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Lipscomb University Embroiled in Controversy over Islam

Saturday, December 2nd, 2006

The Tennessean reports that Lipscomb professor Lee Camp suggested forsaking the “Christendom model” in order to make peace with Muslims and Jews. He is quoted as saying, “The most basic Christian commitment … is that we say we believe in the Lordship of Jesus. But, if we claim that, how can a Muslim or Jew trust us, if we say Jesus is the Lord of all Lords?” The story is entitled, “Christians Must ‘Let Go’ Some Beliefs for Sake of Peace, Theologian Says.”

In a response, Camp writes the following on Lipscomb’s website.

…I am a Christian who holds, without apology, to the Lordship of Jesus. I cannot accept any strategy of “conflict resolution” that asks me to set aside that particular claim. I believe and teach that Jesus is Lord of Lords and King of Kings.

This exclusive claim of the authority of Christ thus presents a problem for “conflict management.” I went on to ask these questions: How can the Jew or Muslim trust us Christians if we hold onto the exclusive Lordship of Jesus? Given that I refuse to deny the Lordship of Jesus, what can I or other Christians possibly contribute to peace-making, whether global or local?

Here is my answer: Because I profess that Jesus is Lord of Lords, I have committed myself to loving both neighbor and enemy. Because I profess that Jesus is King of Kings, I have committed myself to serving and honoring all people. Because I profess that Jesus is the ultimate authority to which all other authorities must submit, that authority requires of me to extend gracious, generous hospitality to the stranger, the pilgrim, and those who do not see the world as I see it….

Nobody’s surprised that the news media skewed Camp’s position in order to make their report more provocative. The real story here is that Lipscomb’s reputation is no longer strong enough to stand on its own. There was a time when all Christians would have disregarded the Tennessean’s claims without an explanation. Sadly, it seems those days are over.