Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Islam throughout the world

We need to deal with the world as it is, not as we imagine it to be.

[Aside from the fact that they are Roman Catholic, this is one of my biggest qualms with the Called to Communion gang. They do not present Roman Catholicism as it is; rather, they present a Roman Catholicism that is merely imagined.]

As Christians, in possession of God’s revealed Word, we have a greater access to “the world as it is” than anyone else we know. It is a big and daunting world; but our hope and expectation is that the Lord and Creator of the world is far more involved with things than we can ever imagine.

With that said, we still need to deal with the world, in all of its manifold parts, and Islam is one of those parts.

I’ll be honest. There are only so many hours in a day. In addition to what I do here, I have a full-time job, and a very active family (which is becoming much more engaged in our church than we ever have been, for which I am very thankful). And we do have to prioritize.

So I don’t really focus on Islam all that much. I’m just a beginner when it comes to Islam. Rather, I choose to focus on Roman Catholicism, because I know a lot about it. My own personal struggles with it have led me to read deeply, and I can write about it in a way that I think will be of benefit to a lot of people. On the other hand, men like James White, Ken from Beggars All, and my fellow Triablogger Rhology, for example, have taken a profound interest in dialog with Islam. I do think these individuals are doing us a tremendous service.

The Wall Street Journal this morning features an article on the phenomenon of “moderate Islam”:

Moderate Islamic Preachers Gain Followers in Indonesia

The map nearby shows the extent of Islam in the world (the eastern hemisphere, at least).

As conservative Christians, and especially as conservative Presbyterians and Baptists, we are not great in numbers, and I think it behooves us to look for allies in the world where we can find them. I’ve written about my friendships with conservative Anglicans, for example. And conservative Lutherans are also natural allies in the cause of the Gospel.

While I don’t think that the phenomenon of “moderate Islam” is anything near to being a “natural ally” for Christianity, in the global scheme of things, I believe they may be a group that we can trust rather than not trust to have an understanding of Islam as it is, rather than as they imagine it to be.


  1. I would completely agree with you if "moderate Islam" is what it appears to be. Sadly, that has yet to be determined, as there are several other things that it might be: a calculated false front for radical Islam in places where the more radical elements, at this particular moment, could not find a foothold; a "stopping place" for incoming Muslim converts who would not go directly from their former faith to jihad, but who will be led farther along that path as they are so trained and indoctrinated; a different manifestation of your "world as it might be" imagination, if we accept the premise that Islam is, by nature, a violent and bloody religion. It remains for us to see where "moderate Islam" goes before investing our belief and our trust there.

  2. I agree with Jeff here in that human nature is still human and not spiritual in nature at birth. It is not until one is born again that the spiritual nature begins growing and developing to understand these truths.

    Think about the people especially the girlfriends of the girl shot yesterday in the head because she was targeted by terrorist Islamic fundamentalists of the Taliban in Pakistan?
    Human nature is probably a fearful mess among her friends and family in that community right about now? Belligerent expressions like that strike fear in the heart of one's soul both Christian or not!

    Here's something to think about John about human "feelings" and how emotions are driven by might and power within men. I have been pondering human feelings lately seeing my own tend to go up and down, feelings that are positive and negative at the drop of a feather at times, one direction or the other; grrrrr!

    First consider this and the emotions of "both" people of the known "world" as well as the people of Joshua's day he was called upon to lead as is described as, here. Ask yourself why God had to keep repeating to Joshua to be strong and courageous? Was it because of his nature? I think so.

    Jos 1:5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.
    Jos 1:6 Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them.
    Jos 1:7 Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.


    Jos 2:8 Before the men lay down, she came up to them on the roof
    Jos 2:9 and said to the men, "I know that the LORD has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you.
    Jos 2:10 For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you devoted to destruction.
    Jos 2:11 And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the LORD your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath.


    Jos 3:11 Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is passing over before you into the Jordan.


    Jos 3:13 And when the soles of the feet of the priests bearing the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off from flowing, and the waters coming down from above shall stand in one heap."


    Jos 4:23 For the LORD your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we passed over,
    Jos 4:24 so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the LORD is mighty, that you may fear the LORD your God forever."
    Jos 5:1 As soon as all the kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan to the west, and all the kings of the Canaanites who were by the sea, heard that the LORD had dried up the waters of the Jordan for the people of Israel until they had crossed over, their hearts melted and there was no longer any spirit in them because of the people of Israel.


  3. <:::continuing:::>

    I submit the Lord of all the earth is still Lord of all the earth and able to provoke feelings and emotions in His people and in all other mankind as He did in Joshua's day.

    I also submit that when the Church Christ died for and known about before the foundation of the world begins to rise up and personally one by one approach God with all their heart as did Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and Joshua and many many others in days gone by the world will again melt before us!

    Consider Joshua's heart and consider backwards in time to the days of Abram/Abraham, then Isaac and Jacob and Moses with these verses:

    Jos 8:30 At that time Joshua built an altar to the LORD, the God of Israel, on Mount Ebal,
    Jos 8:31 just as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded the people of Israel, as it is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, "an altar of uncut stones, upon which no man has wielded an iron tool." And they offered on it burnt offerings to the LORD and sacrificed peace offerings.
    Jos 8:32 And there, in the presence of the people of Israel, he wrote on the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he had written.
    Jos 8:33 And all Israel, sojourner as well as native born, with their elders and officers and their judges, stood on opposite sides of the ark before the Levitical priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD, half of them in front of Mount Gerizim and half of them in front of Mount Ebal, just as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded at the first, to bless the people of Israel.
    Jos 8:34 And afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessing and the curse, according to all that is written in the Book of the Law.
    Jos 8:35 There was not a word of all that Moses commanded that Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel, and the women, and the little ones, and the sojourners who lived among them.

    For us today these following verses (verses similar in substance to those words of Jos 8) should be on our mouths and in our hearts and minds in the world. This should be the Words that strike fear in the hearts of men and cause their hearts to melt too:

    Act 26:13 At midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, that shone around me and those who journeyed with me.
    Act 26:14 And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.'
    Act 26:15 And I said, 'Who are you, Lord?' And the Lord said, 'I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.
    Act 26:16 But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you,
    Act 26:17 delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles--to whom I am sending you
    Act 26:18 to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.'
    Act 26:19 "Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision,
    Act 26:20 but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance.

    Not until the Church is red hot with these spiritually inspired emotions the world won't melt or be disturbed by ungodliness but will continue following the inspiration of the Beast, the false Prophet, Satan, Death, Hades and those whose name is not found written in the book of Life!

    1. Jeff and Michael -- I guess I was thinking of this from a U.S. policy perspective. I had this article in mind too:

      The shooting you mentioned, Michael, shocked my wife a good bit. That they would shoot a young girl for wanting to go to school. Seems as if that sort of thing will be a part of the equation for a long time.