"A Common Word" between Christians and Muslims?

“A Common Word Between Us and You” is a letter sent to Christian leaders everywhere on October 13th, 2007, by 138 Muslim scholars.

This document states that Muslims and Christians enjoy common ground in several areas, such as our "love of God" and our "love of neighbor."

However, can a false religion that denies the Trinity and denies the substitutionary atonement of Christ for sinners really be said to love the true God? Can a religion that allows for Jihad really be said to be one which cultivates love towards all their neighbors (including the khafir)?

This trend towards focusing on "common ground" rather than contending for legitimate points of difference is a hallmark of modern evangelical missions towards Muslims. We may look for legitimate "open windows" rather than beating on closed doors, but let us never do so at the expense of truth.

We are in the midst of several dangerous trends regarding missions to muslims, such as:

-Radical contextualization,
-Re-translating the Greek "Hiuos Tou Theou" the Son of God into "less offensive" renderings and similar "dynamic equivalence" offenses against the Scriptures,
--Some western missionaries refer to themselves as Muslims and have said the Shahada,
--There is a concerted effort by Western missionaries not to have local believers take the name of "Christian" or join an established church. Some "believers" remain unbaptized, use the name "Muslim" and take part in mosque worship, long after they have "confessed Christ."

While using the Qur'an as a bridge to the Bible might be permissible (if that bridge is quickly crossed and does not become a parking lot), many are misleading Muslims regarding the content of the Qur'an. Look at this quote from the popular book on missionary methodology among Muslims, referred to as "The Camel Method":

"Barrier #4: What Do You Say about Mohammed? This is the big question. Muslims take great offense at those who would profane their prophet. The best bridge to overcome the barrier of Mohammed is to simply say: "I agree with what the Qur'an says about Mohammed." - The Camel (2007), 144. (Note: I believe later editions of the Camel Method may have revised this paragraph, hopefully)

This is the methodology that new missionaries to the Muslim world are being taught today.

In the past, it is granted that missionaries went out to the muslim world without adequate anthropological knowledge and often merely exported external forms of the institutional church. But what we are seeing today is not merely anthropological deficiency, but major doctrinal and theological betrayals.

See John Piper on the youtube link below to hear his critique: