Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Islam throughout the world
[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.