Similar yet divergent
Christian and Muslim views on God/Allah are similar in some ways and divergent in others.
Muslims and Christians both agree God/Allah is one in essence, he is the Creator of the universe and of people, he is transcendent, he knows all about us and wants us to follow his ways, and salvation from hell and entrance into heaven are possible.
They disagree as to his character. For Christians, God is love, immanent and knowable. For Muslims, Allah is power, never immanent or knowable. These disagreements are irreconcilable.
‘Lose/lose for all concerned’
As a Wheaton College alumnus from the 1950s, I’ve been following the coverage of Larycia Hawkins since the media reported her statement and the college began the process of terminating her.
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It’s as a classmate said—the whole situation is a lose/lose for all concerned. She has the First Amendment right to express her views and possibly inject them into her classroom lectures. To put them in “writing” in my opinion violates not only what the Bible teaches, but also the school’s statement of faith, which she has signed each year she has taught there.
Even though some of the faculty support her, I’m confident the faculty board will not recommend she continue to teach.
I watched the similar thing develop in the ’60s, when a Bible prof didn’t like what a highly respected science prof taught regarding creation and evolution.The president, after asking for a letter from the science prof detailing his position, backed his viewpoint, which caused the Bible prof to resign.
Politicians and images of faith
One of the wise sayings is that when political figures and religious figures occupy the same bed, we get the worst of both worlds. This likely has never been more true than this election cycle. According to the polls, Sen. Ted Cruz and show person Donald Trump are the leading contenders among evangelical voters.
The editor recently quotedrecently quoted a moderate Republican figure who said, “Cruz is a stranger to most of what would generally be considered Christian virtues: humility, mercy, compassion, and grace.” We could say the same for Trump.
A few weeks ago, the president of Liberty University, Jerry Falwell Jr., announced he was in favor of arming the students and linked that necessity to Islamic extremism. At the beginning of his campaign for the GOP nomination, Cruz announced his candidacy at Liberty.
More recently, waving a Bible like a fire-and-brimstone preacher, Trump spoke at Liberty and said what he had learned from “Two Corinthians.”
The next day, amid fanfare, Trump was joined by former governor, vice presidential candidate, Fox News figure, and darling of the religious right, Sarah Palin. You may remember Palin was an avid supporter of Ted Cruz in 2012. Meanwhile, Palin’s oldest son was being arrested and charged with domestic violence, interfering with a call for help, and possessing a gun while intoxicated. Instead of condemning her son’s despicable actions, Palin blamed the current president.
Are these really the images of our faith Christians want to give the world?
What to do with candidates’ carrots
Perhaps the American Christian church has forgotten or maybe simply overlooked two key places in our Scriptures for understanding who Jesus Christ is.
The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Philippians (Philippians 2:5-11), recites a hymn of the early church in praise of Christ, and John records his vision of heavenly hosts praising Christ (Revelation 5). In both places, Christ is worthy of such lofty praise, even bowing every knee, not because he was a “military victor or a political titan,” but because he was a servant obedient to death, the Lamb who was slain.
My goodness! That’s a far cry from who we laud in our day, a far cry from our bowing to military, political, athletic and celebrity heroes—yea, even our business moguls.
We don’t seem to notice it is this servant obedient to death, this Lamb who was slain, whose name we invoke as we wonder what evangelical Christians—or any Christians, for that matter—should do with candidates’ carrots.