Monday, November 24, 2003

November 24, 2003

10:44 PM More good news: A few minutes ago I came home from a meeting at church and Marlene told me that Nick and John Mark Edwards decided to drive home from Samford tonight instead of tomorrow afternoon. They left Birmingham about 9 PM so they should arrive in Oak Park by 7 AM. That put a smile on my face. When I called Nick, they were at a gas station not far from Huntsville, Alabama. “What made you decide to come home early?” “We lost a game of Ultimate Frisbee tonight and so I decided we might as well come home and not wait till tomorrow.” “Didn’t you have a paper to turn in tomorrow?” “Yes, but I gave it to a girl in my study group and she said she’d turn it in for me.” And so it goes. Nick sounded glad to be coming home early. I know we’re glad to have him home again for a few days. 10:43 PM Good News: The younger generation is more conservative than my generation. 5:22 PM The Wall Street Journal is just plain wrong. To be specific, I’m referring to this item in the Opinion Journal, the online version of the Wall Street Journal. Last week during his trip to Great Britain, in answer to a reporter’s question, President Bush said that Christians and Muslims worship the same God. The Washington Post reports that evangelical leaders strongly disagree with the president on this point. Southern Baptist leader Richard Land said that President Bush is “simply mistaken.” In a telephone interview, Land added, “We should always remember that he is commander in chief, not theologian in chief.” James Taranto of the Opinion Journal says the president is right:

Christianity, Islam and Judaism are all monotheistic religions, united in the belief in a single God. (Muslims often call God by the Arab name Allah, but then so do Arabic-speaking Christians and Jews.) The three religions conceive of God differently, and Muslims and Jews do not share the Christian belief in the divinity of Jesus Christ. A Christian may well believe that Islam’s conception of God is wrong, but if you believe in only one God, it makes no logical sense to describe a fellow monotheist as worshipping a “different” God.

Sorry to disagree, but the president is wrong, the Opinion Journal is wrong, and Richard Land is right. Note how casually Mr. Taranto gives away the very heart of the Christian faith. The divinity of Jesus Christ is the whole point—it’s the whole ballgame. It’s not a side issue—like which mode of baptism is correct or which Bible translation is the best. The God who gave his only begotten Son to save the world (John 3:16) is manifestly not the same God that Muslims and Jews worship. Jesus is not an “optional” bit of theology that we can conveniently push aside in order to say we all worship the same God. Let us be clear on this point: Christians, Jews and Muslims all worship one God—but that “one God” is not the same God. And no amount of theological discussion can change that reality. 5:02 PM We’re having one of my favorite meals tonight—baked potato soup. Perfect day for it. Right now the temperature is 29 degrees and we’re heading down to 18 degrees before it’s all said and done. Last night Marlene and I spent some time talking about what to serve for Thanksgiving dinner. Over the years we’ve smoked a turkey, one year we deep-fried it in peanut oil (actually worked very well once we got the oil hot enough), and we’ve tried different recipes for basting, etc. This year we’re going to soak the turkey for 24 hours in a brine containing various ingredients. Earlier today Marlene and I went to Trader Joe’s in La Grange to buy some andouille sausage(a kind of Cajun sausage) for the cornbread dressing for Thanksgiving. Marlene will make two batches of dressing—one with the sausage and one without. Andouille is a bit spicy for some people. We found a recipe for orange rolls that looks good. So even though Thanksgiving is three days away, the preparations are well underway. 7:27 AM Greg and Carolyn Kirschner offer a Nigerian perspective on this question: Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God?. 7:15 AM Pat Buchanan calls for a new Boston Tea Party. 7:09 AM Only 3 more days till the Pastor’s Stroll. Just checked the forecast for Thanksgiving: “Partly cloudy, temps in the low 40s.” Dress warm, time to dust off your winter coat and thick gloves. We’ll stroll through Oak park, learn a bit about our Christian heritage (a subject almost completely overlooked these days), share a few tales from the past, and then we’ll go home and get ready for a Thanksgiving feast. The stroll starts as soon as the praise service ends—around 9 AM.

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