Ecumenical and/or Inter-religious

Luther’s Doctrine of the Two Kingdoms

An Ecumenical Problem [1] The question of the two kingdoms is one of the most pressing and delicate in contemporary religious and theological thought. No other aspect of Luther’s theology has been so fiercely attacked as this doctrine. Where Luther drew a clear line between spiritual and temporal authority, and expressly emphasised that under no […]

Forum on Israel and Palestine

On July 3, 2002, JLE brought together a group of scholars to discuss the role of the United States in Israel and Palestine. Participants exchanged e-mails for two hours, exploring the current U.S. policy and the possibilities for future U.S. action. The invited Palestinian participant was unable to join the forum. The discussion, however, was […]

Revisiting the Question of the Muslim Deity

[1] The question is whether Christians and Muslims worship the same God. This question has been posed, and answered in the negative, by Walter R. Bouman (JLE, 4/8/02). Harold Vogelaar has weighed in on the other side (JLE, 4/24/02). I would like to affirm everything Professor Vogelaar has to say, especially in his distinction between […]

Christians and Muslims: Do They Worship the Same God?

[1] Is this a question that needs to be answered? Isn’t it a bit like asking if the existence of God can be proved? Why do we need to prove it? Why do we need to know if Muslims worship the same God as do we? What difference might that make? Having said this, let […]

Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God?

[1] The question is whether Christians and Muslims worship the same God. Muslims would say that they do. For there is but one God, and to worship anything but that one God is not to worship God at all. Since Christians, Muslims, and Jews all worship the God who created the world, who called Abraham […]

La illaha il’allah: There is no God but God

[1] As an Arab-American Lutheran who has lived in Muslim countries, has been in religious dialogue with Muslims, and has close personal friends who are Muslims, I am always troubled – even vicariously insulted – by the question “Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God?” Part of the insult comes from the fact that […]

The Lord is Near to All Who Call on Him

[1] My first encounter with Islam was much more sensory than theological. In Fall 1981 our family of four arrived in Damascus, Syria, to begin a year of teaching and research. Immediately we were immersed in the sights and sounds and smells of the Arab East, if not always of Islam itself. Outside the bedroom […]

Bin Laden & Co. and Jerry Falwell & Co.

[1] Osama bin Laden and his mentor Sayyid Qutb are fundamentalists. So are Jerry Falwell and, in a slightly more complicated (because also pentecostalist), Pat Robertson. [2] Bin Laden & Co. are Muslims, who would rather kill you than let you connect them in any way with Protestant fundamentalists. Jerry Falwell & Co. are Christians, […]

The Christian Moral Life: Roman Catholic and Lutheran Perspectives

Copyright © LET’S TALK. Used with permission. From Let’s Talk, Volume 6, Issue 2 [1] Comparing our two moral traditions is probably a dangerous undertaking for a Roman Catholic (or for a Lutheran, for that matter). I shall therefore begin with words from a mentor, James Gustafson. In his important work, Protestant and Roman Catholic […]

Homily at the Ecumenical Center, 17 September, 2001

[1] For many places around the world, being vulnerable to devastating attack is not a new historical experience, 20th century Europe being just one case in point. But we who are Americans have been conditioned throughout our national history to feel our nation is invulnerable to attack, and certainly not by airplanes with “American” or […]