Jesus, Allah and Wheaton College

“I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book. And as Pope Francis stated last week, we worship the same God” – Larycia Alaine Hawkins, associate professor of political science, Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois.

A group of students held a sit-in at the office of Wheaton president Philip Ryken, chanting, “Reinstate Doc Hawk” after Dr. Hawkins was placed on administrative leave in relation to statements as noted above (read more: in an effort to stand in solidarity with Muslim neighbors.  Their demand also included an apology from Dr. Ryken stating, “We believe there is nothing in Dr. Hawkins’ public statements that goes against the belief in the power and nature of God, Christ, or the Holy Spirit that the Statement of Faith deems as a necessary requirement for affiliation with Wheaton College.”

As a Wheaton graduate and pastor, I admire the sincerity of Dr. Hawkins and these students but, Biblically speaking, they are sincerely wrong.  Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God?  The better question is: do Christians and Muslims both have a correct understanding of who God is?  Of how God has communicated?  God’s provision?  To these questions, the answer is definitely no, as Muslims do not affirm (among other points of Biblical Christian orthodoxy):

  •  The Bible as the inspired, inerrant and only Word of God;
  • The Holy Trinity;
  • The Biblical origination of Satan;
  • Man made in the image of God;
  • Original sin;
  • The incarnation of Jesus Christ;
  • The superiority of Jesus Christ;
  • Jesus Christ’s blood atonement;
  • Salvation via Christ alone

Contradicting Dr. Hawkins, according to this litany (which, taken as whole, adds up to true, Biblical salvation – red lights should be going off in your mind about now) she is not standing in solidarity with people of the ‘book’ (if, indeed, her reference is to the Bible) or even the same God, the Pope’s assertion notwithstanding.  And certainly undergraduates, especially those of Wheaton’s caliber, have comparative analysis skills equal to the task of relating Wheaton’s statement of faith to its primary source – the Word of God.  No, what we have on display is at best confusion and at worst heresy.  And given God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33a) the remedy for both is to renounce heterodoxy for Biblical orthodoxy, thereby avoiding excessive compassion resulting in compromise and dialoguing to the point with nothing left to defend.  In short, “Thus saith the Lord…” is ‘our’ only source and resource.

In so doing, the preeminence  of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, none other than Christ Jesus Himself, is properly affirmed leading His true followers into submission as opposed to rebellion (back to class kids) and separation as opposed to homogenization (think long and hard Dr. Hawkins).

Tony Raker
Class of ‘86