How will delegates to Synod 2019 theologically deliberate on overture #6?
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"Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary." This statement has been used as a good excuse not to use words in verbal witness. A closer look at the data, however, suggests that Paul and the apostles may have amended the phrase.
If one reads the fly-leaf of Shabbir Akhtar’s book, one sees his intent is to “build bridges between the two religions.” One would expect that Akhtar, a research fellow at the Centre for Muslim-Christian Studies in England, would strive to do that. But does he?
Samuel Zwemer, knowing full well the challenges of working "in the lands of the Mohammedans" as he called them, minced no words as to why his Reformed roots of 'salvation belongs to the Lord' was his motive, means, and message.
What might two articles (one on interfaith relationships and one on evangelicals and feminists) in two different Reformed venues have to do with each other? Perhaps more than meets the eye.
Book? The Christian good news? This short article sets out to determine from Islamic sources themselves, as to what is thought about when the word "Injil" is used by Muslims, and how it might affect Christian approaches.
Is our goal to evangelize our Muslim friends? Or is to promote social justice, community cohesion and peace? There isn't an easy answer except to enter into relationships with a spirit of honesty and authenticity.
In Christianity Jesus came to save us … in Islam, one must save the reputation of Muhammad and Allah.
Is it theologically careless to use the term "Muslim brothers and sisters"? If so, is there a better term that we can apply?
It would appear to be incumbent on the likes of Back to God Ministries, Home Missions, World Renew and World Missions to ask if their theologizing is driven more by the social sciences than by solid theological method. Here is where Eitel's simple schema is helpful.
A Muslim could engage a Christian or a Christian could engage a Muslim to become "dialogue partners" in order to eliminate prejudices, to come to understand the other, and possibly embrace their religion. But are the terms of the engagement as simple as meets the untrained eye? I would suggest absolutely not.
There are many people working in science who do not hold to evolution, and yet are scientists, some with a PhD in science, or M.Sc. or BSc. Does an ecumenical attitude allow respect for these scientists, or is our ecumenical approach limited to "churchy" practices, or theological beliefs?
How do we as Christians get involved in discussions where literalists and "genre-ists" have different views about Genesis 1-11? How do YEC and OEC people examine these issues together? Or must they simply build a big fence between them and turn their backs on one another?
In the relatively new push by the CRCNA to become a part of a much bigger organization (first WARC and REC, which folded into WCRC), I for one have a number of questions to which I lack answers.
I'm wrestling with what the real implications of denominationalism ought to be.
What do you think makes for a good relationship between churches in other parts of the world and the CRC?