Piper and Mohler at ETS


John Piper and Albert Mohler sat on a panel last week at ETS to discuss a recent effort to bridge the theological divide between Muslims and Christians. The effort resulted in a document titled “A Common Word Between Us,” and I wrote about it in early 2008 (read it here).

I was at the panel discussion which featured two Muslim scholars and one Christian scholar in favor of the proposal, and Piper and Mohler who were opposed. Desiring God has made the audio available, and I commend it to you. J. P. Moreland moderated the discussion, and I have arranged the audio below to reflect the original order of presenters.

Muslim Perspectives on the Writing of “A Common Word”

Christian Defenses of the Yale Response to “A Common Word”

Piper and Mohler’s Responses to “A Common Word”


John Piper’s original 2008 response is below:

13 Responses to Piper and Mohler at ETS

  1. Paul November 23, 2009 at 3:50 pm #

    Piper and Mohler spoke on a panel last week that resulted in document that you wrote about in 2008?


  2. Darius T November 23, 2009 at 4:18 pm #

    What Paul said… isn’t this pretty much old news by now?

  3. Paul November 23, 2009 at 8:56 pm #

    I wasn’t suggesting this is old, I’m just confused at the first paragraph.

    It seems as though they spoke at the event last week, a document was produced, and you(Denny) wrote about it in 2008.

    time travel or am I missing something?

  4. Peter Eddy November 23, 2009 at 9:21 pm #

    Hi Denny,

    Are you able to link to the audio? I’d like to load it on my MP3 player to listen to later.

    Would that be possible? Thanks.

  5. Lucas Knisely November 23, 2009 at 10:33 pm #


    Click on the link in the blog that says “Desiring God“… that takes you to the site where you can then click Download for the audio in mp3 format.

  6. Denny Burk November 23, 2009 at 10:56 pm #


    What Lucas said. You can click on the picture as well.

  7. Denny Burk November 23, 2009 at 11:01 pm #


    I guess “recent” is a relative term. Maybe I should have said “relatively recently.”

  8. David Vinzant November 23, 2009 at 11:36 pm #


    The effort and the document by Muslims to find some common ground with Christians were produced in 2007. Denny wrote about it in 2008. Piper, Mohler, et. al. discussed it last week.

  9. David Vinzant November 24, 2009 at 12:04 am #

    The original document is worth reading:

    It represented a remarkable willingess by leaders of Islam to find some common ground with Christians by emphasizing that both faiths teach love for God and love for neighbor as foundational principles.

    A group of Christians wrote a response applauding the Muslim hand of friendship and pledging the work to bring peace. That document was signed by over 300 prominent Christian leaders, including Leith Anderson, Stuart Briscoe, David Yonggi Cho, Timothy George, Joel Green, David Gushee, Carl Holladay, Bill Hybels, Scot McKnight, Brian McLaren, Richard Mouw, David Neff, John Stott, and Rick Warren.


    Piper and Mohler felt it necessary to repudiate the entire enterprise.

  10. Ali November 24, 2009 at 1:38 am #

    David Vinzant,

    Their disagreement is not without reason. Whether their reasons are right or wrong, would you have them jump on a bandwagon they didn’t actually believe in?

    I’m thankful that they are able and willing to provide their reasons for us to judge.

  11. Patrick November 24, 2009 at 12:57 pm #

    A genuine question – Why should we respond to a Muslim effort to establish what is common between “us and them” by simply establishing what distinguishes “us” from “them”? Both sides have been theologically well aware of what distinguishes the two faiths for more than a thousand years. Again, both sides are well aware.

    Is it time to think about our common interest in peaceful dialogue and human reconciliation. By reconciliation I do not mean reconciling the truth claims of Jesus with those of Mohammad. Muslims are just as interested in preserving the supremacy of Mohammad as we are of Jesus.

    Is there nothing we have in common?

  12. Ali November 24, 2009 at 6:20 pm #

    Well, Patrick, isn’t that the issue? The document asserts common ground that Piper and Mohler don’t agree is common. They (well, at least what I read of Piper) are happy to dialogue, but on the basis of what they’d consider actual commonalities.

    Nor do I think that concentrating solely on what is common is helpful. It distorts potential relations just as much (though in a different way) as concentrating solely on differences.

  13. Owen November 30, 2009 at 1:40 pm #

    Nice photo, Denny. Way to stage it. I love RAM propping himself up and the gentlemen next to him stealing a look at his notes.

    Expert photography.

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