In the late 1980's, I met a Muslim follower of Jesus. Razul [he had changed his name] dressed in an Arab robe, went to the mosque to pray to Allah, and followed Jesus. To be a Muslim, he told me, was to be someone "submitted to God" and he was submitted to Allah through Isa (Jesus).
At the time, there was not much discussion on it, at least not in my circle. Now its a big topic. I want to pick the conversation up again and have some discussion. Its really important . . . much MUCH more important than other blog subjects like why John Piper invited Rick Warren to the Desiring God Conference [are we really THAT shallow?].
Last year I blogged very very briefly on Christianity's next and greatest challenge, suggesting that our response to Islam will be one of the defining factors for this century. I also sensed at that time a transition in the global Christian movement in regards to this matter. This has increased. Bigtime!
In that post I pointed to an article on a Christian response to Islam. Since then, others have appeared including a bombshell of an article by Joseph Cummings called Muslim Followers of Jesus, Although a Lausanne publication, the article does not necessarily represent the official view of Lausanne, which is better summed here with a Christian response to Muslims,
Phil Parshall, responding to Joseph's article from the cautious side, points to the Bible as a guide while John Travis suggests that God is doing something new and that Christian followers of Jesus should honor and befriend the Muslim followers of Jesus. The comments that follow each response are lengthy but worth reading. I would be curious to hear what you think.
And related to the question is this one - Is Christianity equivalent to the way of Jesus or is it simply a construct designed by people to help them in their faith? If It is, then who should decide what it looks like? If it is not, then why should a decision to follow Jesus involve a conversion from one religion to another?
So, I hope to post a number of thoughts and questions related to this theme. Please join me over the next few weeks and lets come up with some answers. Dont be shy.