Rick Warren: Christians and Muslims worship the same God

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SharperIron's picture
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Rick Warren: Christians and Muslims worship the same God

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Warren “has embarked on an effort to heal divisions between evangelical Christians and Muslims by partnering with Southern California mosques and proposing a set of theological principles that includes acknowledging that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.”
Rick Warren builds bridge to Muslims

Edit 3/2/12: Warren says this was misreported.

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Wow, this is just....wow. As

Wow, this is just....wow. As much as I disagree with Warren on many things I thought he knew better than this.

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Jack Van Impe sounded the warning
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Quote: Polls show that

[QUOTE ]Polls show that evangelicals are 30 percent more likely than other Christians to hold a negative view of Islam, according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. Polls also show that evangelicals overwhelmingly favor converting Muslims to Christianity and are more likely to believe that Islam encourages violence.

Warren has repeatedly encouraged evangelicals to set aside such views, arguing that Christians are obliged to treat everyone with love and respect, regardless of faith.[/QUOTE ]
This demonstrates the problem with our post-modern society. A "negative" view of Islam does not equal lack of love and respect for Muslims. Believing that Islam encourages violence does not equal lack of love and respect for Muslims. Perhaps love and respect compels us to confront destructive errors rather than gloss over, and even affirm them. Pastor Warren needs to re-examine his view of Christian love in the light of Paul's letter to the Galatians.

Also, our society's sloppy thinking encourages logical fallacies like the Non-Sequitur. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/non%20sequitur I think it applies here.

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So can we admit...

...that John Piper was, under the very best interpretation possible, extremely foolish to give Warren a whitewash?

"We agreed we wouldn't try to evangelize each other." That's funny -- he told Piper something rather different.

From his interview with Piper:

Quote:
Warren: So I, 100 percent, agree with you that we have to be even more Christocentric because of the influence of Islam today. You know, I frequently speak to Muslim groups. Now what do you expect a guy who’s got the gift of evangelism? I spend most of my time speaking to people who totally disagree with me. I speak to gays. I speak to atheists. I speak to secularists. I speak to Muslims because I’m trying to build a bridge between my heart andtheirs so Jesus can walk across and they’ll come to know Christ.

I think Muslims in many ways are often like the “Corneliuses” of scripture who have a heart for God. They want to do the right thing, but a lot times—have you heard of Jesus? Have you heard of Jesus? And when people say, “Well, we worship the same God.” I say, “Well, hold on just a minute. My God looks like Jesus.”

Piper: Yeah.

Warren: Okay. So if your God doesn’t look like Jesus, we don’t worship the same God. Sorry.

Liar. I know, it's a strong word. I stand by it. Warren is dishonest.

And Piper (at best) is seriously lacking in discernment, which we also see with his support of Driscoll.

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Once Billy Graham Opened The Door To Catholics ...

Everyone else was able to rush right through.

P.S. It would have been HELPFUL had conservative evangelicals raised the same stink ten years ago when George W. Bush publicly, repeatedly said the same thing - that Muslims and Christians worship the same god - as they do whenever the issue of Obama and religion come up. Rick Warren can justifiably claim "It wasn't a problem for you when Bush said it, so what is the matter when I say it?"

Solo Christo, Soli Deo Gloria, Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, Sola Scriptura
http://healtheland.wordpress.com

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Careful Critique

Let me begin by saying that I think that Rick Warren's approach as presented in the article (and Saddleback's) is completely wrong-headed. Even the quote of his comments to Piper represents his faulty view of evangelism as it relates to depravity and gospel advance. I disagree with his stance and approach completely.

That said, however, I would like to suggest that we be careful with our critique on one point--the article makes the claim that Warren says Muslims and Christians worship the same God, but the evidence presented doesn't actually make that claim. As I read it, the joint group statement said both groups worship one God, not the same God. IOW, it was claiming that both groups are monotheistic. Personally, I think that similarity is irrelevant, but people like Warren are always looking for common ground with unbelievers, which is his point in the Piper quote (e.g., building a bridge).

Please don't mistake my intent here, which is not to defend Warren's strategy at all. It is to avoid a mischaracterization that will be easily refuted by Warren's defenders. I believe that Warren's overall strategy is severely problematic on biblical/theological terms. He is, though, acting consistently with all of the other things Saddleback and he have done to build bridges toward unbelievers. This is just another example of the "we must win them to us before we can win them to Jesus" mindset. By making their objective to build relationships (win them to us) which still allow witness to happen, he, no doubt, feels he can sincerely say their goal is not evangelism. It may seem like playing games with words, but it is actually the outgrowth of his pre-evangelism model.

It will be interesting to see if Piper addresses this issue. I could be wrong on this, but I think the methodology being used by Warren here is not new and it is not that uncommon. Its application specifically to Muslim community groups may be, but that may reflect Warren's use of niche marketing more than a theological shift. The "find common ground" approach to apologetics and evangelism has dominated evangelicalism (and some quarters of fundamentalism) for several decades. Warren is just a more vocal and aggressive practicer of it.

DMD

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Dr Doran, please correct me if I'm wrong

Has not Warren told Piper that his purpose is evangelism?

Has he allowed the Muslim statement that there will be no evangelism to stand?

Has he or has he not declined to comment?

He'll say that he is evangelising when it is convenient, and then allow anti-evangelism statements to stand unchallenged (until someone makes a nuisance of themselves and points it out, then he'll probably issue a statement refuting it). How do we characterise that as anything but dishonest?

As to the "one God" comment, Warren has gone with the usual fudge -- we both believe in "one God". When it is convenient, he allows the impression to be formed that he means we believe in the same God, but when evangelicals object, he can say, "Oh, that just means we both believe in monotheism." The reporter fell for the trick, and said "the same God."

It's fun when you can find words that can easily have multiple interpretations. The Islamic Center of Southern California said " http://blog.icsconline.org/2011/12/icsc-co-authors-historic-interfaith-d... it demonstrates the new theological position of Saddleback." OnIslam out of Egypt is characterising this as belief in "the same God," too. Is this an accident that they overlooked?

But Warren will probably come out with a statement after a few days, when there is an evangelical furor over it, saying he didn't mean it that way.

A far cry from letting your yea be yea and your nay, nay.

It's no problem for the Muslims, the Koran tells them to do this kind of stuff, to give the appearances of friendship even when you don't mean it. And the Koran tells them that Christians will pretend to be their friends, but they aren't really. So he's just proved for them that the Koran is right -- pretending he isn't going to evangelise when he will. Once he releases his statement in a few days that he isn't abandoning evangelism, the mullahs will know exactly what to preach on Friday -- "See, never trust a Christian even when he says he wants to be your friend. He doesn't really mean it."

edit: Has anyone actually seen this document? You would think, if it is so wonderful, they would publicise it....

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Thabiti

I love Thabiti Anyabwile's engagement with Islam. He's firm about doctrine, but winsome. He's a former Muslim himself.

http://vimeo.com/24514260

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News and Views

JG,

Let me apologized in advance for this being a pretty short and final response, but I've got a short week before I hop on a plane to travel to a part of the world where this subject is real life 24/7.

My main point was to caution us about making a case based on the newspaper's interpretation (same God) of the actual statement (one God). If someone has more information to suggest that the newspaper is correct, I'll quickly withdraw my caution. My comments are on what was written in the article which was linked since I have not looked up any other info and I can't read minds.

Likewise, I don't think the text of the Warren to Piper quote says as much as you seem to be suggesting, but I'll live that to others to evaluate. My sole contention on that point was that Warren makes a distinction between pre-evangelism and evangelism that allows him the wiggle room he is utilizing. That was the reason for the "love your neighbor" talk. There has long been a debate about whether "love your neighbor" should be viewed as an end (i.e., love them simply because God says to do it) or a means (i.e., love them in order to evangelise them). Warren seems to be arguing the former, hence he can sincerely say that they are doing these things as love for neighbor, not as evangelism. We can disagree with him about the propriety of it, but I'd caution against charges of dishonesty unless we're willing to consistently apply that label to these kinds of efforts.

DMD

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Thank you for your response, Dr. Doran

Certainly he has led Piper's listeners to believe one thing and used words that at least permitted (encouraged?) others to believe another. But in the spirit of what you've said, I'll await Warren's no-doubt-coming clarification before commenting further.

My daughter took such a plane today. May the Lord bless your travels and your ministry.

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An Islamic website

An http://www.onislam.net/english/news/americas/455974-kings-way-unites-us-... Islamic website interpreted it to mean "same" God.

Quote:
Partnering with Southern California mosques, Rev. Warren proposed a set of theological principles that include acknowledging that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.

Dubbed the King’s Way, the effort caps years of outreach between Warren and Muslims in which he broke Ramadan fasts at a Mission Viejo mosque, met Muslim leaders abroad and addressed 8,000 Muslims at ISNA convention in Washington D.C.
First announced last December, Abraham Meulenberg, a Saddleback pastor in charge of interfaith outreach, and Jihad Turk, director of religious affairs at a mosque in Los Angeles introduced King's Way as "a path to end the 1,400 years of misunderstanding between Muslims and Christians."

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Yes, that's the one I mentioned above

Brenda T wrote:
An http://www.onislam.net/english/news/americas/455974-kings-way-unites-us-... Islamic website interpreted it to mean "same" God.

I should have provided the link. Thank you.

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Another quote

Another quote that is disturbing from the article is Warren speaking to 8,000 Muslims and saying, "I don’t know if you have noticed this, but God likes variety.” How would they interpret that except to think Warren believes God approves of both religions.

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Warren responded & so did the reporter

(JG, I see now that you had already referred to the article I linked to. Sorry I didn't notice that before.)

Rick Warren commented on the Orange County Reporter newspaper article:
[img ]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-_aavlhE4lPY/T0rvS9f3soI/AAAAAAAABe0/t9YJ9LWETr... ]

Then later the reporter responded:
[img ]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-5LRAzF00Ipc/T0rsJd9ETFI/AAAAAAAABeo/yypvfzUncW... ]

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document?

OP article wrote:
The men presented a document they co-authored outlining points of agreement between Islam and Christianity.

Can anyone link to this document? It seems important to the discussion. Maybe I missed it, but the article doesn't seem to point to it.

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A lot of parsing and spinning going on.

I feel like this is Bill Clinton part two as far as the parsing and spinning of terms. It seems there is some deceit going on whether it is intentional or unintentional. There is some clarification that needs to take place.

Quote:
"We agreed we wouldn't try to evangelize each other," said Turk. "We'd witness to each other but it would be out of 'Love Thy Neighbor,' not focused on conversion."

It seems Jihad Turk, director of religious affairs at a mosque in Los Angeles, believes there is no risk of evangelism taking place.

Quote:
"I think that many evangelicals feel a mandate to convert people to Christianity," Guibord said. Because the Consultative Group was founded to respond to increasing antagonism between the two faiths, "we would not have made headway" if one side was trying to convert the other, she said. Now, she said, it might be possible to include evangelicals in her group's work.

It seems Mr. Guibord believes Mr Warren is setting aside the "mandate to convert people to Christianity."

And do we really need to parse "one God"? Please, have we really come to this point.

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Quote:It seems Jihad Turk,

Quote:
It seems Jihad Turk, director of religious affairs at a mosque in Los Angeles, believes there is no risk of evangelism taking place. ... It seems Mr. Guibord believes Mr Warren is setting aside the "mandate to convert people to Christianity."
I have no desire or compulsion to defend Warren. I think he is severely wrong in some areas. But I am not sure that it is entirely fair to judge him based on what "seems" to be the case based on very limited, out-of-context, quotations of someone else's words. Warren has said the article "contains multiple errors both factually and theologically."

Perhaps he should identify those errors; I think he would be well-served to do so, and perhaps he will. But it seems prudent to walk cautiously with our speech.

But he says this that strikes a chord with me: "Christians are obliged to treat everyone with love and respect, regardless of faith." Is that really debatable? There are many who do not do this, and they violate the explicit instruction of James 3 where it talks about defacing the image of God by blessing God and cursing man made in his image.

It seems to me that there is a view and practice out there, particularly among some fundamentalists, that unless you are blasting away at your opponents with great vehemence, you are compromising and not taking a stand. I reject that. I think we need to give some careful thought about how we speak of others who are made in God's image.

I think Warren is abysmally weak in many areas, but I think he is right in at least two: (1) We need to treat all humanity with respect, regardless of religious commitments that they may have. (2) We need to listen to people tell us what they believe and interact with them on the basis of what they believe, not what we have been told they believe, and not what we are prepared to argue against.

To this last point, I think roundtable discussions, even public forums, might serve a valid purpose for a knowledgeable apologist and evangelist. It certainly would serve us well in personal relationships.

Quote:
And do we really need to parse "one God"? Please, have we really come to this point.
Actually, it is a pretty key point. A common break down of world religions leads to three categories: atheists (no God), polytheists (multiple gods), and monotheists (one God). So it is a well-known and commonly used sociological distinction to group the Abrahamic religions together as monotheistic. Once we have done that, we do need to parse "one God" for the precise purpose of defending the truth about the identity of the one God. "One God" is not the same as "same God." To say that Christianity, Islam, and Judaism are monotheistic (one God) is not the same as saying they worship the "same God."

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Quote: Rick Warren builds

Quote:
Rick Warren builds bridge to Muslims

Too bad he's burning bridges to Christianity as he goes.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

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JobK wrote: ...Rick Warren

JobK wrote:
...Rick Warren can justifiably claim "It wasn't a problem for you when Bush said it, so what is the matter when I say it?"

Job,

I think there's a huge difference. One was president who claimed to be evangelical. The other is a pastor, consider a leader among evangelicals. I don't think Warren can justify any such claim before men or God.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

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Larry, I agree entirely with love and respect

Questions:
1. Do you believe we should be signing any kind of joint statement on faith with false teachers who have not the doctrine of Christ, in light of II John?

2. Do you believe, if we do think II John gives us room to sign such a statement, that we should let it be known that we've signed the statement but not release it publicly?

3. Do you believe, if we do sign such a statement, that we should let the false teachers be the ones to describe it to the world without giving specifics?

4. Do you believe, if the false teachers are saying that we aren't going to be evangelising, that we should delay in releasing the text of what we've signed?

5. Do you believe any of this is consistent with "Let your yea be yea" or a host of other Biblical principles?

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Football and shuffleboard

I know commenting without reading the facts is dangerous.

But on the surface...coming up with points in common between Christianity and Islam...it's like coming up with points in common between football and shuffleboard. Can it be done? I suppose. But why bother?

If you have the time, check out The Everlasting Man, in which Chesterton pulls a reductio ad absurdum on the whole concept of " http://www.worldinvisible.com/library/chesterton/everlasting/part1c4.htm comparative religions ." Just slap a variety of entities down in a row and show a gradation of differences and presto! Suddenly, Christianity is just another one of those. But in reality, Christianity is absolutely unique.

Michael Osborne
Philadelphia, PA

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I suspect there's more

As I read the Orange County Register article Sunday night after hearing people in my flock going ballistic about it earlier, I thought there was probably more to it than what was presented. Warren has painted himself into a corner for sure, and I'm no champion of his at all. But I'm not convinced that he's sold out as much as many think he has. I'd want to read original transcripts and see what Warren might mean about the article mispresenting him.

Could it be that, in Warren's thinking at least, that the agreement to not evangelize one another refers to when the two groups are doing community service activities together? If that's the case (and I'm not certain it is), it's still a very sad capitulation, but it's not the same as a blanket moratorium on all evangelism to Muslims.

Now, even if Warren believes Muslims and Christians worship the same God, that's not necessarily the same as affirming that Muslims are TRUE worshippers and knowers of God. One might argue that, sociologically speaking, Muslims worship the God of Abraham, but that theologically speaking they worship One Whom they do not know. The analogy is often made of Jews who, sociologically speaking, worship the God of the OT but deny the trinity and the deity of Messiah and thereby are outside the true knowledge of God.

I'm fully aware of the view that says Islam is monotheistic idolatry, that Allah evolved from the the moon god. I don't want to argue about that here except to say that not all Christian apologists and evangelists take that approach. There's a case for a categorical distinction between material idolatry as in, say, Hinduism, and cognitive idolatry (false conceptions of the one true God [ala 1 John 5:21 as I interpret it ]).

Is all of this a bit of parsing? Sure. Of course, theology requires a lot of parsing, and does apologetics, and even evangelism. The bigger question is whether or not it's good parsing. One can parse the truth so as to obscure it, and I think that's what Warren has done here, inadvertantly I hope.

M. Scott Bashoor Happy Slave of Christ

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Thanks, Jon, for your

Thanks, Jon, for your questions. Let me hit them quickly, and then perhaps follow up later if this is not sufficiently clear. I realize up front that some of my answers my seem like a dodge, and let me assure they are not. So friends, (not John, who I am confident will not be), please don't be cynical about my answers. I will gladly respond to follow ups as I have time.

Quote:
1. Do you believe we should be signing any kind of joint statement on faith with false teachers who have not the doctrine of Christ, in light of II John?
"Any" kind? That is pretty broad. My short answer is that it is possible, I think, though it may not be wise. If someone one wants to have a joint statement that all religions should have freedom to practice according to their conscience in a given society, then yes. If someone wants to sign a statement that all religions should treat all humanity with basic human dignity and respect regardless of religious commitments, then yes. Again, I don't imagine that is controversial, but my imagination is not all that good sometimes.

I think 2 John is talking about something very particular--recognizing a false teacher as a Christian brother. I am not sure that is necessarily inherent in signing such a statement.

Quote:
2. Do you believe, if we do think II John gives us room to sign such a statement, that we should let it be known that we've signed the statement but not release it publicly?
I think as a matter of wisdom, that we should be clear and transparent about what we sign if it is going to be known that we signed it.

Quote:
3. Do you believe, if we do sign such a statement, that we should let the false teachers be the ones to describe it to the world without giving specifics?
No. I don't think that would be wise. As I said above, I think Warren should clarify if he thinks this article is factually and theologically wrong.

Quote:
4. Do you believe, if the false teachers are saying that we aren't going to be evangelising, that we should delay in releasing the text of what we've signed?
No.

Quote:
5. Do you believe any of this is consistent with "Let your yea be yea" or a host of other Biblical principles?
Any of it? Again, I don't know exactly how to answer it because I am not sure what "any of it" means. The article didn't give me enough specifics to feel comfortable passing complete judgment on it. Furthermore, I don't know what Warren's schedule is. There may be a good reason he wasn't available and hasn't responded yet. I don't know what the time line of this being made public is. I don't know what the "host of other Biblical principles" are. So, I am honestly not trying to dodge. I am not sure I know enough to speak about any of it dogmatically.

Does that help clarify at all? I can't imagine myself signing any joint statement about anything these days. Maybe I would. Who knows. I haven't faced that issue.

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Quote: I know commenting

Quote:
I know commenting without reading the facts is dangerous.
That may be a good reminder Biggrin

Quote:
But on the surface...coming up with points in common between Christianity and Islam...it's like coming up with points in common between football and shuffleboard. Can it be done? I suppose. But why bother?
Because it isn't just you and me. There is a world that participates (whether we like it or not) in sociological groupings. And the reality is that in sociological groupings, Christianity and Islam have much in common that cause them to be grouped together and seen in distinction from things like Hinduism, Buddhism, etc. That means that Christianity and Islam share a commonality as over against Hinduism.

Quote:
But in reality, Christianity is absolutely unique.
Yes and no. I think this is too simplistic for useful conversation. There are some absolutely unique things about Christianity, but there are also some common things that sociologists and philosophers use to make category distinctions. Denying those doesn't help anything. I don't think we help the truth by clouding over issues.

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Sure, but we're talking about who God is...

There's no denying points in common in history and sociology and "brute" theological propositions (e.g., "There is one true God.").

But the theological propositions that actually matter...who God is, what He's like (what man must believe about God and what God requires of man) are poles apart. If we're trying to find common ground in theology, it just isn't there in any meaningful way.

Michael Osborne
Philadelphia, PA

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Quote: But the theological

Quote:
But the theological propositions that actually matter...who God is, what He's like (what man must believe about God and what God requires of man) are poles apart. If we're trying to find common ground in theology, it just isn't there in any meaningful way.
I understand what you are saying and I agree with you here. But I think you are having a different conversation. The truth is that, theologically, monotheistic religions have some common ground particularly as over against atheists and polytheists. It's actually meaningful in a discussion about world religions.

Again, I don't now what Warren is trying to say or do with this. I have no idea. And as you previously said just before commenting, it is dangerous to comment without reading the facts. So again, while I have no desire to defend Warren, I think there is some stuff I don't know about this, and perhaps it would be wise to walk cautiously.

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Thanks for the answer, Larry

I'll shock you to note that I don't entirely agree. ;)

Muslims claim to honour Scripture but make truth-claims about Jesus which deny Scripture, as do Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses and modalists, as did Gnostics and Marcionites. II John doesn't say that they are claiming to be Christians, it says they are bringing a false doctrine about Christ.

The best that can be said on this is that Warren has given the impression that Muslims have some things right in the area of doctrine. I'm pretty sure that he has explicitly agreed that they have some things right. That is ok when discussing false teachers when it is directly in the context of saying what they have wrong. Statements emphasising commonalities alone with false teachers is impossilbe, for me at least, to reconcile with II John.

I wouldn't necessarily be opposed to signing a joint statement on a political matter with a lot of different people. I don't consider that a joint statement on faith. "In matters of faith we disagree at a foundational level, but on the political question of religious freedom we are agreed." I wouldn't particularly have a problem with that. That's not what is happening here.

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Thanks for the kind response,

Thanks for the kind response, Jon. A couple of quick comments in response. Again, these are brief and certainly deserving of more nuance that I am able to give them at this time. And again, for all, please don't read any defense of Warren here. Just some thoughts on the broader issue, no matter who the name is.

1. It it seems to me that the point of 2 John is not just holding wrong doctrine, or just relationships with people who hold wrong doctrine but specifically with role in the body. To bring him into the house (which I tend to take as the church) and give him a greeting is to recognize him in the church as a Christian brother. It is to extend Christian recognition to someone who is not a Christian. The person "came with a false teaching" (he was a false teacher), and you gave him a greeting (a public recognition in the assembly as a brother, similar to Paul's greetings at the beginning of his letters). I don't know that Warren is doing that in this particular case. In fact, I don't really know exactly what he is doing, and to my knowledge he hasn't helped by speaking out about it (on which see #3).

2. I agree that we should not, probably even must not, recognize commonalities alone, if at all, in the context of public religious discussion. Affirming a commonality may take an issue off the table and allow more fruitful discussion. But the differences are what matters.

3. Lastly, I would draw a careful distinction between what is required to obey Scripture and what is required to placate people who may not know everything that has transpired. Again, that is not to defend Warren in anyway. I think he has done much wrong, and has been less than clear on some things. But I think sometimes we draw lines that aren't actually required, such as "X is wrong for not speaking out and clarifying a wrong statement that Y made." Well, it might be wise to speak out, but is it necessary for obedience. In other words, assuming the article is "factually and theologically wrong" as Warren claims, is Warren required by Scripture to correct it? I don't know that he is, though I would be willing to entertain an argument for it. I think he should. I think it would be wise. But I don't know that the Bible requires him to. Might that be a requirement added by others?

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Thanks, Larry

Two main thoughts:

1. I understand II John's reference (along with part of III John), to be to the needs of traveling Christians teachers, especially in a persecuted church context, for hospitality and assistance. Thus, II John has broader reference than simply within the meetings of the church. I should do nothing that assists the evil deeds of those who teach false doctrine, nor say anything that can be construed as aid or endorsement of anything they do related to their "faith." The teaching of these two letters seems to be that you meet the needs of true brothers who minister to you, but help false teachers not at all.

(FWIW, this exegetical difference, which I didn't recognise in our previous discussions, clarifies part of our prior conversation elsewhere about ETS, I think. You do not see II John as applying to either of these, and I do.)

2. I agree that wisdom and command are not always the same thing. In these cases, a case can be made for overlap between wisdom and command based on the beginning of II Cor. 4, Christ's words about letting your yea be yea, and perhaps a few other passages. The argument for overlap is stronger because Warren helped to create this situation. We are not obligated to respond every time someone twists or confuses something we have said or done -- but if we let someone speak for us and they do that? Furthermore, Warren's followup comment on the article borders on charging the reporter with dishonesty, and that should be backed up. If he weren't going to be really forthcoming, he should have just stayed quiet. So I do think this has gone into a matter of obedience, rather than just wisdom.

Thanks for the discussion, your view on things makes much more sense to me now. I still think it's mistaken, of course, but I suspect that's mutual. Smile

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Re-asking qtn from Mr. Durning

Has anyone found a link to the actual text of the King's Way? The original article seems to indicate it might be called something else now, but doesn't give any indication as to what that might be. I spent at least 45 minutes trying to track down the source with no luck.

Does anyone have the actual text?

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The King's Way document has

The King's Way document has not been officially released. The reporter who wrote the story has claimed to have a copy but is not at liberty to publish it. He http://apprising.org/2012/02/27/rick-warren-islam-and-jim-hinch/ wrote :

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I do have a copy of the [King's Way ] document but it was given to me by a source who asked that it not be published. The five-page document lays out three areas of agreement, including shared aspects of Christian and Muslim belief and a commitment to work together on community service projects.

The part about shared areas of belief states “we believe in one God” and enumerates several characteristics of God common to both faiths, including that God created the world, is good, etc. The document does not address beliefs about Jesus, which is a major difference between Islam and Christianity.

I talked to sources both at Saddleback and in the Muslim community and all of them described the mutual outreach efforts and the attempt to find points of theological common ground. While reporting the story I asked to speak to Rick Warren but was told he was too busy for an interview.

. . . No one at Saddleback used the words “same God” in an interview.

A Saddleback representative contacted me to ask for a clarification to the story. Rather than “Christians and Muslims worship the same God” they would like the story to read “Christians and Muslims believe God is one.” I’m not sure I see the difference but I think editors are prepared to make the clarification.

As of yet, the Orange County Register has not made any corrections or clarifications.

The King's Way document was presented at the http://blog.icsconline.org/2012/02/in-the-media-rick-warren-builds-bridg... The Islamic Center of Southern California , which by the way posted the Orange County Register article (that says they worship the "same God") on their website without qualification, clarification, or comment. So, it appears they were in agreement with the word "same."

Some of the comments from the article on the newspaper's website are interesting. One person wrote:

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Anila Ali · Concordia University Irvine
I was at the event and saw parts of the document that were shared. Muslims believe in the same God as Jesus, we just call him Allah. Why is it so hard for some to digest the fact that it is the same God? Muslims can't be complete in faith unless they believe in Jesus, Moses, and the other great prophets. Pastor Warren's efforts to show similarity in our faiths is what's needed. We keep highlighting the differences and become less tolerant of each other. Where as if we were to focus on commonalities- we 'd all be better human beings.

· Tuesday at 8:58pm

Anila Ali · Concordia University Irvine
I am so honored to have been a part of his Christmas Interfaith dinner and look forward to more Interfaith ventures of Pastor Rick warren.

· February 26 at 3:05pm


[/quote]

This effort toward peace and cooperation between Christians and Muslims appears to have been building for several years. Back in 2007 some Muslims released a document called http://www.acommonword.com/lib/downloads/CW-Total-Final-v-12g-Eng-9-10-0... ]"A Common Word Between You and Us" and a http://www.yale.edu/faith/acw/acw.htm Christian Response was signed by Rick Warren (among many others) which stated

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Before we “shake your hand” in responding to your letter, we ask forgiveness of the All-Merciful One and of the Muslim community around the world.

The signers of that Christian Response (including Warren) publicly asked forgiveness of the "All-Merciful One" which is one of the names Muslims use for Allah.

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Thanks!

Thank you. Seems odd Warren/Saddleback don't want it published. But then I guess it doesn't.
Also seems odd that nothing is being said about this by the guys at Gospel Coalition, Ref21, etc. Especially considering all the back and forth about the Elephant room. I guess the Trinity is only important when some people deny it, but not others.

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One last clarification

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Thus, II John has broader reference than simply within the meetings of the church. I should do nothing that assists the evil deeds of those who teach false doctrine, nor say anything that can be construed as aid or endorsement of anything they do related to their "faith." The teaching of these two letters seems to be that you meet the needs of true brothers who minister to you, but help false teachers not at all.
I don't think it is just the "meetings of the church," but the context of the church that matters. But since "church" (ekklesia) has a meaning, I don't think we should take the liberty of expanding that meaning to other things.

As I have thought about this, I wonder if this might be the case, or something similar to this: You believe that everything relating to God/theology/etc has to do with the church, and therefore everything relating to God/theology/etc has to abide with the "rules" of the church in Scripture, whereas I don't believe that. I believe there are venues for the discussion of God/theology/etc that are not necessarily connected to the church, and therefore do not have to abide by those standards.

Maybe this will help clarify (or maybe not, and I have a follow up question or two if you choose to answer this one): If your local community center is sponsoring a "church night" of some sort and invites a number of different clergy/religious leaders to participate in a round table discussion, would you accept the invitation? ]

Again, thanks for the kind exchange here.

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Ed Stetzer interview from Rick Warren
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Good questions, Larry

First, to clarify. I understand II John as a letter, not to a church, but to an individual. I do not see "house" as a reference to the church, but to providing hospitality in her own house. It is not that I am expanding "church" beyond what "church" is, but that I believe II John specifically extends beyond church in what it is saying.

In general, I do think parachurch organizations should abide by the guidelines given to the church as far as purity is concerned. Thus, I do believe, in general, that separation applies in parachurch settings, such as schools and mission boards. It is not that they are churches, but that they are intended to aid churches, and so it would be silly to exclude them.

For something like ETS, I don't necessarily think the same separation rules necessarily apply, though I'm not sure why not, either. I certainly think II John is problematic for it when you have those who teach a false Gospel taking part -- but as I said, I think II John is specifically intended to deal with contexts broader than the local church.

I might participate in the roundtable you describe. It would probably depend on how it was being advertised and structured. In general, I'm not overly enthusiastic about that kind of thing. I'm not sure I see it as forbidden in Scripture, but rather as unwise. I think it is roughly equivalent to the atheist debates, which we discussed on your blog. I just don't see it as really the way the Lord intended us to be spreading the Gospel.

If it was being said that the Christian community was taking part, and most weren't Christians, I'd opt out. It would just depend on how it was being done, I think.

I do think much of the difference on this comes down to II John. If it is written to a church, then the term "house" refers to the church, and this has a generally narrower reference. If it is written to an individual, that individual is told to apply separation from false teachers beyond the local church context. If the former, a case could be made that we should extend the principle beyond the local church context, but the case is not overly strong.

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A person associated with

A person associated with Saddleback http://www.brandonacox.com/general/rick-warren-is-a-bridge-builder-even-... blogged yesterday

Quote:
. . . that Christians and Muslims worship the “same God.” This is a rather poor choice in terminology. . . . the deities of which we both speak share many similarities.

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Warren says not reported accurately
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He said...He said

I still wonder why he doesn't just make publicly available the document in question. Until then he will be viewed by many as saying one thing to Christians and one thing to Muslims.
I'm not sure how reasonable it is to try to paint this as a problem with "watch-bloggers." An unaffiliated journalist and, from what I understand, Muslims who have seen the document both say what the bloggers are. Just produce the document that started the whole brouhaha and be done with it.

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more info

http://www.wnd.com/2012/03/newspaper-catches-rick-warren-fibbing/?cat_or...

Quote:
While many supporters of Warren insist that claims in the article are false, the Register reporter and an editor at the paper told WND that Saddleback Church leadership confirmed that the article was “factually accurate.”

“Folks at Saddleback initially made but then withdrew a request for a clarification to the story’s first paragraph,” reporter Jim Hinch told WND in an email. . . .

Despite his staff’s acknowledgement to the Register that the article is factually accurate, Warren denied claims in the article by pointing the finger at the reporter for “getting it wrong.”