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ACU Summit speakers: Christians, Muslims must talk

ACU students and visitors for the 2010 Summitt listen to Reg Cox in Moody Coliseum. (Photo by Erik Tryggestad)

Blogging live from Abilene, Texas
Today’s Abilene Reporter-News features more front-page coverage of Abilene Christian University’s Summit Bible conference:

Christians and Muslims can — and should — learn about one another, a Christian and a Muslim scholar said Tuesday at Abilene Christian University’s yearly Summit.
And they can do so without “jumping ship,” said Lynn Mitchell, a Christian minister who teaches at the University of Houston, as does professor Ibrahim Sumer, a Muslim.
In point of fact, mutual knowledge about what the faiths think and believe is necessary just to live in 2010, Mitchell said, adding that the two men have learned much from their own dialogues.
But the frustrating thing is that there are few people who will take such opportunities, said Mitchell, who said he has been involved in Muslim-Christian dialogue for 30 years.
Misinformation, especially from Internet sources, can create significant barriers, he said, with many Americans seeing images of terrorist groups and the aftermath of their efforts and assuming they represent all Muslims.

Read the full story.

  • Feedback
    Learn about one another? I can do that by reading the New Testament and the koran. Then I compare the teachings of the two. Guess what I come up with?
    Paul W. Montandon
    September, 23 2010

    I’m all for engaging with Muslims and telling them about the wonderful news of Jesus Christ and the one faith that leads to salvation.
    Keith Sisman
    September, 24 2010

    Is it OK for a Christian to proselytize in front of mosques or anywhere in an Islamic country? Is it OK for a former muslim to speak against Islam in his personal relationships or on radio/TV in an Islamic country? Is it OK for a muslim to convert to Christianity in an Islamic country….all without fear of violence or arrest by muslims?
    Can I now organize a group of Christian missionaries to enter Islamic countries and do the above? I don’t think so. Let’s not sugar-coat the dialogue.
    Daniel Keeran
    September, 24 2010

    That said, I think an important approach is to befriend muslims and help them assimiate into western society and certainly to share the good news with them….this is love for one’s neighbour.
    Daniel Keeran
    September, 24 2010

    It appears that most preachers in the church are getting their information from those Religious Right Internet sources (that also contain all those spurious e-mails about the president) referred to above which confuse radical interpretations of Islam (justifying terrorism) with the main body of Muslims that have lived in peace with the world (and in this country for decades).
    Harold Williams
    September, 24 2010

    As I sat in two of the classes with Mitchell and Sumer it was interesting that the person who was disruptive and rude to the speaker in both classes was a Christian. Just because we disagree with someone’s theological position – Christian or non-Christian – does not remove from us the responsibility to treat them with respect and love as fellow human beings created in the image of God. We will never shine the light of Jesus into their darkness using Satan’s tactics.
    Steve S
    September, 24 2010

    I will love my Muslim neighbor by sharing the Good News of Jesus with him.
    Mike L.
    September, 24 2010

    Bobby! Were you at ACU this week for Summit? I was, too! I gave three lectures: (1) Letting God transform us through the darkness of divorce, (2) What churches can do for their own members who are on the journey of divorce and (3) How we can reach out to our friends and neighbors on that road. I wish I had known you were there and we could have at least met for coffee or lunch or something! Next time I’ll find out ahead of time!
    Suzy Brown
    P.S. Great spiritual challenge, refreshment and interaction at ACU. First time I’d been back since I left in 1966. Wow! so many changes!
    Suzy Brown
    September, 25 2010

    In my book “The Biblical Roots of Islam” I quote Bob Russell, former minister at Southeast Christian Church, Louisville, KY, in his article “Why Christianity and Islam Can’t Mix” (The Lookout, April 7, 2002). Russell stated that “the differences are so pronounced and contradictory that spiritual fellowship is impossible.” He listed seven major differences: the source of authority (the Bible or the Koran), the nature of God (faithful or capricious), the deity of Jesus (God in the flesh or a human prophet), the way of salvation (faith or works), the status of women (equal or inferior), the treatment of enemies (forgiveness or retaliation), and the atoning work of Christ on the cross. Russell concluded: “While Christians should be kind to Muslims, we cannot share Christian worship, fellowship, or marriage vows with anyone who denies that Jesus is the Son of God who died on our behalf.”
    Victor Knowles
    September, 28 2010

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