Does Fuller Seminary program really oppose evangelism of Muslims?
Stories in the Los Angeles Times and Associated Press over the weekend have potential to create a problem for Fuller Theological Seminary and its president, Richard Mouw.
"One of the nation's leading evangelical Christian seminaries has launched a federally funded project for making peace with Muslims, featuring a proposed code of ethics that rejects offensive statements about each other's faiths, affirms a mutual belief in one God, and pledges not to proselytize," Times religion writer Teresa Watanabe begins her story.
That noise you hear is a combination of some evangelical leaders screaming and others scratching their heads. Is Fuller really to take a stand that Christians should not "proselytize"? And what are these "offensive statements" that Fuller will oppose? If it's the old statements by Jerry Vines, Jerry Falwell, and Franklin Graham, haven't evangelical leaders already been there and done that on a much broader scale than Fuller Seminary's platform?
Some Southern Baptist leaders are quoted in the Times story (and the shortened AP version, which ran in dozens of newspapers over the weekend) as concerned—or outright opposing—the interfaith code of ethics.
"For Fuller to declare that Christians and Muslims worship the same God would be a radical departure, not only from the evangelical tradition but also the tenets of orthodox Christianity," John Revell, spokesman for the Southern Baptist executive committee, told the paper. Watanabe says that Revell "also questioned whether evangelical Christians who signed the proposed code against offensive statements and proselytizing would compromise their religious obligation to 'speak truth in love' and 'spread ...1