Finally, a look at the King’s Way document that sparked the Chrislam questions

King's Way Saddleback

The following is an exclusive report posted by Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries, who received a segment of King’s Way, along with an explanation, from reporter Jim Hinch:


By  on Mar 4, 2012

Apprising Ministries has long been a leading critic of the semi-pelagian (at best) doctrine of Southern Baptist megachurch pastor Rick Warren.  In articles like Rick Warren And Teachings Of Demons I’ve also clearly documented his sinful ecumenicism as well.
Of course that’s merely one of the fruits festering within apostatizing evangelicalism because of its foolish fascination with corrupt Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism.
According to our article posted just a few hours ago, Rick Warren, megachurch pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA, is currently working to build a “bridge” (through a document called “King’s Way”) between Christians and Muslims by claiming that the two faiths worship the same God. The “King’s Way” document, which is the foundation for these bridge building efforts, is not yet publicly available, but a December 2011 meeting at Saddleback Church has been documented here. From the article by Jim Hinch of the Orange County Register:
“The Rev. Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest and one of America’s most influential Christian leaders, has embarked on an effort to heal divisions between evangelical Christians and Muslims by partnering with Southern California mosques and proposing a set of theological principles that includes acknowledging that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.” (Online source)
You might remember that Rick Warren then appeared in the comments section of Hinch’s report with a rather nebulous comment about apparent misinformation allegedly put out by Hinch. So in Rick Warren, Islam, And Jim Hinch I shared with you the result of my personal conversation with Hinch and his clarification.
The Lord be praised that online apologetics and discernment works He’s raised up were able to put enough pressure upon Rick Warren that Ed Stetzer of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Lifeway publishing arm would lament:
Once again, watchbloggers are accusing Rick Warren of heresy. Why? Because, Warren explains, a secular Orange County newspaper got something wrong about a religious issue. Some of the usual bloggers have done their usual job.
However, due to the nature of the story, some mainstream news organizations and bloggers, without the constant anti-Warren agenda, were asking questions and wondering what what was going on. I was. So, I emailed Rick and asked him.
Rick sent me this interview where he seeks to bring clarification. He gave me permission to share it here at the blog. I think it will be helpful. (Online source)
Since I am considered one of those “watchbloggers” this immediately caught my attention. Stetzer would go on to say, “I am sure those who quoted the OC Register will also quote this to clear up any confusion.” Indeed Daniel Neades of Better Than Sacrifice, editor of my CRN, did immediately cover this development.
In an ‘interview’ published by Ed Stetzer of LifeWay Research, Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church and one of America’s most prominent Christian leaders, has categorically denied an Orange County Register report that he had ‘embarked on an effort to heal divisions between evangelical Christians and Muslims by partnering with Southern California mosques and proposing a set of theological principles that includes acknowledging that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.’ (Online source)
Well, in the interest of fairness I decided to email Jim Hinch today. Remember, he is a veteran freelance reporter; not some “angry watchblogger.” I asked Jim if there’s any way I could get a copy of that King’s Way piece at the source of this confusion. I explained that without seeing it there wasn’t much more I can say.
Then I told him that my guess is the wording of it does imply what you said. it was my opinion based upon 25 years in the field of Comparative Religion that likely it’s wording is consistent with the original In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful A Common Word between Us and You, which says:
It is part of the very foundational principles of both faiths: love of the One God, and love of the neighbour. These principles are found over and over again in the sacred texts of Islam and Christianity. The Unity of God, the necessity of love for Him, and the necessity of love of the neighbour is thus the common ground between Islam and Christianity. (Online source)
Now compare the Christian response to the above that Rick Warren actually signed. You’ll see it also, at least, implies that Islam is an Abrahamic faith believing in the same God:
A Common Word Between Us and You identifies some core common ground between Christianity and Islam which lies at the heart of our respective faiths as well as at the heart of the most ancient Abrahamic faith, Judaism…in responding to your letter, we ask forgiveness of the All-Merciful One and of the Muslim community around the world…
We applaud that A Common Word Between Us and You stresses so insistently the unique devotion to one God, indeed the love of God, as the primary duty of every believer… (Online source)
As I then told Jim Hinch in my email to him, sure, someone can hide in the weeds claiming all of this doesn’t exactly say that they believe Muslims believe in the same God, but it’s my assertion this is the clear implication. I’ll also offer that if one doesn’t mean this they’re being a bit disingenuous to followers of Islam.
The Lord be praised, Jim Hinch has given me permission to publish the following, which further explains his thinking in his report and includes a bit of the King’s Way document. I read it the same way as Jim Hinch:
1. The primary source for this story was a five-page document jointly drafted by Abraham Meulenberg, a Saddleback pastor in charge of interfaith outreach, and Jihad Turk, director of religious affairs at the Islamic Center of Southern California, a mosque in Los Angeles. The document was unveiled at a December, 2011 dinner at Saddleback Church attended by approximately 300 Saddleback members and members of Southern California’s Muslim community. At the dinner a Powerpoint presentation described the document, and the King’s Way outreach effort which inspired the document, as “a path to end the 1,400 years of misunderstanding between Muslims and Christians.” The document, which was given to me by a source for this story on condition it not be published in its entirety, outlines several areas of theological agreement between Christians and Muslims and commits members of both faiths to three goals: becoming friends; making peace; and sharing “the blessings of God with others.” Here is how the document describes the points of theological agreement:
I. WHO: we believe in
1. God is one (Mark 12:29; Muhammed 47:19)
2. God is the Creator (Genesis 1:1; Al Shura 42:11)
3. God is different from the world (1 Timothy 6:16; An An’am 6:103)
4. God is Good
a. God loves (1 John 4:16; Al Buruj 85:14)
b. God is just (1 John 1:19, Romans 3:26; Hud 11:45)
c. God’s love encompasses God’s judgment (1 Peter 4:8; Al A’raf 7:156; Al Ghafir 40:7)
The Register story based the phrases “same God” and “one God” on the phrasing in this document, which states that Christians and Muslims believe in one God.
2. Rick Warren initially posted a comment to the article claiming that the article contained “multiple errors.” That comment was later deleted, I presume by Warren. After seeing that comment I reached out to Warren’s director of communications. On Monday, Feb. 27 a Saddleback representative called and told me that while the Register story was factually accurate, folks at Saddleback would prefer that the opening paragraph read “Muslims and Christians believe that God is one.” Following a discussion with a Register editor Saddleback decided to withdraw its request for a clarification. At no time has anyone at Saddleback said to me or to anyone else at the Register that the story contains factual inaccuracies.
3. Warren states in his white paper that “no one even talked to me about that article!” I made numerous attempts to contact Warren, both by phone and by e-mail, before the story was published. I was eventually told by Warren’s director of communications that Warren was too busy with other projects to speak with me or to e-mail a response to the story’s main claims, which I had e-mailed to the communications director. Instead I was put in touch with Tom Holladay, an associate senior pastor at Saddleback. I ran all of the story’s claims by Holladay and he affirmed all of them, including the language of the King’s Way document and the fact that King’s Way was an effort to build bridges of friendship and cooperation, not an attempt to evangelize. During my conversation with Holladay I asked whether the King’s Way effort, including the December dinner and the theological document, was done with Rick Warren’s approval. “Of course it has his approval,” Holladay replied. It is neither fair nor accurate to claim that this story was published without attempting to solicit Rick Warren’s response.
4. Warren claims in his white paper that it is “flat-out wrong” that either he or members of Saddleback have promised not to evangelize the Muslims they are working with in the King’s Way effort. As I stated above, that was not what I was told by Tom Holladay. Also, every one of the Muslim sources I talked to for this story emphasized that both sides promised not to evangelize one another. Indeed Muslims told me that the promise not to evangelize was one of the things that enabled them to overcome their wariness toward evangelicals and build bonds of friendship. Again, no source for this story, including at Saddleback, ever told me that the intent of the King’s Way effort was to evangelize Muslims.
This story, obviously, has generated a great deal of passionate response. I respect Rick Warren’s desire to make his views and intentions clear. However I do not believe it is fair to question the accuracy of the Register’s story or the way it was reported. I have had several conversations with people at Saddleback following the publication of the story, including with the church’s director of communications. Everyone I have talked to from the church has told me that the story is entirely factually accurate but they wish certain phrases had been worded differently. However, since those phrases stem directly from a printed document whose authenticity no one has questioned, everyone agrees that there is nothing in the story to correct.
See also:
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9 Responses to Finally, a look at the King’s Way document that sparked the Chrislam questions

  1. Jack Morrow says:

    I have a copy of the Qur'an in front of me (Abdullah Yusuf Ali translation), and the passages cited in the document definitely refer to Allah, who is definitely not the God of the Bible.

    Whenever Rick Warren says or does something that provokes negative publicity, he has a pattern of Clintonesque lying, denying, and smearing his accusers–just ask Deborah Dombrowski of Lighthouse Trails Research Project or Joseph Farah of WorldNet Daily (whose columns on R.W. are well worth reading).


  2. Just because Muslims call Allah, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, does not mean that he is. Remember, Satan can also masquerade as an angel of light (2 Cor 11v14).

    Why not join with Satan then? Satan also believes there is one supreme God – in fact he knows that better than any of us here on earth, as he used to lead worship in His presence in all purity.

    RICK WARREN! OPEN YOUR EYES! Even though Muslims acknowledge Jesus as a prophet, THEY DO NOT ACCEPT HIM AS GOD… …This alone qualifies Islam as being Anti-Christ in nature. WHAT FELLOWSHIP DOES LIGHT HAVE WITH DARKNESS?


  3. Garth Colin Whelan says:


    If you succeed in having fellowship with darkness, then how can they accept you, unless your light is darkness? WE know that evil hates darkness, so if an anti-Christ based religion accepts you, then your light must no longer exist.

    REPENT OF YOUR BLINDNESS AND SEE THE TRUTH. DO NOT BE BLINDED BY POPULARITY! Do you think Jesus would have been crucified, if He preached like you?


  4. Bertrand Alan Eichel says:

    I recall A story about a man visiting Samaria and talking with an adulterous woman, this man was a Jew from Isreal, of the lineage of David. At that time Samaria and it's inhabitants were considered enemies of God and NOT to even be spoken to. yet this man (the Son of God, just in case you didn't know) not only spoke to this woman but offered to her repentantance, forgiveness and salvation.. Why are we as Christians (which means to be Christ like, model the life and trachings of Jesus, build bridges, all that sort of things) Jesus first built the bridge of love and relationship without being judgemental, "You are the enemy of God!" stuff, even though his disciples asked him why he was associating with this infidel, and harlot. Wasn't it Paul in his first letter to the church at Corinth that said "Let me show you a more excellent way…" and proceeded to outline what Love is. SO we all have a choice, show love or hate.


  5. Amy Spreeman says:

    Bertrand, Saddleback LIED and said this meeting did not exist, and nothing like this happened on Saddleback property. This story has nothing to do with loving people and sharing the Gospel with them.


  6. Brian Larson says:

    The Holy Spirit (Arabic: الروح القدس‎, al-Rūḥ al-Quddus) also known as Jibrayil described in the Islamic faith is mentioned several times in the Qur'an, and is generally interpreted by Muslims as being the same Holy Spirit that is referred to in both the Old and the New Testaments of the Bible. The Arabic phrase "al-Quddus" (القدس) translates to English as "the Holy One" or "the Exalted One". Jerusalem, considered a holy site in Islam, is referred to in Arabic as "Bayt al-Muqaddas" (بيت المقدس), a term which has the same phonetic root as the Arabic phrases "al-Quddus" and "al-Quds". "Al-Quddus" is also one of the 99 Names of God in Islam.

    Main article: Holy Spirit (Judaism)
    The Hebrew language phrase ruach ha-kodesh (Hebrew: רוח הקודש, "holy spirit" also transliterated ruaḥ ha-qodesh) is a term used in the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) and Jewish writings to refer to the spirit of YHWH (רוח יהוה). It literally means "the spirit of holiness" or "the spirit of the holy place". The Hebrew terms ruaḥ qodshəka, "thy holy spirit" (רוּחַ קָדְשְׁךָ), and ruaḥ qodshō, "his holy spirit" (רוּחַ קָדְשׁ֑וֹ) also occur (when a possessive suffix is added the definite article is dropped). The "Holy Spirit" in Judaism generally refers to the divine aspect of prophecy and wisdom. It also refers to the divine force, quality, and influence of the Most High God, over the universe or over his creatures, in given contexts.[3

    Further information: Holy Spirit (Christianity) and God in Christianity § The Holy Spirit

    A depiction of the Trinity consisting of God the Holy Spirit along with God the Father and God the Son (Jesus Christ)
    For the large majority of Christians, the Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost, from Old English gast, "spirit") is the third divine person of the Trinity: the "Triune God" manifested as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; each person itself being God.[4][5][6]

    Eternal sins or unforgivable sins or unpardonable sins are part of Christian hamartiology, which is the Christian theology of sins. These are sins which will not be forgiven by God whereby salvation becomes impossible. One eternal or unforgivable sin is specified in several passages of the Synoptic Gospels:[1] verse 29 in Mark 3 states that there is one sin considered eternal and that is "blasphemy against the Holy Spirit".

    New International Version
    but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.

    I ask that We Believe in the Holy Spirit! I DO!


  7. Charlie Deck says:

    I see that this post and many other on this site are posted by A.S. I'd like to know who A.S. is.



    ROMANS 11:25
    All Israel Shall Be Saved
    25For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery– so that you will not be wise in your own estimation– that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; 26and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, "THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION, HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB.

    ISAIAH 2

    The Mountain of the Lord
    1The word which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. 2Now it will come about that In the last days The mountain of the house of the LORD Will be established as the chief of the mountains, And will be raised above the hills; And all the nations will stream to it. 3And many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways And that we may walk in His paths." For the law will go forth from Zion And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem

    Matthew 21:13
    Jesus Cleanses the Temple

    12 And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. 13And He said to them, "It is written, 'MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER'; but you are making it a ROBBERS' DEN." 14And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them


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