Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God: Wheaton’s Response to Professor’s Statement

Greg Strand – December 19, 2015 Leave a comment

Recently Larycia Hawkins, a political science professor at Wheaton, donned the Islamic Hijab to identify with the struggles of Muslims. She also claimed that Muslims and Christians “worship the same God.”

It was not her dress identifying her love for Muslims that caused her suspension from teaching at Wheaton. Rather, it was her theological claim made that we worship the same God.

Here is a brief explanation of what has happened: Wheaton College Suspends Hijab-Wearing Professor After ‘Same God’ Comment

Here are some of the responses to the professor’s statement about worshiping the same God and Wheaton’s response to her statement and to her.

Miroslav Volf claims that Wheaton’s response is based on bigotry, not theology. Although there are differences between the two, he claims they are the same God: Wheaton professor’s suspension is about anti-Muslim bigotry, not theology

Francis Beckwith affirms that they are the same, though understood differently (did he sense a need to support Pope Francis’ statement about this?): Do Muslims and Christians Worship the Same God?

Al Mohler denies they worship the same God, with the gospel and salvation at stake: Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God?

Scot McKnight addresses Volf’s claims, while concluding we do not worship the same God: The “Same” God? Volf Speaks

Thabiti Anyabwile states this sentiment is well-intended but dangerous, concluding “Muslims and Christians do not worship the same God” and “the differences [between Christians and Muslims] are radical and they lead to wildly different ethics: Muslims and Christians Do NOT Worship the Same God

Kevin DeYoung provides a brief primer on some of the similarities and differences that exist between the two, although he is not addressing the issue at Wheaton in this post: Thinking Theologically About Islam

As part of the history of this discussion, here are a few of the other good posts.

Timothy George writes an excellent piece in 2002, Is the God of Muhammad the Father of Jesus?, that reflected the title of his book published in the same year, Is the Father of Jesus the God of Muhammad? His answer is yes and no. But the no is because God is Trinitarian, which Islam denies.

Madison Trammel addresses this issue in light of the letter written in 2007 by 138 scholars and clerics representing the Islamic world, A Common Word Between Us and You. The response was written by professors at Yale Divinity School’s Center for Faith and Culture, led by Miroslav Volf, Loving God and Neighbor Together, which did not gain a lot of sympathy from Evangelicals. This issues are highlighted in this piece: Worshipers of the ‘One True God’ Is shared monotheism the best starting place for Muslim-Christian dialogue?

Here is my conclusion: Although we are to love Muslims, we do not worship the same God. The Father of Jesus is not the God of Muhammad.

Greg Strand

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Affectionately called “Walking Bible” by his youngest daughter, Greg Strand has a ministry history that goes back to 1982. Since that time, he has served in local church ministry in a variety of ministry capacities: youth pastor, associate pastor of adult ministries and senior pastor. He is currently the EFCA's Executive Director of Theology and Credentialing. Greg reads voraciously and never stops learning — a passion reflected in the overflowing bookshelves that spill from his library to multiple offices. And he could tell you about each of those books! His hunger for learning pales in contrast to his great love for God and for teaching the Word of God.

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