Monday, March 31, 2008

Have you heard about this Letter, "A Common Word between You and Us" from Muslims to Christians?

The cover of the March 2008 issue of Citizen magazine has a picture of a Bible and the Quran side by side and asks, "Same God? Some Christians are sending the wrong message in their well-intentioned outreach to Muslims."

The story, "Common ground?" by Stephen Adams (pgs. 18-23), tells of a document from Muslim clerics entitled "A Common Word between You and Us" that declared a "need for peace between Christians and Muslims and asserts the basis for understanding to be contained in the common teachings of 'love of the One God and love of the neighbor'" (pg. 20).

According to the story, Joe Carey, who ministers to Muslims through a California organization notes that the title of the Muslim letter, "A Common Word," comes from a verse in the Quran that also instructs "people of Scripture" (Christians and Jews) to "embrace Islam and you will be safe."

"'They're asking us not only to worship Allah alone,' Carey said, 'But they are asking us to renounce the divinity of Jesus Christ and the fact that He is Lord over all creation.'" Carey went on to say, "'The intent of Muslim scholars is serious, direct and one-sided: Accept Islam. This is the example Mohammad set for the context of this verse; these Muslim scholars know this.'"

So what has happened with this letter? On our (Christians) behalf, a response was drafted at Yale Divinity School. Signed by over 300 Christians--including some names you'll recognize--it not only repeatedly references "the 'one God' worshipped by Christians and Muslims alike" according to the article, it also "apologized for the 'sins' of Christians today and in the past."

Does that anger you as much as it does me? I'll tell you more from this Citizen article next time.

The article is not online. Request a copy (cover price: $2.50) from the magazine's publisher, Focus on the Family: 1-800-A-Family. Find: Citizen magazine at If you don't already get the magazine, I highly recommend you subscribe.

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