Dylan was right. “The times they are a changin’.” One change is that Muslims now make up about 1% of the US population—about 3.3 million people. That number is expected to double by 2050. More and more, our neighbors and coworkers, will be Muslims. Will they be our friends as well? What are we doing to reach out to this growing minority?
In an effort to better understand a Muslim worldview, I’ve been reading a series of books on Islam. Ignorance breeds fear and misunderstanding. I recently wrote about one book, Wholly Different, by Nonie Darwish, that I found informative but largely lacking in love and compassion. Well, the book I just finished is filled with love and compassion. If I had to recommend one book on the subject, this would be it! And it’s not just me—Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus won the Christian Book Award for both “Best New Author” and “Best Non-Fiction” of 2015. Continue reading
You’ve heard it before:
- All religions are the same.
- Suffering is proof that God doesn’t exist.
- Christians are so narrow minded!
- Religion does more harm than good.
- A loving God would never send anyone to hell.
- Science has disproved Christianity.
- The Bible isn’t a reliable document.
You’ve run into these ideas in books or articles. They’ve issued from the mouths of friends or family members. You might even agree with some, or all, of them. Skepticism and atheism are oh, so trendy. Entire networks of blogs are devoted to dissing God and religion, usually with plenty of snide comments and a great degree of sarcasm. (I’ve often wondered why people get so snarky when it comes to criticizing other people’s beliefs.)
When asked (in Matthew 22:36-38) which is the greatest commandment in the Law, Jesus replied “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ He was quoting Deuteronomy 6:5, but with a twist—Jesus added the word “mind.”
There’s a reason for this. When Deuteronomy was written, the concept of mind was included in heart and soul. By the time Jesus arrived on the scene, those meanings had diverged. Wanting to be sure that we understood our need to love God with our intellect, Jesus inserted the extra word. (And while Matthew omitted “with all your strength,” Mark and Luke made sure to include it.)
Yay! I convinced my son-in-law Jeremy to write another guest post for me. Have you experienced anything similar in your school, now or in the past?
Nothing is worse than having to sit through a class you cannot stand, as an unfair professor can make your life a living hell. But now that an entire season has passed and I’ve had ample time to recover and even procrastinate, I feel the need to follow up on something. Several months ago I wrote a short, satirical essay [College: Where You’re Liberal or You’re Wrong] about my first college class, and how it turned out to be a waste because my professor, Mr. R, was a hypocritical bigot.
Although much of the same abuse which I discussed in that paper persisted for the remainder of the class, eventually Mr. R and I found some common ground and slowly developed a mutual respect for one another. Considering his attitude towards me and my beliefs, the fact that the two of us were ever able to see somewhat eye-to-eye is actually rather remarkable, so I (driven by the gentle, yet persistent, persuasion of my lovely mother-in-law) felt it would be good to share a little bit about how that came to be. The following is a random assortment of our exchanges which brought us to our somewhat common ground.