Loren Fox—Engaging with Islam’s Various Faces

Posted by Kendall Harmon

We have heard about Islam, mosques, and freedom of religion a whole lot lately. Much of that conversation has been energized with passions and fears. In light of it all, I find myself really torn by the whole discussion about Islam and the Church’s response. Let me be clear it is fair to be confused by Islam, even concerned by it.

Most of us do not know the difference between Sunni, Shia and Sufi Muslims, or how to read the Quran or each Hadith. In the midst of the current conversation, I offer my own perspective. My experience of Islam is very different than what I most often see in the media here in the US--for two key reasons. First, my experience with Islam really began in Southeast Asia where the Muslims see themselves differently than those in the Middle East.

Second, and more importantly, my focus in Southeast Asia was to share the Good News of Jesus with Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and Freethinkers alike. As a result, I am fascinated by the variety of expressions of Islam. There the three main schools, Sunni, Shi’ite and Sufi—which have protestant, catholic and charismatic qualities. They also have their own progressives, secularists, fundamentalists, off-shoots, and cults.

Furthermore, I have a deep assurance that Islam does not stand up well to the witness of Jesus Christ.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* Theology

Posted October 30, 2010 at 9:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Anastasios wrote:

I welcome this moderate Christian voice in the debate, but I have sadly to report from personal contact that some of the Filipino guest workers in Saudi, most often men, also nominally convert to Islam to insure their well-paying positions and revert to Catholicism when they get home.

October 30, 3:13 pm | [comment link]
2. Northwest Bob wrote:

Wow!  Thanks Kendall for this enlightrning post.  Imagine having success at bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ to Muslins in Southeast Asia!  To hear that the gospel found receptive ears there is good news indeed.  NW Bob spent a total of 13 years living in a very restrictive Middle East country.  Even there people had many different views on how their faith should be practiced.  One native of this country came to my office and apollogized to me after 9/11.  He said this was not Islam to him or his friends.

I realize there is good reason to stay ever vigilent against virulent Islam.  Indeed, not every one in my host country was favorably disposed toward Chritians in general or Americans in particular.  But there is hope even here in the saving power of Jesus.  Thanks be to God for Christian missionaries who risk their live to witness in Muslim countries.
NW Bob

October 30, 4:03 pm | [comment link]
3. GeneB wrote:

Wonderful article by the Rev. Fox!  His comments about how Jesus Christ appeals so clearly are well supported by those I know who have been in similar situations.
As to concerns about “virulent islam”, above, my understanding became clearer whe I read “Shariah: The Threat to America” from the Security Policy Institute.  I appreciate the efforts by Rev. Fox and his allies after reading the Report. 
That Report can be found at http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/upload/wysiwyg/article pdfs/Shariah - The Threat to America (Team B Report) 09142010.pdf
Wort reading, even if only the Introduction.

October 30, 5:32 pm | [comment link]
4. Loren+ wrote:

Anastasios:  I doubt that I have a “moderate Christian voice”.  Rather I have had the unique privilege to meet many brothers and sisters from around the world and to see the wonderful work of God from a different perspective than is most often reported. 

Psalm 46:10 is well known: be still and know that I am God.  What is all too often missed is that God tells the psalmist to be still in the face of desolation and wars, and to see God bring salvation and deliverance into the midst of that chaos.  As I see it, we live in a generation of chaos, war and desolation.  Yet God is working even now to bring about salvation and deliverance to peoples around the world.  Our privilege is to “be still” and see the hand of God at work—then we shall be reminded that He is God!

Thus rather than a modest voice, I pray that God gives me eyes to see and the confidence to speak boldly what He is doing.  We need to know that He is God—and having faith in Him, put aside the fears and anxieties which the accuser so much wants to stir up.  Blessings and peace.

October 31, 6:12 pm | [comment link]
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