Christ is not against the Muslims. He died for them.

Christ is not against the Muslims. He died for them.” This was perhaps the most profound and timely statement from Moltmann during the live Homebrewed Christianity podcast interview at AAR in Atlanta on November 20th (the audio is now available to listen to online here).  With all of the recent heated headlines about terrorism and Muslims (and the various responses from political and religious leaders), I thought now would be a good time to share this quote along with its extended context. 

In the interview, Tony Jones had just remarked that The Crucified God seems to bring together the best of the two basic types of atonement theories, i.e., the objective (something happens with God) and subjective  (something happens with us). 

Moltmann added that something also happens “with the others,” and explained: 

I remember it was a special hour in the German Parliament during the Cold War when a famous Protestant Minister, Gustav Heinemann, stood up and made a speech, and he was saying “Christ is not against the communists!” And the Christians protested against him. And he continued, “He died for them.” And there was silence in the parliament.
And so today we should say, ‘Christ is not against the Muslims. He died for them.” And we should accept Muslims as persons for whom Christ died. This is not to accept the Islam and the Koran etc… But meet the person with respect as a potential sister and brother of Christ.

You can listen to the audio of this exchange starting around the 37 minute mark over at Homebrewed Christianity. One of Moltmann’s most famous students, Miroslav Volf (who has written an excellent book on Islam), tweeted a similar sentiment about loving Muslims this morning, seemingly in response to the recent news that a Wheaton professor has been suspended for claiming that Christians and Muslims worship the same God. Not long ago I read Volf’s book, Allah: A Christian Response (which in part makes a case for this claim), and I plan to share some helpful insights from it here in the near future. 

3 thoughts on “Christ is not against the Muslims. He died for them.

  1. I, of course, agree with Moltmann. I would, however, emphasize that Muslims (like all human beings) are made in the image of God. This is their deepest dignity and calling in life. How we treat them should not depend on their potential response to the gospel. Obviously Moltmann has said as much in other places;) Great post!

    • Great point! No need for a dualism that separates us from the other, as Moltmann remarked in his lecture on predestination at the Barth conference. Another thing I think of is Moltmann’s frequent use of Blumhardt, that we should take everyone we meet as a believer.

      Moltmann has some great things to say elsewhere on inter-religious dialog. I’ll try to get a follow up post up soon (already a draft in the hopper with extended quotations!).

  2. I agree. Christ is not against humanity, whether they be muslims or communists or anything else. Salvation is for all and our God facilitates that. The muslims and communists are against Christ and Christians, however, and had not past generations resisted islam vigorously it would have overrun us. The same is true with communism.

    You have to resist evil or it will overrun you. Islam and communism are evil. Both must be resisted vigorously at every level.

    You cant love a drunk sober. The world is full of battered women who believe otherwise. By the same token, you cannot appease evil. History is littered with the carcases of countries and political figures who foolishly believed they could buy off evil with love and understanding.

    Identify the enemy. Get your back up and resist.

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