Evangelical leaders condemned for ‘pledging common cause with Islam’

An attempt by leaders of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) to win friends and influence Muslims is alienating another group – evangelical Christians. Reactions have been negative and strong. Islam expert Dr. Patrick Sookhdeo has called it a “betrayal” and a “sellout.” Dr. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Seminary (Southern Baptist), termed it “naiveté that borders on dishonesty.”

In November, NEA President Leith Anderson and NEA Vice President Richard Cizik signed onto a Christian response to an invitation to dialogue from 138 Muslim leaders around the world. Their response – initiated by Yale Divinity School and endorsed by other liberal Christian leaders – apologized for the sins of Christians during the Crusades and for “excesses” of the global war on terror, without mentioning Muslim atrocities. It appeared to leave the fundamentals of Christianity – especially the deity of Christ – open for discussion. It even seemed to acknowledge Allah as the God of the Bible.

Mohler said the agreement “sends the wrong signal” and contains basic theological problems, especially in “marginalizing” Jesus Christ. He also condemned the apology for the Crusades. “I just have to wonder how intellectually honest this is,” he said. “Are these people suggesting that they wish the military conflict with Islam had ended differently – that Islam had conquered Europe?”

Citizen Link, 3 January 2008