Minister who converted to Islam

It’s easy to run into conversion and deconversion narratives: atheist becomes Christian, Christian loses faith, so on and so forth. Where nonbelief is involved, however, I’m probably too partisan. Maybe looking at conversions between different religions is a better way to get a handle on what is going on.

Here’s an interesting example: Jerald F. Dirks, a Minister of the United Methodist Church who converted to Islam. It seems he became very impressed with what he perceived as the moral integrity of the Muslims around him. It’s fascinating to me, as it seems Dirks’s mentality and mine, where supernatural beliefs are concerned, has very little overlap. I don’t know if we would have anything relevant to say to one another. That’s disconcerting.

http://tr.harunyahya.tv/player/flv_player.swf?movieName=20741&sId=45066

Such “reversion to Islam” narratives are very popular among Muslims, as you might imagine. But then again, that’s true for just about any group with opinions about religion.

About Taner Edis

Professor of physics at Truman State University

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05693985638589020492 Mark

    Hmm. He gives some fairly sensible (if rudimentary) criticisms of Christian apologetics here, so maybe you could at least converse with him about that. To be honest, he seems reasonably level-headed for this sort of person. Despite the, uh, suspenders.

    I've noticed that many online Muslim communities insist on using the term "revert" rather than "convert," but never fully understood why. Is it supposed to be a reference to some primordial state of Islam out of which humanity descended?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10778996187937943820 Taner Edis

    Yes; by nature, everyone is supposed to be a Muslim. Only artificial influences divert one from properly submitting to God. Therefore, one does not convert to Islam, one reverts to the natural state of a human being.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09934402450298584577 Charles Sullivan

    The Catholics have something similar: Once you are baptized as a Catholic you are forever a Catholic.

    It makes no sense, but even if you become an atheist, you are still a Catholic because of baptism.

    This is what skews the Catholic population count. I'm an atheist, but the Catholic Church still counts me as a believer because they baptized me.

    So , when you read statistics of how many Catholics there are in a certain area, don't believe it.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09934402450298584577 Charles Sullivan

    I forgot to mention that Catholics are typically baptized as infants, and the Catholic Church has historically kept those baptismal records better than the government keeps your tax or census records.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03040819796035416524 notlost

    I hope he will not become a suicide bomber.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12963476276106907984 Sabio Lantz

    I agree with Mark, seemed reasonable enough.
    I guess I did not understand your point.


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