February 8, 2008 12:23PM
Wheaton College Administrators Remove Names From Christian-Muslim Statement
“I signed the statement because I am committed to the business of peace-making and neighbor-love,” Litfin wrote in The Record. “I did not savor the document’s unnuanced apology section, but swallowed that in order to be a part of reaching out a hand to these Muslim leaders who had courageously taken the initiative. Though the statement was not written in the way I would have written it, it seemed to me that I could sign it without compromising any of my Christian convictions.”
“My eagerness to support the statement’s strengths caused me to move too quickly,” president Duane Litfin tells student newspaper.
Litfin goes on to explain that after reading the statement again, he found it was "not carefully enough crafted to avoid encouraging that basic premise of civil religion, i.e., that we are all worshiping the same God, climbing the same mountain, just taking different paths. It appears to me that the statement could have been written so to avoid this problem while still reaching out a gracious hand to these Muslim leaders. . . . To speak unqualifiedly of 'our common love for God,' as if the Quran's Allah and the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ are one and the same, and as if what it means to “love God” in these two faiths means the same thing, is to say more than I am willing to grant. I do not criticize others who do not share these qualms. But as for me, I needed to back away."
Read the whole story.
Read Leith Anderson's explanation for why he endorsed the statement.
Why did President Litfin not recognize the problems with the statement before he added his signature? The problems leaped from the statement upon my initial reading of the document.
Is it not troubling that individuals in such prominent leadership roles sign onto such a defective statement and retract their names only after they get caught by others who point out the defects of the statement and the horrible implications of signing onto it? Why do some of us see the problems and refuse to sign while others sign and only after the damage is already done retract their names? Dare I say that it is just as I explained earlier that political correctness seduced them to sign? I wonder to what extent s fear of lost revenue for ministries and institutions may be the reason others did not sign on or for some to retract their signatures.