Archives for September 2010

The Transformation of the World?

United Methodists will be familiar with one of our efforts at corporate branding: “Making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the World.” I’d like to offer a few comments. They don’t reflect the full complexity of our history, nor are they my definitive view. I do hope they will get us to think [Read More…]

Rethink Church?

“We talk about a decline in church membership over these decades, but the reality is that there was a decline in simply being church. United Methodists and the general public sensed this decline in being church and left, or left us alone.” [Read more…]

Islam as an Alternative?

“Ideas, ideals and ideologies by themselves do not count for much unless the people who champion, espouse and follow them carry some substance. Ideologies after all require the human agency to be implemented. Looked at from this angle, not much material progress is seen among Muslims.” [Read more…]

A Brief Informal Account of Islamic Law (Shari’ah)

Understanding Developments in Islamic Law (This is a brief outline just to clarify an number of misunderstandings. References at the bottom for anyone interested in knowing more.) The Qur’an creates a new world-view among Bedouin tribes in the Arabian Peninsula and beyond. Transcendent: Humans are in direct relationship to the unique and transcendent God. Eschatological: [Read More…]

Wisdom and the Religious Other

Many organizations in our world are devoted to inter-religious understanding. These articles in the Elijah Foundation Newsletter offer a 12 step program we all need to join. Robert [Read more…]

Religious Freedom and Religious Responsibility

When Christians think about Islam and the Muslim world one of the most common issues on their mind is the question of freedom of religion. In the popular mind the United States, and by extension Christianity, allows each person to freely choose and practice his or her own religious faith. Islam, by contrast, is believed [Read More…]

Will Muslims take over America?

Recently I’ve received quite a few emails citing a review of a book by Nonie Darwish entitled¬†“Cruel and Usual Punishment: The Terrifying Global Implications of Islamic Law.” The review states (apparently from the book) that “In twenty years there will be enough Muslim voters in the U.S. and Britain To elect the President by themselves! [Read More…]

The Truth about Islam: Where is the Evidence?

Over the last many years Americans have been deeply concerned to understand Muslims, and the religion that seems to motivate them. Feelings often run high because we read or hear of events in the Muslim world that seem both deeply disturbing and very frightening. And this makes public discussion extremely difficult. Neither fear nor disgust [Read More…]