The religion you wouldn't come up with

A friend of mine attended a conference this week on the topic, "Muslims and the message." It was about how Christians can bridge the gap with Islamic friends. He was kind enough to send me his notes. In one of his favourite sessions, the speaker made this point:

Islam is the kind of religion we might come up with if we had to come up with one. It has a neat idea of God - He is one, he is holy and powerful. It asserts human responsibility - we must be pure to obtain God's pardon. It has a view of scripture that is neat - it was delivered directly from God, in a sense bypassing humans. And it has a rigorous set of religious rituals to follow.

Christianity on the other hand has a perplexing concept of God (trinity), a shameful idea of God's glory (revealed in the death of God's Son), a humiliating picture of human responsibility (we're hopeless and depend solely on grace), a messy view of scripture (inspired by God but mediated by humans living in culture and time) and a surprising way of presenting the religious life (love, not rules).

The point made also goes without saying: "The important thing about a belief system is not whether it is simple or not, but whether it is true." The question, surprisingly, not often asked by Muslims is 'what reasonable grounds do I have for holding to my beliefs'?

My friend's notes read: "Christianity... has good reason to believe that we can't stand before God by our own merits, that grace is more powerful than law, that the Bible is reliable..."


Felicity Zimmerman said...

My church just came out in favor of amnesty so I left it and convinced some others to leave too. I'm sick and tired of their anti-Western hatred. We're now going to form a Pro-Western Christian church. These articles will help!

Amin said...

Why is Jesus called the son of Mary so many times?