by Shirley W. Madany
It was with surprise and pleasure we discovered this September that some home schooled children (our own grandchildren) were being instructed in the realm of Logic with the help of an attractive and simple textbook designed and written by two brothers, former homeschoolers themselves. Nathaniel and Hans Bluedorn have made available to us all a text book titled “The Fallacy Detective: Thirty Six Lessons on How to Recognize Bad Reasoning”. It was written with the idea that Christians needed to strive for a higher standard of reasoning, in order to achieve the ability of discernment. “Logic is the science of thinking the way God thinks – the way Jesus taught us to think” (p.14)
You will have heard about “Islam’s Peace Offensive” and the proposal made by a group of Islamic clerics. The subject just won’t go away. and this is where the fallacy comes in as we inspect the “common word” between the Muslims and ourselves.
Two days ago a friend and colleague sent us an urgent request to look at the splendid web site put out by Dr. Ardel Caneday under the name The Race Set Before Us. She sent us the following URL:
As this is a blog you will need to find the November 29th entry. Prof. Ardel Caneday has devoted his blog to discussing the pursuit of eternal life. You will find his comments stimulating and faith-building. For instance, he says: “Multiculturalism’s virtue of tolerance supplants the Christian grace of forbearance as Christians trade away forbearance towards people for tolerance for ideas, ideas hostile to the gospel. Multiculturalism, which is virulently but seductively anti-Christian depends heavily upon the new virtue driven by political correctness.”
His definition of political correctness is priceless:
"Political correctness is a virus. Intimidation carries this contagion from one individual to another as receiving hosts offer little resistance to the virus. Because the contagion exploits its host’s reluctance to offend the alleged sensibilities of hypersensitive people, political correctness seduces its host to accept the virus as newly acquired virtue to be passed on to others with religious zeal. Herein is the genius and power of political correctness. Once the host accepts political correctness as virtuous, external policing is rarely needed because the virus internally intimidates one’s conscience so that it becomes second nature to use newspeak and to chastise others who do not. Hence, the tyranny of political correctness: newspeak represents itself as virtue."
As you read on you will come to the crux of the matter. It is the preamble and response of Yale Center for Faith and Culture to the “common word between us and you” sent out from 138 Muslim clerics. Speaking of discernment we hope you notice how Prof. Caneday refers to the “god of Islam” using lower case for “god”.
Obviously Caneday is concerned about our steadfast perseverance in the face of this tempting solution to the world’s problems. An offer of peace which many can not refuse. They are softened by political correctness and naively attracted to the idea of world peace.
He gives you an opportunity to read not only this unbelievable response in which we ask forgiveness for sins we have not committed, but the real shock will come when you scroll down and read the list of evangelicals who signed their names to it. You are speechless with dismay.
It is a simple matter to get from the Yale web site to the Common Word website of the Muslims and there you can read the entire proposal, which boils down to the theoretical presentation that as both Islam and Christianity consider love to God and love to neighbor to be top priority, then there is our bridge to unity.
If you are interested in finding things in context you will look up the first passage quoted from the Quran which has the very phrase they use –"a common word between us and you". According to Arberry’s translation of the Qur’an this occurs at v.64 of the Surat Al Imran, one of the polemical sections of their holy book. You don’t even have to read between the lines – by the end of that section you come to this: “Whoso desires another religion than Islam, it shall not be accepted of him; in the next world he shall be among the losers.”
The people at Yale Divinity Center collected signatures of approval of their response.. You can read that response in full at a convenient spot in Caneday’s blog. A long list gives you an idea of evangelical support. But if you look at the Yale website you will see the full list of at least 13 pages of those who sponsor the reply. Prepare to lose some sleep after studying that list of names.
Don’t they realize that this so-called love for God is not comparable with the sacrificial love of our God who “so loved the world that He sent his only begotten son to be our Savior.” The Lord Jesus Christ is not just a major prophet; he is the eternal Son of God. Our “love” is defined and demonstrated in a way that does not harmonize with that of the Muslim. Historical evidence of a lack of love for the “other” prompts discussions which are ongoing in Muslim online papers regarding how to treat the “infidel”. Peace can only mean capitulation to Islam totally.
We join Dr. Caneday in his prayer that none of you will be tempted to join that list!
Also excellent on this subject:
Rethinking P.E.A.C.E. - Loving God and Neighbor Together
Monday, November 26, 2007 (Discernment Research Group)