October 31, 2012
Especially since the 9/11 attacks on US soil, we Americans have struggled to come to terms with the concept of Sharia. One of the (secondary) justifications for our invasion of Afghanistan in the wake of those murderous attacks was to liberate their women from the clutches of this medieval and repressive system. True, the Taliban's legal code forbade women from going to school, working, and wearing anything in public but the traditional village burqa. But our fear of Sharia is not just about women's rights, or even some of the prescribed punishments for theft or adultery that seem barbaric to us. Our real fear, understandably, is terrorism.
October 29, 2012
Last spring, I had the privilege of facilitating the launch of a group we would later begin calling "Multi-Faith Friends for the Common Good." On March 11, three Jews, four Muslims, and five Christians met in the library at Apex Mosque with two chief goals. One, we wanted to have a go at building genuine, authentic friendship with one another across the obvious cultural and ideological divides, which were perceived to be vast. And two, we wanted to see if, in the context of these new friendships, we could find a way to work together for the good of our community.
October 23, 2012
"You shouldn't work for peace in the Middle East, because the Bible teaches there will never be peace there. What you are trying to do is contrary to Scripture. The Bible teaches that the end times will be an age of horrendous persecution and spiritual darkness. Your efforts are useless!" I hear stuff like this all the time. What bothers me is that people don't just apply it to the Middle East. They apply it to all of life. Society is sinking into the cesspool of sin, and there is no way out.
October 16, 2012
"Christians do very well as compared to the rest of society. They are neighborly, forgiving and caring for the poor...." So writes Bradley R.E. Wright. This is good news. But even this positive book acknowledges that Christians, on the whole, still don't like people of other races, religions, and sexual orientation. Christians struggle with loving the "other."
October 11, 2012
This is a fantastic 5-minute video of Carl Medearis talking about some common objections he hears to befriending and doing peacemaking with Muslims. We highly recommend it, and feel free to share this with your friends.
October 9, 2012
A recent blog accused me of being a proponent of "Chrislam," the syncretistic blending of Christianity and Islam. This type of accusation is nothing new. In fact, those of us who love Muslims or make peace with Muslims are often accused of compromising our faith. This blog stated that I was at the forefront of compromise with Islamic Theology. Wow! Serious allegations. So I think I should respond.
October 4, 2012
Can a Christian learn anything from a Muslim? I have learned a lot from my Muslim friends. For example, I have learned much more about hospitality from my Muslim friends than I have from my Christian friends. Hospitality is an important theme in Scripture, and Muslims have modeled for me what hospitality truly is. I have also learned a lot from Eboo Patel's latest book, Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice and the Promise of America.
October 1, 2012
I have been on a high ever since the Evangelicals for Peace Summit! I want to thank Peter Sensenig, David Johnston, Greg Metzger, and Byron Borger for their excellent blogs about the summit. I am humbled by the phone calls and emails I have received congratulating me and calling the summit a success. Here's how it went: