But this obvious statement keeps showing up in the very Bible to which they pledge fealty. The author of St. John's writings
Professor Hawkins said Christians and Muslims "worship the same God."
This claim has been commonplace since the Middle Ages. The Catholic church has explicitly affirmed it. It is an absolutely
Wheaton College is a private institution and appears to have the right to admit and remove students, faculty, and administrators based on disagreements over ideas. The real question for a place like Wheaton that attempts to hold itself to the highest moral standard is, "Should it behave this way?"
Whether or not Professor Hawkins has violated Wheaton College's Statement of Faith will be decided by Wheaton College. But I am with those who believe that she was moved by her understanding of Christ's commandment to love and stand with the vulnerable and the stranger, whoever they may be at the moment.
Dr. Larycia Hawkins is loving her Muslim neighbors as herself at a time when I will admit - we can use some neighborly love. And Dr. Hawkins could be losing her job for it. Is it really necessary for Wheaton College to nitpick the nuances of the differences between Christianity and Islam?
A vibrant and dynamic faith institution should acknowledge that whether Christians and Muslims worship the same God is a legitimate and unsettled question for many faithful Christian believers.
Hawkins has struck fear into the conservative leadership of Wheaton College by rejecting the anti-Muslim agenda that has taken root in right wing America. To show--and encourage in her students-- solidarity with Muslims who are being persecuted in the United States Hawkins has taught class wearing a hajib, the traditional head covering for Muslim women.
She challenged the Christian college's version of events in a news conference Wednesday.
The story of Isaac and Ishmael is difficult to read. The account follows two half-brothers born to the same father and different mothers. As the story played out, one was adored and one was banished. One was considered the heir of their common father; one was disinherited.
The school claims Dr. Larycia Hawkins' "theological statements seem inconsistent with Wheaton College’s doctrinal convictions."
One should be grateful that one can worship God without getting one's description of God just right. After all, given the plethora of beliefs about God, what are the chances that any of one of us has gotten God just right?
Tthe question has been forced into the public arena by Wheaton College professor Larycia Hawkins's personal decision to wear a hijab in "human solidarity" with vulnerable Muslims in America as part of her observation of Advent, and by the college's hamhanded and tone-deaf meanness in fanning the flames of the ensuing controversy.
"I stand in human solidarity with my Muslim neighbor because we are formed of the same primordial clay."