A Facebook Comment Could Render Wheaton College’s Statement of Faith Meaningless

A Facebook comment could render Wheaton College’s statement of faith meaningless if the member faculty council gets its way and the administration withdraws its efforts to fire Dr. Larycia Hawkins.

I previously explained that Wheaton professor Larycia Hawkins was not suspended for wearing a hijab. Rather, she was suspended over the theological implications of stating that Christians and Muslims worship the same God. While Wheaton’s administration began the process of firing Hawkins, the faculty council disagrees potentially bringing more controversy on the school. In fact, Wheaton’s faculty council recommends the move to fire Hawkins be withdrawn.

Now, Sarah Pulliam Bailey, writing for the Washington Post, expresses the idea that the Facebook controversy comment has turned into a nightmare for Wheaton. She further claims that not only is Hawkins’ future at stake, “but the future of evangelicalism.”

Bailey may be right about the stake of evangelicalism’s future but for a different reason – a larger issue. The larger issue is that a Facebook comment could render Wheaton College’s statement of faith meaningless. Let me explain.

Bailey notes that, “Wheaton Provost Stan Jones told students Thursday that the college does not have an explicit stance on whether Christians and Muslims worship the same God.” True, but here is the rub. Theological positions as found in Wheaton’s (or any) statement of faith have theological implications. Every position does not need an explicit statement.

For example, the Bible does not explicitly say Christians are not to use crack or other such drugs. Yet, the Bible does say Christians are to be sober-minded (1 Pt. 1:13) and self-controlled (2 Pt. 1:6) which implicitly forbids use of the drugs in question.

The current controversy over Christians and Muslims worshiping the same God reveals a clearer contradiction of beliefs at the simplest level. Christians and Muslims disagree over the very nature of God – of who God is. Something cannot be defined as A and non-A at the same time. Simply stated, God cannot be Trinitarian and a non-Trinitarian.

One cannot logically believe in the Trinity (as Christians affirm) and at the same time profess agreement with a non-Trinitarian position (as Muslims affirm). Yet, such contradiction is what Dr. Hawkins is holding to when she affirms Wheaton’s statement of faith which states they believe in “one sovereign God, eternally existing in three persons: the everlasting Father, His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, and the Holy Spirit, the giver of life.” Not only do Muslims disagree, but hold that believing in the Trinity is a form of shirk, the unforgivable and greatest sin in Islam.

Finally, the above controversy may be over a Facebook comment, but it is much more than that. The implications of Hawkins’ comments and the outcome of Wheaton’s actions are far greater. If Wheaton’s administration is not allowed to interpret and apply their own statement of faith among its faculty and its clear implications at a basic, non-contradictory level, the future of evangelicalism may be at stake.

Indeed, a Facebook comment could render Wheaton College’s statement of faith meaningless.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kenny January 22, 2016 at 11:31 pm

I’m shocked that she would say we worship the same God. We need teachers who really know their faith, and is able to stand firm in it. No follower can say ” I love Jesus and He is my Lord and Savior” yet turn and say, ” I love allah, for they are both the same, ” fools…for they are ignorant and lost and do not love Him who created them, for they love the world. I pray that she repents and seek council.

2 chris okoh January 23, 2016 at 1:55 am

If I may ask, is Wheaton college a Christian seminary school? If not, are there not both Christians and Muslims in the college? If yes, have they not been co-existing over the years? Everybody should be allowed to practice his or her own religion. Christians believing in trinity, that is good for them. Muslims do not, that is good for them. But all I know is that the end will tell. Our institutions should stop these religion controversies that will be detrimental to the peace of campuses. Professor Larycia Hawkins should be re-instated if any action has already been taken against her. Mind you, the world is watching.

3 arun kumar March 8, 2017 at 8:41 am

best blog very informative

4 Ron Whited September 8, 2017 at 12:20 pm

Indeed, the world is watching. It is watching to see if Wheaton will take a stand for the Bible, or if it will surrender to the spirit of the age. This battle is as old as the fall in the garden. The real issue here is simple: either God is God, or He is not. One thing is certain however, He is NOT both God and allah. That much is completely clear according to,scripture. Frankly, I could never understand why a Christian college would be unequally yoked with unbelievers.

5 Michael Scott September 23, 2018 at 7:14 pm

Look up your history. Pre-Islamic Nestorian Christians, ancient Arabian Christianity and Judaism used the word Allah. Allah translates to God.


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