There is no doubt in my mind that Christians and Muslim worship the same God.
I say this in light of the suspension of Dr. Larycia Hawkins, the first African America professor to receive tenure at Wheaton College, and who is now sitting at home because she dared challenge the evangelical status quo by making the (fairly orthodox, historically speaking) claim that I just made above. And, to further the thought, she committed to the wearing of the hijab during the season of Advent, to stand in solidarity with Muslim women in this country who are singled out because of this worn symbol of humility.
Wheaton’s stance on this aside, it is no big leap of theology or orthodoxy to say that Muslims, Jews and Christians all share the same God, whom we each refer to and experience in different ways. This isn’t to claim the superiority of any of these three experiences; they hold value and power for those who ascribe to each. All three faiths find their origins in the Abrahamic tradition of monotheism, and each share broadly similar theological claims about God.
It’s entirely self-centered and prideful to attempt to eliminate any of the three traditions from the Abrahamic family. Evangelicals who try to close the path to God in favor of protecting their own perceived place of power and privilege with relation to God are doing a great disservice to the goal of welcoming all peoples into relationship with God, whatever that relationship may look like.
Wheaton College is free to act as it pleases, and enforce whatever rules they wish upon their faculty, staff and students. But they are not free to place restrictions on access to God, or define the historical relation of the West’s three dominant religions to each other and to God. To do so is to take the role of Pharisees, of those religious leaders who wished to control and portion out access in service of their own positions of power.
I pray that Wheaton finds a measure of humility and reinstates Dr. Hawkins, so that she may continue to teach her students such basic ideas as the interconnectedness of the great Abrahamic faiths.