The following comes from a December 31 Federalist article by G. Shane Morris:
Every journalist in America has been secretly attending seminary, and now understands Christianity better than most Christians do.
But this month, the media got an opportunity to bestow their theological insights on us like never before. Did they ever.
When Wheaton political science professor Larycia Hawkins was suspended after wearing a hijab during Advent, writers at outlets like The Huffington Post thought this headline was too good to resist: “A Christian College Placed a Professor on Leave for Wearing A Hijab.”
The administration felt Hawkins failed this test by equating the God of Christianity with the god of Islam.
Except, they didn’t. Wheaton has made it clear that it has no policy regarding Islamic religious garb, or as Hawkins calls it, “embodied solidarity” with Muslims. Instead, the administration suspended Hawkins for her bizarre explanation of the stunt:
“I stand in human solidarity with my Muslim neighbor because we are formed of the same primordial clay, descendants of the same cradle of humankind—a cave in Sterkfontein, South Africa that I had the privilege to descend into to plumb the depths of our common humanity in 2014. I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book. And as Pope Francis stated last week, we worship the same God.”
Putting aside for a moment the question of how many Muslims would agree that mankind crawled from a cave in South Africa, Wheaton points out that its faculty and staff “make a commitment to accept and model our institution’s faith foundations with integrity, compassion, and theological clarity.” As part of the faculty’s jobs, the college asks them to “faithfully represent the College’s evangelical statement of faith.” In other words, what Wheaton professors say in front of students has to be recognizably evangelical. Obviously, the administration felt Hawkins failed this test by equating the God of Christianity with the god of Islam.
So here’s a heads-up for the media: We also believe the Trinity is an actual thing—a description of God’s being—and not some footnote or appendix that won’t be on the test. It’s the first thing we confess every Sunday in our creed. It’s kind of a big deal, as is the incarnation of the second person of the trinity—an idea Muslims also find abhorrent.
Three persons who share a single nature cannot be one God, at least to the Muslim mind.
Only on the most pedantic grounds can it be said that Christians and Muslims worship the same God. Were both religions (along with Judaism) inspired by the dealings of YHWH with a Mesopotamian nomad named Abraham? Yes. But Islam, having originated in the sixth century A.D., is a smidge further removed from those events than are Christianity and Judaism. In fact, Muhammad taught that both of those religions are corrupt, which is why he recorded a new and “perfect” revelation from God: the Qur’an.
And since the Apostle Paul told us not to believe anyone, “not even an angel,” who brings a gospel other than the one we received—well, I don’t know how to break this to you, but we tend to think Islam began with a visit from a demon. Given all of this, identifying our God meaningfully with the god of the Quran is not just difficult. It’s impossible.
I understand and even admire the impulse to show human solidarity with Muslims. No student or professor should have to feel ostracized, no matter his or her religion. Wearing a hijab isn’t beyond the pale of Nicene orthodoxy. As a matter of fact, head coverings still show up on Christian ladies from time to time.
What matters, and what the media can’t for the life of them seem to understand is this: We, as Christians, do not worship a generic God-of-the-philosophers, non-trinitarian, and infinitely customizable to various faiths. Our God insists on being known as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as revealed in the New Testament.