Posts Tagged With: Christianity

No God But One: Book Review

(Disclaimer: I was given an advance copy of this book for review.)

One thing that struck me as I read this book was the compassion and profound insight simply stated. The whole discussion of the book is framed as one would expect to occur between friends who care deeply about each other. Since much of the book reflects the conclusion of faith that Nabeel Qureshi came to as a result of an ongoing dialogue with his debate partner, it should not surprise the reader that the format is somewhat similar to a debate where a question and counter question is posed in each of the dialogues on various topics related to Islam, such as the difference between Islamic law (Sharia) and the grace of God found in the Gospel of Christ.

While this may sound old hat to someone who grew up in the church, when a person discovers that the reality that God is love and all of the diverse implications of this, whether in the arena of theology proper (including the meaning of the trinity and how the doctrine of the trinity is the way of describing God that most honors the Creator) or in the area of an understanding of violence in the history of Islam and the Christian Church (When did Christians start fighting wars? years after they were first called Christians and the empire was converted en masse.)

It becomes very clear through the reading of this book that not only does Nabeel have a clear knowledge of the basic issues related to Islam and Christianity, their similarities and differences, but he also loves both Muslims and Christians. Even though some Muslims may misunderstand the motives for why a truth seeker would embrace Jesus and the church and even though some who grew up with Christian traditions may question whether this is truly possible, Nabeel manifests an irenic spirit throughout, and confesses that he has not always behaved as the best example of Christianity after having chosen to identify with the Lord Jesus.

People need to hear these sorts of questions: questions that are centered not so much on the historic truths of the Gospel, and the verifiable & life transforming factual truths of the crucifixion, the resurrection and Jesus’ claim to deity; rather Questions that are centered on the sincerity and depth of our understanding & obedience to those truths.

Are we willing to seek to truly understand the truth?
Are we willing to suffer for what is true?
How much are we willing to suffer?

The good news is a life and death issue. The Gospel cost Jesus’ His life and frees us from our deadness. When we see the extreme love of God, we will be awakened to delight in our Creator, as a maiden delights in her groom when she realizes that not only is He a noble person, but that he truly does delight in her.

May you be awakened to the First, the Ultimate, the Supreme Love of the Author of Life.

#NoGodButOne

Categories: Book Review, Good News, Islam, Suffering | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Saudi Weekend Honors Sabbath: Will Bless both Jews and Arabs.

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia recently opened up the way for Saudi’s weekend to come more in line with Jewish and Christian interpretations of the weekend: Friday-Saturday rather than Thursday-Friday. Most markets around the weekend follow the Jewish or Jewish-Christian pattern of taking the Sabbath (i.e. commonly called Saturday) off.

Take a poll!

Bloomberg’s article on economic implications:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-23/saudi-arabia-changes-weekend-to-friday-saturday-spa-reports.html

More significant than the economic implications though are the implications for how this is a partial fulfillment that the earth is the Lord’s & everything in it. The Lord chose the Jews and revealed the Sabbath to them as a day to work and rest. I encourage everyone to take time to do that: to rest from all work. What is interesting about this, is that it is a sign that Arab peoples are reconciling with the culture of the Jews, even if the motive is temporal financial gain. What will this lead to, but Life from the dead … when they honor the Sabbath which remains: the finished work of Jesus on the cross!

Jesus, Isa-al Masih is the real establisher Sabbath. He is Lord of the Sabbath. He is the Sabbath, or rest of completion in that he enables us to relax in Him. We no longer need to worry about anything. We are now free to work productively and be happy because we are no longer slaves to sin. Maybe one day all Saudis will be liberated from all oppression of all sinful desires, but first it helps to have the law conform to the Law of the Lord.

If you do what blesses the Jews, you will be blessed. Jews are being blessed as they follow a form, how much more will they be blessed when they follow the Lord with their whole heart!! Muslims in Saudi Arabia are prospering a little financially as they serve God with their lips and actions while their hearts are far from Him. Consider what would happen if they loved the Lord in both soul and spirit, with their heart and their whole life:

1. They would find salvation as they trusted the Word of God, as they became slaves of the Word of God (Kalimattullah).
2. They would spread the Good News of Jesus rather than the laws of the desert.
3. They would reconcile fully with Israel.
4. They would stop funding the spread of false teaching.
5. They would labor to free Muslims from honoring Muhammed as the Greatest and give that Honor to the Lord alone.
6. They would work harder and value hard work as befitting good fruit for good lives.
7. They would find happiness in life.
8. They would see the desert bloom.
9. They would cease calling down judgment and building Mosques for the LAW.
10. They give in ways that bless Jews and Christians around the world.

If you are a Christian or Jew, consider praying for the full salvation of Saudi Arabia.
If you are a Saudi, consider praying to God for a full revelation of the Sabbath.

Categories: Environmental Healing, Good News, Law & Government | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Missionary of Hope

The resolution of morality based on force of will is why the Post-Christian culture is not very critical of Islam as the source of the problem (or when it does, it does so to accuse and excuse, rather than in a confessional manner): The west also adores power. Left or Right, few are willing to take up the cross. And when we must take up the cross, we are too often embarrassed.
 
Forgiveness is powerful. I need more power, the power of forgiveness that is.
 
I wonder how many times we just treat the trauma of abuse in Islam but never minister healing to the heart because the full power of forgiving and being forgiven is not understood.
 
Abuse is also present in America, even in the churches. But it goes by different names. In need of revival, the shame is the same. The guilt is the same in both cultures. It is just when the trauma gets so intense, as is the case in Islamic cultures of people clamoring for status, honor, pleasure, goods, etc., when the oppression intensifies, the only way to protect the soul is by being ashamed of being a victim and pretending to be a victor.
 
I must confess, I often feel beaten but not defeated. I think I can understand Paul the apostle in this regard. True victory comes in persevering in the midst of trial and difficulty because of what Jesus has already accomplished. I will be forever thankful for what I have learned from the persecuted church: to count it all joy and to be honest about the struggles-because otherwise I too would be a pretender. As it is, I am the worst of sinners, and the least of the saints, and …I am a missionary, a missionary of hope.
 
This much like telling a blind man that there is light … until the sighted saint sees that better glasses will not do. The blind man has no eyes. Only by faith can the blind be healed. Only by faith can Muslims be saved. So I am also a missionary of faith.
 
Because doubt demands power, but trust enables kindness to be given and received, I would suggest that we should also be missionaries of love and loving missionaries. This is an impossible task. In this life there is so much trouble, it is not funny. Yet we rejoice because the little love we show points to a Greater Love, a Perfect Love, revealed through what Christ Suffered. He knows what it is like to be in a power-conflicted society and to answer demons of abuse and isolation and arrogance and confusion with the wisdom and grace of His Word. Oh, how precious is His blood which speaks a better word than the blood of Abel!
 
Life is not easy for me.  So thank you for letting me pour out my heart. And thank you for praying with me in view of the redemption.
 
Peace in Jesus, the Fount of all hope,
– MertH., everyday saint
 
I believe in one holy universal-Christian church.
I believe in the resurrection.
I believe in the forgiveness of sins.
Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.