Thoughts from the Holy Land part 1

It is New Years Eve 2013. I am sitting in a bar drinking arak on the rocks. Alone, mostly. Next to me a table of well heeled, mature, Italians are popping bottles of prosecco and passing around photos of themselves in solemn procession with a huge cross on the Via Dolorosa. Since a priest is [Read More...]

The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad

In his new work “The Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad” John Andrew Morrow offers both an argument for re-envisioning Islam’s relationship with non-Muslims, and an unfortunate measure of conceptual confusion. The latter greatly detracts from the popular and scholarly value of this volume, because authentic dialogue must be grounded in historical truth rather than idealizations [Read More...]

The Global Public Square?

The Global Public Square by Os Guinness Reviewed by Robert Hunt Os Guinness’ latest works begins with a promise to address the triple imperative of belief in the measureless worth of every human being, discovering a way to live with deep differences, and finding a way to settle deliberations and debates in public life through [Read More...]

The Stakes in Inter-Religious Relations

Those who follow this blog may have noticed a recurrent theme in the discussions. It is a disagreement over whether religion is primarily a personal path that each individual pursues with whatever resources or companions are amenable, or a community endeavor that requires some level of exclusive devotion and commitment to a community. Related to [Read More...]

Belonging to Multiple Religions? Or Owning Them?

On a recent trip I spent three days with my wife’s family. You know that drill. Awakening early (or staying quietly in your bedroom) to accommodate unfamiliar meal-times and meals. Engaging in conversations about topics you don’t know or care about. Generally adapting to life in a home that is and isn’t quite your own. [Read More...]

Religious Freedom? Mostly Not.

Much of the western, Christian world lives in a bizarre fantasy land concerning religious freedom. Catholic World News reports on June 22nd that a court in England has refused asylum status to a woman and her child. She claimed that her husband in Malaysia planned to convert to Islam and forcibly convert their baptized child. [Read More...]

Evangelism, Mission, and the Unimagined in Christian Discourse II

In the last blog I suggested that a Christian discourse located entirely within an immanent frame, while preserving Christianity from colonializing discourse and eschewing concepts like evangelism and mission, limited the Christian imagination and inadvertently placed the Christian Gospel in a global religious free market. In that market this fully immanent Christianity cannot complete, or at [Read More...]

Evangelism, Mission, and the Unimagined in Christian Discourse I

At a recent conference I heard a group of theologians express surprise, and indeed disdain, that I had been appointed director of a Center for Evangelism and Missional Church Studies. How, they wondered, could such a thing exist in the 21st century? And how could it co-exist with a commitment to inter-religious dialogue? I was [Read More...]

Imagining Democracy in the Middle East

In a previous blog (Dialogue, Politics, and the Muslim World) I pointed out that the kinds of societies that will arise in the Muslim world will be determined by the Muslim “social imaginary.” They will depend on who Muslims imagine themselves to be personally, in relation to other people (both Muslim and non-Muslim), and in [Read More...]

Interfaith Belonging is not Inter-Religious Understanding

The central claims of Interfaith are in conflict with the claims of other religions, as the claims of these religions are in conflict with one another. At a recent meeting to work on programs for an interfaith chapel. It immediately became clear to me that a deep conceptual confusion was likely to thwart the intentions [Read More...]

The Indigenous American Religion

Moralistic Therapeutic Deism is the indigenous religion of the United States from its inception, the religion from which all Americans must be converted if they are to become Christians. I heard a radio preacher today – and not a bad one either, preaching on the book “Soul Searching,” which has been buzzed about for nearly [Read More...]


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