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Whose God of Abraham? Mine, Yours, Theirs?

January 10, 2016

In the post here of January 8, 2016 I was asking whose Wheaton College is it? (And who is Wheaton College?)

In this post the question is different. What do people of the book state?

Dr. Hawkins had already shared the statement written on whose God this is. The statement included this:

I understand that Islam (and Judaism) denies the deity of Christ and the Holy Spirit, and leaves no room for the Cross and the Resurrection, but my statement is not a statement on soteriology or trinitarian theology, but one ofembodied piety. When I say that “we worship the same God,” I am saying what Stackhouse points out, namely that “when pious Muslims pray, they are addressing the One True God, and that God is, simply, God.”

Dr. Stephen Prothero wrote an article published by the Wall Street Journal responding. It ended this way:

Ms. Hawkins may have hoped to respond creatively to hateful rhetoric against Muslims, which is admirable….. But pretend pluralism, feigning that all or most religious traditions hinge on the same truth, is no solution for the squabble at Wheaton or anywhere else.

Why Ms to mark her sex I asked on facebook? Dr. Prothero first said that this is the WSJ style then said he uses Dr and so assumes it was an editorial change (after I pointed out four cases recently where the WSJ used Dr with other associate professors).

Dr. Prothero did not respond to my other objection that Dr. Hawkins was not conflating “all or most religions.”

Here is an answer to the question I’m asking from one of the books of Dr. Stephen Prothero:


What I feel is important is this. Islam consists of humans with lots of inconsistent theologies, as does Christianity, as does Judaism, as does Wheaton College and its students of the Quran, the New Testament, and the Hebrew Bible.


6 Comments leave one →
  1. January 10, 2016 9:46 am

    Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging.

  2. January 10, 2016 8:33 pm

    Why Ms to mark her sex

    Oh they didn’t. I am flabbergasted at how incredibly common this is. Did they correct her title after your inquiry?

    I have trouble understanding how people get hung up on this, and can only assume that I’m a more absolute monotheist than people who think we *don’t* worship the same God. Monotheism is the belief that there is only one God. So if you’re worshiping the divine, then that’s the God you’re worshipping, because there’s no one else at that address, no matter whose name you put on the envelope!

    Of course we have very significant differences in our *understanding* of that one God; and I suppose I can see the argument that when your understanding and my understanding of the same entity are sufficiently different, then we are *effectively* discussing two different entities; but that never seems to be the reasoning that is given.

    I heard Miroslav Volf give a talk on his interfaith discussions with Muslims a few years ago, just after his book Allah: A Christian Response came out. As I recall, he had quite substantive theological discussions with Muslim scholars while working on the book.

  3. January 10, 2016 9:35 pm

    To me, the crux of the matter was brought out by Slacktivist on his blog: if we say Muslims don’t worship the same God, we also have to say Jews don’t worship the same God– and that’s just plain wrong. If Jews don’t believe in the same God as we do, then Jesus didn’t believe in the same God as we do. All this Othering of followers of an Abrahamic religion leads us to a very bad place– so it’s got to stop.

  4. January 10, 2016 10:52 pm

    if we say Muslims don’t worship the same God, we also have to say Jews don’t worship the same God– and that’s just plain wrong.

    Indeed, Kristen; and this was settled in the early church, when Marcion’s view that the Jewish scriptures should be removed from the Christian bible because Jews worshipped a different, evil God was roundly rejected. (I realize that not all Christian traditions give weight to actions of the post-apostolic church, but my impression is that most of them accept the development of Christianity in the first five centuries — if only because it took us that long to sort out the Trinity. 😉 )

  5. January 11, 2016 1:36 am

    Yes, just so clear, so simple, but many choose the darkened understanding, or should I say misunderstanding, of hate.

  6. January 11, 2016 7:42 am

    I was a bit too subtle with the previous post, showing the Wheaton College photos of Drs Ryken, Jones, and Hawkins. Let’s confess together the differences, in sex and in race: Ms. Hawkins is African American and an associate professor. She has no problem self identifying as a woman, and there is no denying that she teaches the intersections of politics and race. When pressed to assert the differences between the God worshiped by Christians, by Jews, and by Muslims, she can. It is the marking of difference that is the point here. It is the question of who gets to count the differences as really difference, as making “not the same,” that is the point here. It is the pattern of differencing that is the point here.

    What prompts her solidarity with other women is politics. When a political candidate for the American presidency calls for a total and absolute ban on all Muslims from entering the USA, the mark of difference is political. When the Wheaton College provost calls for a move to revoke her tenure and to fire her, this is also political.

    (When the editor of the WSJ marks her as different, this time, this seems political. Here is the facebook conversation to show how, at first, Dr. Prothero failed to see this:

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