A Dialogue Too Friendly for Focus on the Family

By Brian McLaren 01-07-2008

On January 3, Focus on the Family's CitizenLink sent an email by associate editor Stephen Adams called, "Evangelical Leaders Pledge Common Cause with Islam." Their target once again was the National Association of Evangelicals, echoing an attempt last year to oust Richard Cizik for having common cause with the birds of the air and flowers of the field against global warming.

This time NAE President Leith Anderson and Vice President Rich Cizik are in trouble for signing a cordial reply to a request by 138 Muslim scholars for civil dialogue and increased understanding between Christians and Muslims. I too signed the document, and thought I would reply to the criticism, just as I did to the Muslim's request for dialogue. (Focus on the Family's statements are in italics.)

1. They apologize for the 'sins of Christians'

How can we not apologize for our sins? Should we claim we have no sins? Or should we knowingly refuse to acknowledge them? Isn't the humility to confess sins a Christian virtue?

2. [They] leave the deity of Christ open for discussion.

If we only have discussion with people who acknowledge the deity of Christ as we do, won't that mean we will only be speaking to Christians with whom we already agree? How can we be peacemakers

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