Wheaton College Faculty Council Asks Administrators Not to Fire ‘We Worship Same God’ Professor

Hawkins-compressed (1)WHEATON, Ill. — The faculty council at Wheaton College has unanimously agreed to ask administrators to withdraw its decision to begin proceedings to fire a controversial associate political science director who was placed on leave after she declared in a self-initiated campaign to fight “Islamophobia” that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.

“Following recent discussions between faculty council, President Ryken and Provost Jones, Faculty Council unanimously recommended to administration that the administrative leave and the notification of termination ‘for cause’ of Dr. Larycia Hawkins be withdrawn due to grave concerns about the process,” Lynn Cohick, New Testament professor and chair of the council, wrote in an email to faculty.

As previously reported, Hawkins, a professing Christian, posted to Facebook two photos of herself wearing a hijab last month, and stated in a lengthy explanation that she planned to wear it everywhere during the Advent—including at the Christian college and to church. She outlined in her reasons for solidarity that she believes that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.

“I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book,” Hawkins asserted. “And as Pope Francis stated last week, we worship the same God.”

In light of controversy over the matter, especially Hawkins’ “same God” assertion, the professor was placed on paid administrative leave by university officials while a review would be conducted.

“Wheaton College faculty and staff make a commitment to accept and model our institution’s faith foundations with integrity, compassion, and theological clarity,” the college said in a statement. “As they participate in various causes, it is essential that faculty and staff engage in and speak about public issues in ways that faithfully represent the college’s evangelical Statement of Faith.”

Wheaton officials acknowledged late last month that talks had come to a standstill as Hawkins refused to continue discussions with members of administration about her “same God” beliefs following initial meetings. They soon issued Hawkins a “Notice of Recommendation to Initiate Termination-for-Cause Proceedings.”

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A meeting was scheduled to be held with faculty Thursday afternoon, which included questions such as, “Does the college have a position on what can or cannot be said regarding the question: ‘Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God?’” and “What is the process for determining acceptable interpretations of the Statement of Faith?”

Wheaton psychology professor Michael Mangis expressed disapproval of the outcome of the meeting.

“There was a lot of frustration,” he told the Chicago Tribune. “It was really us listening to them and their statements of how they hoped that their relationships and trust could be restored. But they didn’t choose to follow the faculty council’s admonition to reverse their decision.”

Wheaton released a statement on Thursday acknowledging the Faculty Council’s request, but noted that the proceedings will move forward.

“President Ryken and the Faculty Council have discussed a review of current policies and processes, with a view to addressing or clarifying areas of concern,” the statement said. “However, Dr. Ryken has also asked Faculty Council to understand that the Faculty Personnel Committee hearing is the method through which the particulars of Dr. Hawkins’ personnel matter will be addressed.”

A hearing is scheduled for Feb. 11.

“No, the God of Islam is not the same as the God of Christianity,” writes Matt Slick of Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry (CARM). “In Christianity God is a Trinity, but in Islam God is not a Trinity. It is not possible to have God be a Trinity and also not a Trinity at the same time.”

“Also, in Islam Jesus is not God in flesh (Surah 4:172, 5:73, 9:30) where in Christianity He is (John 1:1, 14, Col. 2:9),” he explains. “Islam says that the Helper (paraclete in Greek) is Muhammed where the Bible says that the Helper is the Holy Spirit (John 14:26). So, the God of Islam and the God of Christianity are not the same.”

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  • Truthnotrelative2

    All members of the faculty council must be suspended.

  • RWH

    If Moslems, who don’t believe in the Trinity, don’t worship the same God, then it must hold that Jews, who also don’t believe in the Trinity, must not also worship the same God. And some Pentecostals, who don’t believe in the Trinity either, must also not believe in the same God. Both Jews and Moslems reject the deity of Christ, so both don’t believe in the same God. Yet, Dispensationalists believe that Jews are still God’s chosen people. Yet they don’t believe in the deity of Christ. Therefore, they are not saved. Thus, God throws his chosen people into hell. There are a number of Saints of the Church who believed that Islam is a Christian heresy that stems in part from the big fights between the Orthodox and the Gnostics and the Arians over the nature of Jesus Christ. Hence, the Council of Nicea where the doctrine of the Trinity was hammered out by the Church Fathers and is the same doctrine that Evangelicals believe even though they like to claim that the Church was not the Church from Constantine until the Protestant Reformation.

    Concerning those who are so eager to suspend and fire faculty, the consequences of such rash acts ruin a university. Wheaton would have to fire half the faculty, and those that weren’t fired would be out on the job market looking for a place more stable. Students would transfer en masse to other schools, and the school’s accreditation would be at risk. I can think of at least five Evangelical/Fundamentalist schools that were driven into the ground and have closed because school administrations made stupid moves as advocated by some people on the list.

    • Guest

      Except that Y’shua and Jehovah are one. Indeed, Christians and Jews DO worship the same God.

      • RWH

        A cursory Google search will reveal that the name Allah can be found in OT Scriptures written in Aramaic at the time of Christ. It is also the term used for God in Christian worship in Arabic countries. Consult the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America if you want verification. What hold for the goose, holds for the gander. In short, terminology means absolutely nothing.

        • Guest

          That’s your problem – you’re going by a cursory Google search, which is hardly a serious scholarly study. Jews never say “allah” when referring to Jehovah, and Arab Christians refer to God as “ilah” generically or as “Yasu” by name.

        • tigersfan61

          You neither know nor are inclined to come to the knowledge of the truth…Yes the Jews ARE God’s chosen…YES they must accept Jesus as Savior and Lord in order to go to heaven….YES there will be Jews in Hell because of their rejection of Jesus…and NO Muslims DO NOT WORSHIP THE GOD OF THE BIBLE…They worship a sun and moon god…the professor in question SHOULD be fired because she does NOT hold to orthodox Christian teaching…PERIOD…The “stupid” move would be to allow her to remain…

  • The Guest

    Not the same: “We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” 1 John 5:9-11

    If you do not believe that Christ came as the Son of God for His purpose and the fulfillment of His word, then it is not the same God you believe in.

  • Shirley Kelly

    IF I were an alumni, they would never get another cent from me.

  • DLCraig

    Apparently it can no longer be assumed that the faculty members at a Christian College might know a little something about Christianity? It’s doubtful that many of them are even Christians.

  • Becky

    “No, the God of Islam is not the same as the God of Christianity,” writes Matt Slick of Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry (CARM). “In Christianity God is a Trinity, but in Islam God is not a Trinity. It is not possible to have God be a Trinity and also not a Trinity at the same time.”

    Trinity? There’s only one God.

    Christ has always existed, not as Christ, but as God the father. Christ was manifested to destroy the works of the devil, which has yet to be fulfilled (1 Jn 3:8). Apparently, this manifestation occurred when Christ was conceived…“the Word became flesh”, Jn 1.

    According to scripture, Christ currently, “sits at the right hand of God”, “has to rule until God puts all his enemies under his feet.” When all has been fulfilled, we will be subjected to God, as will Christ (1 Cor. 15:20-28; Hebrews 1:5-13). Christ will go from sitting at the right hand of God to the center of the throne where God is seated and God’s light will lighten the city and that light is the Lamb (Christ) (Revelation 7:9-17). Revelation 21:23 clearly reveals that God’s light that shines is the Lamb.

    Revelation 22:1-5 says that God’s servants will worship “Him”, see “His” face and have “His” name on their foreheads. It’s not plural…it’s singular…one God.

    There are no scriptures that state God and Christ will be separate Gods (eg: God the Father, God the Son) in the new kingdom. We will worship one God.