A wide range of Christian theologians and leaders called for increased efforts to work with Muslims for peace and justice, releasing a statement called “Loving God and Neighbor Together: A Christian Response to ‘A Common Word Between Us and You.’” It was signed by almost 300 Christians.
“Given the deep fissures in the relations between Christians and Muslims today, the task before us is daunting. And the stakes are great,” the statement reads. “The future of the world depends on our ability as Christians and Muslims to live together in peace.”
Four scholars at Yale Divinity School initially released the document, responding to an open letter by 138 Shiite and Sunni Islamic clerics and scholars to Pope Benedict XVI and the Archbishop of Canterbury about the need for partnerships aimed at peace.
The Yale document has expanded to include endorsements from such varied Christian voices as Rick Warren, author and pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif.; Richard Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary; Robert Schuller, founder of the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, Calif.; Richard Cizik, vice president of the National Association of Evangelicals; and David Neff, editor in chief of the evangelical magazine Christianity Today.
In their joint response, World Alliance of Reformed Christians president Rev. Clifton Kilpatrick and general secretary Rev. Setri Nyomi said, “The call is very timely and we agree that people of faith have the capacity, and indeed have a responsibility to draw from the resources of our different faith traditions to work together for peace in a world in which religious sentiments have been wrongly used to foment conflict and war.”