We keep hearing, “All religions are essentially the same.” But no they aren’t! That sentiment is particularly unhelpful when trying to understand the different religions. So it’s refreshing to read a Muslim scholar explaining, in Time Magazine, no less, How Islam Is Different From Other Religions.
Yes, American foreign policy is a laughing-stock abroad, but that means at least some of the reaction is funny. British commentator Douglas Murray discusses the new American counter-terrorism strategy, which, in its written form, never mentions “Islam.” Terrorist-inspiring religious extremism is a problem, says Secretary of State John Kerry, for all religions. Which has Mr. Murray worried about what’s going on with those Anglicans. [Read more…]
In September 2006, Pope Benedict XVI gave a speech at the University of Regensburg, which earned him much criticism for dissing Islam. But what the speech was about was the importance of a proper use of reason to Christianity and the West, something missing in Islam.
Samuel Gregg writes about the address and the issue in a provocative post for the Catholic World Report. He and the former pope observe that the Logos, from which the word “logic” comes, is essential to Christianity as the ordering principle of the universe, as well as the Son of God (John 1). Without this order principle, we get irrational violence AND the irrationalities of the postmodern universities, with their “safe spaces,” political correctness, and rejection of truth. We are also getting the kind of irrationalism that reduces reason to empiricism alone, without considering larger truths, meaning that reason is no longer of much help in addressing moral issues.
Benedict recognizes the problems of scholasticism that subjected Scriptural revelation to Aristotelian philosophy, an imbalance that Luther and the other Reformers castigated in their critiques of reason alone. What is needed is a proper use of reason. The address also gives ammunition for classical education, as Benedict argues for the necessity of preserving the “hellenic” heritage of the West. [Read more…]
Do Muslims and Christians worship the same God? Catholics, liberals, and some evangelicals are saying, yes. When Wheaton College professor Larycia Hawkins made that claim, it blew up into a controversy that ended with her leaving the institution. But the favored position, to show our sensitivity to Muslims, is to say that both religions, for all of their differences, worship the same God.
But what do Muslims say? A council of Islamic authorities agrees with Wheaton College at least in this: Muslims do not worship the same God as Christians.
Some Muslims believe otherwise, just as Christians disagree on the issue. But doesn’t it show more sensitivity to Muslims to allow them their own religion, rather than to say that we are fundamentally the same? Isn’t the “we all worship the same God” talk actually patronizing and disrespectful?
International journalist Uwe Siemon-Netto, a confessional Lutheran, has more details about Muslims converting to Christianity. He has published a compelling article in the Australian magazine Quadrant that you need to read for yourself. Excerpt and link after the jump. (Tomorrow we’ll post about the strange phenomenon of the Muslims dreaming about Jesus.) [Read more…]
The Protestant state church in the Rhineland has issued a statement saying that Christians should not try to evangelize Muslim immigrants. It maintains that the Great Commission does not mean Christians should try to convert others to their faith. This, despite the phenomenon of more and more Muslim immigrants becoming Christians, thanks in part to the efforts of the independent Lutheran church (SELK). [Read more…]