Wheaton Officials Withdraw from Letter to Muslims


Duane Litfin, president of Wheaton College, in Illinois, and two other school officials have removed their names from a letter that called for cooperation with Muslims.

The open letter, drafted by Yale Divinity School’s Center for Faith and Culture, was originally published with 130 signatories in The New York Times in November 2007 in response to a letter from more than 100 Muslim leaders (see March Banner, p. 16).

Litfin said that after prompting from some evangelical critics, he restudied the document and decided that he did not agree with its language seeking forgiveness for Christian sins against Muslims. He also thought discussions of “our common love for God” might be misunderstood.

“The statement was not carefully enough crafted to avoid encouraging that basic premise of civil religion; that is, that we are all worshipping the same God,” he said. “As a matter of principle over the years, I have made it a point to avoid becoming complicit in this cultural premise, denying as it does the unique claims of Christ.”

Litfin’s colleagues Provost Stanton Jones and Chaplain Stephen Kellough also had their names removed from the statement.