://abitibibob.hubpages.com/ Bob Hunter

    Rick Warren has denied saying this, stating these were the words of the reporter. http://saddleback.com/blogs/newsandviews/news–views-030212/

  • http://abitibibob.hubpages.com/ Bob Hunter

    Rick Warren has denied saying this, stating these were the words of the reporter. http://saddleback.com/blogs/newsandviews/news–views-030212/

  • Grace

    Bob Hunter @ 31

    YOU WROTE: “Rick Warren has denied saying this, stating these were the words of the reporter”

    Then why did he sign the letter?

    Go back, and look at the letter. Check out the fifth and sixth lines at the bottom of those who SIGNED the letter, it reads, very clearly – - – - “Sojourners Rick Warren, Founder and Senior Pastor, Saddleback Church, and The Purpose Driven Life, Lake Forest, CA” – - – -

    Here is the LINK to the Letter again:
    http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2007/November/theuae_November688.xml&section=theuae

  • Grace

    Bob Hunter @ 31

    YOU WROTE: “Rick Warren has denied saying this, stating these were the words of the reporter”

    Then why did he sign the letter?

    Go back, and look at the letter. Check out the fifth and sixth lines at the bottom of those who SIGNED the letter, it reads, very clearly – - – - “Sojourners Rick Warren, Founder and Senior Pastor, Saddleback Church, and The Purpose Driven Life, Lake Forest, CA” – - – -

    Here is the LINK to the Letter again:
    http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2007/November/theuae_November688.xml&section=theuae

  • DonS

    Grace, if you read through the thread, you will see that the original post reported an Orange County Register article implying that Rick Warren claimed that Muslims and Christians worship the same God. That article was discredited, because it misinterpreted “One God” as “Same God”. Actually, all Warren stated was that both Christianity and Islam are monotheistic. Bob @ 31, was merely confirming that which a number of others of us already confirmed in the thread.

    The 2007 letter you referenced also does not say that Muslims and Christians worship the same God. I’m not sure why you think it does.

  • DonS

    Grace, if you read through the thread, you will see that the original post reported an Orange County Register article implying that Rick Warren claimed that Muslims and Christians worship the same God. That article was discredited, because it misinterpreted “One God” as “Same God”. Actually, all Warren stated was that both Christianity and Islam are monotheistic. Bob @ 31, was merely confirming that which a number of others of us already confirmed in the thread.

    The 2007 letter you referenced also does not say that Muslims and Christians worship the same God. I’m not sure why you think it does.

  • Grace

    DonS

    I realized just a short while ago, that Bob was speaking of the piece Veith posted to begin with, NOT the letter “Christian leaders ask for Muslim forgiveness” that was signed by many I posted, written in 2007.

    Sorry for the confusion.

  • Grace

    DonS

    I realized just a short while ago, that Bob was speaking of the piece Veith posted to begin with, NOT the letter “Christian leaders ask for Muslim forgiveness” that was signed by many I posted, written in 2007.

    Sorry for the confusion.

  • DonS

    No problem, Grace. Thanks for the clarification.

  • DonS

    No problem, Grace. Thanks for the clarification.

  • Kate M T

    A true Christian is one who believes in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, also believes Jesus Christ shed His blood to cleanse him of his sin, also believes that Jesus Christ is God. praise the Lord, I can truthfully say that through faith in God, I am one who believes.

  • Kate M T

    A true Christian is one who believes in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, also believes Jesus Christ shed His blood to cleanse him of his sin, also believes that Jesus Christ is God. praise the Lord, I can truthfully say that through faith in God, I am one who believes.

  • http://LostandFound kathy

    I can sum this up in a huge statement:
    In Islam their god required them to die for him. In CHRISTIANITY our God died for us. In Christianity our God rose again. In Islam their god is dead and will not come again. There is no combining the two. If you try you are a part of the opostaes that the Bible talked about in the end time. We are to pray for the lost but we don’t join them in their downfall in order to get along. In the end we have to choose life or death and for me I choose Life in CHRIST and Him alone.

  • http://LostandFound kathy

    I can sum this up in a huge statement:
    In Islam their god required them to die for him. In CHRISTIANITY our God died for us. In Christianity our God rose again. In Islam their god is dead and will not come again. There is no combining the two. If you try you are a part of the opostaes that the Bible talked about in the end time. We are to pray for the lost but we don’t join them in their downfall in order to get along. In the end we have to choose life or death and for me I choose Life in CHRIST and Him alone.


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