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By Adelle M. Banks
Religion News Service

The World Evangelical Alliance has responded to a Muslim overture for interfaith dialogue by saying its members want to “live in peace with Muslims” but disagree with their view of God.
Last fall, more than 100 Islamic clerics and scholars issued their open document, “A Common Word Between Us and You,” to call on Christians to join them in a belief “that we shall worship none but God, and that we will ascribe no partner to him.”
The evangelical alliance, in a four-page response released March 29, said the document’s use of Quranic statements about God having no partner reveal a key difference between Christianity and Islam.
“Even though we are convinced that you misunderstand our doctrine of God being Three in One, when you speak about a `partner’ of God, we are convinced of the truth of Trinity and, therefore, we cannot accept your invitation,” wrote the Rev. Geoff Tunnicliffe, the alliance’s international director.
Muzammil Siddiqi, chairman of the Islamic Jurisprudence Council of North America and a signatory on the Muslim document, said last fall that it was not calling for Christians to abandon their belief in the Trinity.
The evangelical association’s response, which seeks additional discussion between the religious groups, states appreciation for the Muslims’ expression that the two faiths play a key role in a peaceful future in the world.
The association stated “regret” for past and present actions by Christians that “do not match the teachings and examples of Jesus.” It also asked that Muslims help Christians practice their faith freely in Muslim countries.
The evangelical response to Muslims was issued a day after the same group released a statement on “The Gospel and the Jewish People.”
“It is out of our profound respect for Jewish people that we seek to share the good news of Jesus Christ with them, and encourage others to do the same, for we believe that salvation is only found in Jesus, the Messiah of Israel and Savior of the World,” the brief statement concludes.
Copyright 2008 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.

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