Guest / Limited Access /

Last year 138 Muslim leaders released A Common Word Between Us and You, a promising statement to the Christian world stressing common ground between the two great missionary faiths. Christians responded publicly by gathering with Muslims and Jews at Yale University this past July for dialogue, a good part of which was devoted to affirming the similarities between the great Abrahamic faiths.

Despite a strong Trinitarian statement at Yale from pastor Leith Anderson, and the realization of many of the Christian participants how wide the gulf is between Christianity and Islam on a host of issues, some evangelical leaders, including John Piper and Al Mohler, worry that in such conversations vital Christian doctrines about God can become blurred. Rick Love of Frontiers, for example, says Christians and Muslims worship the same God. Really?

Despite undeniable similarities, all monotheisms are not alike. Love notes that many Muslims who later become followers of Christ say that they worshiped the true God all along, but only with partial knowledge. Certainly God can reveal himself to Muslims however he chooses, but Islam does not lead lost sinners to God. Only Jesus does.

Yes, we should speak gently and respectfully, but if we truly love Muslims, we must tell them the truth as God has revealed it. Scholar of Islam Kenneth Cragg noted, "As long as Christ is Christ, and the church knows both itself and him, there will be a mission to Islam." I agree.

How can we engage in conversation and still stick to our theological guns? I propose employing the Apostles' Creed—a time-tested and easily digestible template of basic Christianity—to remind ourselves how much our beliefs differ from Muslims'.

• I believe in God, the Father ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Foolish Things
Stan Guthrie is an editor at large for Christianity Today and author of Missions in the Third Millennium and All That Jesus Asks. His column, "Foolish Things," ran from 2006 to 2007.
Previous Foolish Things Columns:
Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this Issue
Subscriber Access Only Misunderstanding Sarah
Media reaction to Gov. Palin shows ignorance of evangelicalism.
RecommendedGlobal Evangelical Leaders: Trump’s Win Will Harm the Church’s Witness
Global Evangelical Leaders: Trump’s Win Will Harm the Church’s Witness
Conference call explores election consequences on evangelicals overseas.
TrendingWhy Do We Have Christmas Trees?
Why Do We Have Christmas Trees?
The history behind evergreens, ornaments, and holiday gift giving.
Editor's PickWhen Christmas Meets the ‘Umbrage Industry’
When Christmas Meets the ‘Umbrage Industry’
If history is any guide, there’s no escaping the hostilities that erupt every December.
Christianity Today
All Monotheisms Are Not Alike
hide thisNovember November

In the Magazine

November 2008

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.