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Showing posts from September, 2007

Leaving Britain

Cal Thomas:

Britons give many reasons for leaving, but their stories share one commonality: life in Britain has become unbearable. They fear lawlessness and the threat of more terrorism from a growing Muslim population and the loss of a sense of Britishness, exacerbated by the growing refusal of public schools to teach the history and culture of the nation. What it means to be British has been watered down in a plague of political correctness. […]

Abraham Lincoln said no nation can exist half slave and half free. Neither can a nation be sustained if it allows conditions that result in mass emigration, while importing huge numbers of foreigners who come from backgrounds that do not practice assimilation or tolerance of other beliefs. When one factors in the high number of abortions (one in five pregnancies are aborted in England and Wales), the high birth rates of immigrants (15 times those of white Britons), it doesn't take an expert to predict that the days of the England we have k…

Prime Minister Badawi of Malaysia on Islam

From HERE:

New York - Malaysia's Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi called Friday for increasing dialogue to repair misunderstandings by the West about Islam.

'The main cause is the misperception in the West that Islam promotes exclusively and encourages extremism,' Badawi said in an address to the UN General Assembly.

He said action should be taken to generate 'greater understanding' between civilizations and cultures and dialogue to establish 'the truth that Islam is a religion which espouses universalism, not exclusivity, and tolerance, not bigotry.'

Update on Maldives

Has Islamic terrorism arrived on the Maldives?

Check it out at The Telegraph.

Why is smoking forbidden in Ramadan?

From our friends at Islam Q&A:

Smoking is haraam and there is no doubt that it is forbidden...

With regard to the reason why it breaks the fast, that is because the smoke contains particles that reach the stomach.

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen was asked about the fasting person smelling perfume and he said:

It is permissible to use it during the day in Ramadaan and to smell it, except for bukhoor (incense), because incense contains particles that can reach the stomach, and that is smoke.

Fataawa Islamiyyah, 2/128.

Cigarette smoke is like incense in that they both contain particles, but they differ with regard to the basic ruling: incense is halaal and good, and smoking is haraam and bad.

And Allaah knows best.

The Maldives, the Unreached, Vacation

Image
Well, the secluded archipelago nation of the Maldives is now in the news. It is mostly Muslim and the principal people group there, the Maldivian Malki, are 100% Muslim. It is one of the most unreached nations in the world, as well as one of the most hardest to access.

Check out the country profile over at the Joshua Project.

Here is the recent news on a terrorist attack in the Maldives from CNN:

Arrests made after Maldives blast:

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) -- Maldives police have arrested two local men after a nail-packed bomb exploded in a busy park Saturday and wounded 12 foreign tourists, a government spokesman said Sunday.

Remains of a mobile phone and timer alleged to be used for a bomb in Male, Maldives, Saturday were found.

The homemade bomb exploded outside the crowded Sultan Park in the capital, Male, the first such incident reported in this Indian Ocean archipelago renowned for its exclusive tourist resorts.

Government spokesman Mohamed Shareef said that police arrested the suspects…

From back seat, Saudi women long to drive

About the movement in KSA (the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) to give women the right to drive cars. Yep that's right, even women with MD's and PhD's who operate on people and are university prof's can't drive:

Women in KSA Want to Drive

(Remarks welcome especially from our readers in KSA.)

Missionaries to an unreached tribe?

Ever wonder what it is like to be a missionary to tribe that is unevangelized? That has little or no access to the Gospel, Christian formation, pastoral care, or discipleship? This is a great blog of an evangelical family who is carrying out that work today. There are many such tribes and groups around the world.

Here is the beginning of their most recent post:

OlsonPhilMissions:

Dear Friends and Family,

The last time we communicated, before our recent update, Ginny was just recovering from a serious and sudden illness. She is back up to full strength now, as if the incident never even happened. We have an amazing God!

It has been almost a whole year since we came here. Wow, that is hard to believe! We are deep into language study now. We have our good days and bad days, as one might expect. Yet we have every confidence that God is guiding us and watching us through every step. I have summarized the things that have happened with us below.

As we move along, we must keep in mind the reason …

Part IX: Islam and Victimhood

(Originally Posted in 12/2006, but for those of you haven't read it, I think this is one of the most important aspects of Islamic culture today and no one ever talks about it!)

Part IX: Islam and Victimhood
by Abu Daoud

“No one admits that his own yogurt is sour.” --Syrian proverb

I want to suggest in this post that victimhood has become an integral and essential element in Muslim identity today. There are a number of reasons for this, some of them are valid, but many of them are not. I want to explain why and how this has come to be the case today.

If I may quote Sam Huntington, “The problem is not Islamists, it is Islam: a civilization convinced of its superiority and obsessed with its inferiority.” Islam is unlike Christianity in that it makes certain guarantees, namely that if a society is faithful in following Islam (and the sharia’) then certain consequences must follow: material wealth, political power, an ever-widening scope of authority over non-Muslims, scientific and economi…

At the Airport

On my way back from AFM's CSI Conference where I spoke about what attracts Muslims to Christianity.

Will blog more tonight and hopefully write something based on some of the conference presentations from my notes. There are many good missions agencies out there, and I have mentioned the Orthodox Christian Missions Center for the Orthodox and K-teams for Roman Catholics. AFM is ideal for missions-minded Anglicans, and that includes folks from the continuing churches.

Pointers for Exorcizing Demons

From New Advent as well. Most of it is very helpful for every kind of Christian:

* Possession is not lightly to be taken for granted. Each case is to be carefully examined and great caution to be used in distinguishing genuine possession from certain forms of disease.
* The priest who undertakes the office should be himself a holy man, of a blameless life, intelligent, courageous, humble, and he should prepare for the work by special acts of devotion and mortification, particularly by prayer and a fasting (Matthew 17:20).
* He should avoid in the a course of the rite everything that savours of superstition, and should leave the medical aspects of the case to qualified physicians.
* He should admonish the possessed, in so far as the latter is capable, to dispose himself for the exorcism by prayer, fasting, confession, and communion, and while the rite is in progress to excite within himself a lively faith in God's goodness, and a patient resignation to His holy will.

The Order of the Exorcist

From New Advent--and remember that this article was written in 1909:

The practice of exorcism was not confined to clerics in the early ages, as is clear from Tertullian (Apologet., 23, P.L., I, 410; cf. De Idolat., 11) and Origen (C. Celsum, VII, 4, P.G. 1425). The latter expressly states that even the simplest and rudest of the faithful sometimes cast out demons, by a mere prayer or adjuration (Mark 15:17), and urges the fact as a proof of the power of Christ's grace, and the inability of demons to resist it. In the Eastern Church, a specially ordained order of exorcists (or of acolytes, or door-keepers) has never been established but in the Western Church, these three minor orders (with that of lectors as a fourth) were instituted shortly before the middle of the third century. Pope Cornelius (261-252) mentions in his letter to Fabius that there were then in the Roman Church forty-two acolytes, and fifty-two exorcists, readers, and door-keepers (Eusebius, Hist. Eccl., VI, xliii, …

Eastern Orthodoxy (Part V)

by Frederica Mathewes-Green

4.) Can you name a couple of the most common misunderstandings/misrepresentations you come across- in terms of North American conceptions of the Orthodox Church?

Probably the major misunderstanding is to visualize the early church as united under the rule of Rome. In that view, the Orthodox broke off to become a smaller, headless, inconsequential group--identical to Rome in every way, except frozen in the past. But a moment's reflection show the early church wasn't like that. All of the 7 "Ecumenical Councils" were held in the East. The great majority of early Christian documents--the Desert Fathers, the Church Fathers--are written in Greek (including the New Testament). Constantine the Great was ruler over the Roman Empire, after all, and though he moved his capital to Byzantium (which he renamed Constantinople), it continued to be the Roman Empire for another thousand years. In Turkey today, Christians are still known as "Rum."

Of…

Pope defends right of Muslims to convert

From Anglican Mainstream:

Yesterday, near Rome, the 80-year-old pontiff made a speech in “defence of religious liberty”, which, he said “is a fundamental, irrepressible, inalienable and inviolable right”.

In a clear reference to Islam, he said: “The exercise of this freedom also includes the right to change religion, which should be guaranteed not only legally, but also in daily practice.”

Addressing the problem of Islamic extremism, he added: “Terrorism is a serious problem whose perpetrators often claim to act in God’s name and harbour an inexcusable contempt for human life.”

Last September, radical British Muslims said Pope Benedict should be executed for “insulting” the Prophet Mohammed.

Throughout the Middle East and Africa, Christians were subjected to violence in retribution for his remarks.

His latest comments, however, come just days after one of the Church of England’s-senior bishops warned that Muslim leaders here must speak out in defence of the right to change faith.

The Bishop …

The "untouchables" in India

Wonderful post at Maior autem his est caritas, about the dalits in India converting to Christianity, and the persecution they face.

Let me add that India is dear to my hear, and in many ways I think the future of the Faith depends on India along with China and Korea (May God open up North Korea in his great mercy!)

Two of my dearest friends are Indians, and I remember well discipling them on the basics of the Christian faith, and their subsequent baptism (by immersion) with their two children in our church. (He was Sikh, she was Hindu.)

Saint Thomas the Apostle evangelized in India. He had his doubts, but he met Christ and was honored with martyrdom for his faith and preaching. May God help us to follow his example.

Excellent Qualities of Muhammad

From Muhammad.net:

Bearer of good news and a Warner
Description of the Prophet
Far Removed from Love of Wealth
Forgiveness by the Prophet
Generosity of the Prophet
Generosity, Clemency and Conduct
Gentleness of the Prophet
Justice of the Prophet
Kindness to Animals
Love and Anxiety for his Ummah
Love for the Poor
Mercy to all Mankind
Muhammad (s.a.a.w.) as a Witness
Prophet with People
Prophet's Appearance and Dress
Prophet's Manners and Disposition
Routine Household Tasks
Superiority Only in Righteousness
The Best in Morals and Manners
The Holy Quran on Muhammad (s.a.a.w.)
The Light of the Prophet by Dr. Badawi
The Similitude with which Allah has sent him
Trust in Allah
With His Family and Children

Americans more negative on Islam

From the AP:

The number of Americans who say Islam has little or nothing in common with their own religion has spiked to 70 percent in the past two years from 59 percent, the poll found.

Another significant shift has taken place: In 2005, 36 percent of the public said Islam is more likely than other faiths to encourage violence among its believers. That number has risen to 45 percent.

Interest on you bank account forbidden

Islam is not simply a "religion" as I have pointed out many times. It is a complete system that is religious and political and military and economic. One of the main points of Islamic economics is that making money from interest (riba) in an account or paying interest on a loan is immoral. I am not talking about usury--excessive interest--here, by the way. Even the 1.5% I get on my checking account is illegal and haraam (forbidden). Here is an example of Islamic thought on the topic:

It is not permissible to put money in riba-based banks except in cases of necessity in order to protect it when there is no Islamic bank. In that case one should only use a current account (i.e., without interest), on the basis of doing the lesser of two evils. The interest that is taken for depositing money in a riba-based bank is haraam and it is riba which has been forbidden by Allaah and His Messenger in emphatic terms...

Islam and the blasphemy of science

From this commentary on the Quran. Helpful in understanding why Islam is in fact not congenial to the development of natural science:

Allah’s unfettered hand is a vivid image of divine freedom. Such a God can be bound by no laws. Muslim theologians argued during the long controversy with the heretical Islamic Mu‘tazilite sect, which exalted human reason beyond the point that the eventual victors were willing to tolerate, that Allah was free to act as he pleased. He was thus not bound to govern the universe according to consistent and observable laws. “He cannot be questioned concerning what He does” (Qur’an 21:23).

Accordingly, there was no point to observing the workings of the physical world; there was no reason to expect that any pattern to its workings would be consistent, or even discernable. If Allah could not be counted on to be consistent, why waste time observing the order of things? It could change tomorrow. Stanley Jaki, a Catholic priest and physicist, explains that…

Ethiopian Orthodox Tawahedo

Here is the website for the Ethiopian Orthodox Church for those of you interested:

http://ethiopianorthodox.org/english/indexenglish.html

Ethiopia, Christianity, and Islam

Ethiopia is a very important country in terms of missions, Christianity, and Islam. It was the first country to actually become Christian officially (followed by Armenia and then the Roman Empire). The predominant Ethiopian Orthodox Church is entrusted with a section of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, and I have walked through their chapel while the monks are in prayer a few times.

The Ethiopian Orthodox Church is a non-Chalcedonian church meaning that it is classified as Oriental Orthodox, like the Syriac Orthodox Church, Coptic Orthodox Church and the Armenian Apostolic Church. Both Christianity and Islam are growing in the country, while animism is in decline. Muslims have a great desire to see the country Islamized as a party of Muhammad's followers visited the country, though he himself had unflattering things to say about the Orthodox Christians there.

Here are some of the prayer points for Ethiopia from Operation World's Ethiopia page which has a great…

Shari'a and church buildings

Am now in the process of finishing up a very helpful book called The Spirit of the Islamic Law. (Full info is below.) I hope over the next week or two to include some quotes from this book on the blog. Here is the first one, on what the Islamic state looks like when it follows the Sharii3a (Shari'a):

Churches, synagogues, and other non-Muslim places of worship were restricted to locations outside the central public areas of the city. Usually they were located in the residential quarters where those who frequented them lived. The law placed restrictions on the building of new non-Muslim places of worship, even though these restrictions were not always enforced. In principle, non-Muslim communities remained constant, while only the community of Muslims was free to grow by way of proselytization. New mosques could therefore be built as needed, but non-Muslim places of worship could for the most part be only repaired or replaced.

The Spirit of the Islamic Law p. 149
Bernard G. Weiss
T…

"He hath bought from the believers their lives"

"Lo! Allah hath bought from the believers their lives and their wealth because the Garden will be theirs: they shall fight in the way of Allah and shall slay and be slain." -- Qur'an 9:111

Rumors of War: Syria and N Korea

Israeli commandos seized nuclear material of North Korean origin during a daring raid on a secret military site in Syria before Israel bombed it this month, according to informed sources in Washington and Jerusalem.

The attack was launched with American approval on September 6 after Washington was shown evidence the material was nuclear related, the well-placed sources say.

They confirmed that samples taken from Syria for testing had been identified as North Korean. This raised fears that Syria might have joined North Korea and Iran in seeking to acquire nuclear weapons.

Hat tip to Jihad Watch. Quote from the Sunday Times.

Killed for eating on the street

This from The Black Iris of Jordan:

Speaking of, I was reading an article the other day about a man who was arrested for eating in the street. The police took him to the precinct where he spent the night in jail. The next morning he was found dead. This story created a heated discussion between my father and I. He was of the opinion that if someone is eating in the street then they’re disrespecting the will of the majority who are Muslim, and that it’s a way of intimidation. I could not get on board with that, as I argued that democracy is also respect of the minority and moreover not only does a Muslim have the choice of fasting or not fasting, but you can’t just lock people up for eating in the street. It’s not only silly and archaic, but it creates a slippery slope. Moreover, the guy could’ve been sick and had to eat. My father however, argued that while there is the choice of ‘to fast or not to fast’, people should respect those that are around them, and they should summon the will…

The US Dollar; Myanmar

Two interesting headlines here from the Christian Science Monitor, which is a great news source IMHO:

How the falling dollar affects Americans

The falling dollar means that money sent to missionaries abroad will not go as far, generally speaking. So those of you who support missionaries in other countries, please consider increasing your giving to them.

Protests swell against Burma's military regime

Myanmar (Burma) is one of the most closed countries in the world in terms of Christian missions. Changes to a more open government would be beneficial for the spread of the Gospel in that mostly Buddhist country. But I think the evangelization would not be done by Americans and Europeans, but by other folks from S. Asia and SE Asia.

Check out the Joshua Project's profile on Myanmar.

Yemen: a people without hope

This is from a letter written by Yemeni-Americans and Yemeni Canadians to their respective congresses:

We believe it is our national, ethical and human duty to submit this letter to deliver the oppressed cries of the Yemeni people. Who are searching for salvation, emancipation, and liberation from the iron grip of the corrupt, terrorist, and dictatorial regime in Yemen . We put you in front of historical and human responsibilities to help the people of Yemen who need the help of the free world to make the changes possible. They do not have hope to see changes accept from outside sources because of the nature and brutal mentality of the Yemeni regime.

...We are the Americans and the Canadians of Yemeni origin caring about the security and safety of this country that gave us freedom, hope, dream, life of dignity, and human rights. However, because we are Yemeni origins we are aware that the Yemen regime has produced a scary hotbed of the international terrorism and export it international…

A Parable by Abu Daoud

(originally posted on 10/26/06)

"There was a king, and in his kingdom there were two cities that we having grave problems. One city sent a messenger to the king to ask for help. The king sat down and wrote a letter to the city and sent the messenger back.

"The other city sent a messenger to the king, and the king sent his son to that city to address the problems there. Which of these two cities has received the greater honor?"

I told this parable to a Muslim friend today, and here was his answer: the city that received the prince has received the greater honor. When he arrives he will see what the problems are and take immediate action; the people of the city cannot disobey him. The city that received the letter from the king--in that city maybe the mayor will read it and tear it up, or maybe he will read it and not take action right away.

I responded: and this is the difference between Islam and Christianity: we believe that the Word of God is a person, Muslims believe tha…

How to talk to evangelicals

Bridging the Divide: how to talk to evangelicals
by Abu Daoud

A reader of Islam and Christianity recently asked the question of how he, an Orthodox Christian, could talk to his Baptist neighbor to convince him that he was in fact a genuine Christian. The Baptist was off to Russia, if I recall correctly, to evangelize the unsaved Orthodox. How can our Orthodox (or Catholic perhaps) convince his neighbor that he is in fact a fellow brother in God's family and not just an unsaved soul who needs to be born again? Here are a couple of pointers:

1) Read the Bible and let him know about it: evangelicals have a special devotion to the Bible, just like many Palestinians have a special devotion to Saint George or Mexicans have for the Virgin of Guadalupe. The Bible plays a very central role, as it should, in their lives in areas like Bible memorization and daily devotionals. Once he understands that you read the Bible and believe in it he will take your faith more seriously.

2) Use words he…

Personal Evangelism?

Dear Readers:

I will be giving two one-hour courses on personal evangelism at a local anglo-catholic church here in the area (Denver) over the next two weeks. I have outlined most of the talks already, but I am wondering what you think about the topic?

I am tasked with giving Christians information and insights regarding how to share the faith the nominal Christians and non-Christians. It is a topic I truly love and hope to be able to make the talks available via mp3 on the blog, but that is just a possibility and I've not done it before so I'm not sure if it will work.

Salaam wa na3mat irrab ma3kum wa 3alaykum.

Abu Daoud

Declare the Wonderful Deeds!

Abu Daoud says: a wonderful reminder of how the beauty of Creation is linked to God's grace and love for us. It is indeed a sign (aya) of his goodness and power--and that is taught explicitly in both the Bible and the Quran:

I went climbing this past weekend at Seneca Rocks, West Virginia. It was an awesome time!! I may have to share some pictures from the trip with this blog when I get them developed.

While camping out, after the first day, I was hanging out around the campfire with my friends and began to read some excerpts from the Bible. Well, I turned to 1 Peter (no, not because my name is Peter:) and read this passage:

"But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were no people but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy but now you have received mercy."

One of my favorites! What struck me was th…

Breaking the Ramadan fast with non-Muslims?

Someone asks this question: is it permitted for a Muslim to break the Ramadan fast (iftaar) with a non-Muslim? Here is the answer from Islam Q&A, which I find interesting:

Praise be to Allaah.

It is permissible to have iftaar with non-Muslims if there is a shar’i reason for doing so, such as calling them to the true religion, or softening their hearts towards Islam, etc, which are what is hoped for if they come and eat iftaar at the tables set up for communal iftaar, as happens in some countries. But if it is done just to be friendly towards them and enjoy their company, this is a dangerous matter, because the principle of al-wala’ wa’l-bara’ (befriending the believers and showing enmity towards the disbelievers) is one of the basic principles of Islam, and one of the most important duties of the believers. This principle is referred to in a number of verses in the Book of Allaah and ahaadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), for example:

Allaah says …

Quote from J.S. Mill

War is an ugly thing but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feelings which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

–John Stuart Mill

What do you think? Agree or disagree? Why?

How Islamophobia Promotes Islam

From the blog (Not Much) of one of our readers:

...

In the very early days of Islam, when there were less than 20 Muslims in the world a very smart man who hated Islam called "abu-Jahil" in Mecca warned people not to listen to Muslims nor to ask them about Islam, his actions guided many people to Islam and despite him knowing this he could not stop himself thus promoting Islam. This is not a secret it is part of the history of Islam, it is how Islamophobes have been spreading Islam since it started.


Up until the 50s an anti-Islamic book would receive as little attention as a pro-Islamic book for only a few religious scholars cared to read them. The media changed all that and have made Islam a topic of conversation around the world for decades. You can hear the word Islam in hundreds of ways each day, Fox News, for one, has millions of readers listeners and viewers - each one hears the words Islam 100s or even 100s of times a day. I do not like what Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'…

Hadiith on Fasting

“The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Allaah says: “Every deed of the son of Adam is for him, except for fasting; it is for Me and I shall reward for it.” Fasting is a shield and when one of you is fasting he [must] avoid sexual relations with his wife and quarreling. If somebody should fight or quarrel with him, he should say, ‘I am fasting.’ By the One in Whose hand is my soul, the unpleasant smell coming out from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allaah than the smell of musk. The fasting person will have two moments of joy: one when he breaks his fast, and the other when he meets his Lord; then he will be pleased because of his fasting.’”

(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1771)

France's Open Door is Closing

by Robert Marquand

An immigration bill, expected to pass, requires knowledge of French and proof of support.

Paris - Last year, France's famously open doors began closing on individual immigrants. This week, France starts making it harder to bring families and spouses to a country where joblessness and welfare are seen as draining the treasury and creating reservoirs of ill feeling, particularly among the middle class.

In a new measure expected to pass the French Assembly in 15 days or less, new family arrivals must speak French. Immigrant parents must guarantee their kids will behave. And breadwinners must show earnings of up to 1,600 euros a month. [...]

The entire article is over at the CS Monitor.

Does this represent a movement towards realism and away from Eurabia?

More Chesterton

Where else? From Of Priests and Paramedics:

"Catholicism is the only thing that saves a man from the awful indignity of being a child of his time."

--Chesterton

Rochester Bishop warns that Muslims who convert risk being killed

Jamie Doward, home affairs editor
The Observer
http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,2170160,00.html
September 16, 2007

One of the Church of England's most senior bishops is warning that people will die unless Muslim leaders in Britain speak out in defence of the right to change faith.

Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester, whose father converted from Islam to Christianity in Pakistan, says he is looking to Muslim leaders in Britain to 'uphold basic civil liberties, including the right for people to believe what they wish to believe and to even change their beliefs if they wish to do so'.

Some Islamic texts brand Muslims who convert to other faiths as 'apostates' and call for them to be punished. Seven of the world's 57 Islamic states - including Iran - impose the death penalty for conversion.

Now Ali, who some see as a potential Archbishop of Canterbury, has told Channel 4's Dispatches programme of his fears about the safety of the estimated 3,000 …

Rumors of War...

From CNN:

PARIS, France (AP) -- France's foreign minister warned Sunday that the world should prepare for war if Iran obtains nuclear weapons and said European leaders were considering their own economic sanctions against the Islamic country. [...]

The Gospel, Transforming Cultures

Does anyone know where this quote is from? Do you like it or not?

For the Church, evangelizing means bringing the Good News into all the strata of humanity, and through its influence transforming humanity from within and making it new: "Now I am making the whole of creation new." But there is no new humanity if there are not first of all new persons renewed by Baptism and by lives lived according to the Gospel. The purpose of evangelization is therefore precisely this interior change, and if it had to be expressed in one sentence the best way of stating it would be to say that the Church evangelizes when she seeks to convert, solely through the divine power of the message she proclaims, both the personal and collective consciences of people, the activities in which they engage, and the lives and concrete milieu which are theirs.

Strata of humanity which are transformed: for the Church it is a question not only of preaching the Gospel in ever wider geographic areas or to ever g…

Evangelical Catholic Missions: K-teams

Some of our readers lamented the lack of evangelistic missions within the Catholic Church. Here is the statement from Kerygma Teams, a group which I think can really claim to be evangelistic AND Catholic:

It is a ministry within YWAM but run by and for Catholics. Kerygma Teams is a branch of the interconfessional lay - missionary organisation YWAM Youth With A Mission. Kerygma Teams supports Catholic parishes, renewal movements, and groups active in evangelisation, mercy ministries, and training in the Catholic Church. In addition, Kerygma Teams offers opportunities for Christians to become involved in short and long-term cross-cultural missions projects. Ke-ryg-ma, a Greek word meaning the proclamation of salvation through Christ.

I see this as the best possible example of what the best of evangelicalism (YWAM is profoundly evangelical) and the best of Catholicism together can accomplish. I think that the strengths of evangelicalism like the emphasis on personal holiness, devotion to s…

Baby Girl born!

Baby girl was born on September 15th. We are filled with joy. Um Daoud and the baby are healthy and happy :-)

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
Praise him, all creatures here below!
Praise him above, ye heavenly hosts!
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Liturgy, the Church, a Muslim convert

Another testimony. This man was a sheikh (elder) in Egpyt and he had decided to engage in debate with Christians to show them the fault of their ways, as the Qur'an recommends. This ended up taking him to an Anglican church which is where we start:

Mansour was amazed at the peace and dedication and attention of the congregation. He was impressed by the depth and the spirituality of the prayers, hymns and the reading and study of the Bible. Mansour, like most Muslims thought that Christians were spending their time praying to and idolizing icons and statues of Jesus and the Apostles which he believed is paganism.

After the service, a date and time for a meeting was agreed upon. They met and the discussion proceeded to subjects like the oneness of God and the Trinity.

He spent the time in futile arguments with no end in sight. After the discussion he felt the superiority of Islam over Christianity. The Christian priest told him that we all seek God and suggested that in his prayer [he…

Why do Muslims fast during Ramadan?

SO why do Muslims fast during Ramadan? I have asked Muslims this question many times. They often just answer with a good0natured shrug and "haek biddu Allah," which is a very colloquial way of saying, "That's what Allah wants."

I think about this question of fasting and dietary regulation every Friday when we abstain from anything with warm blood in it: pork, chicken, beef, lamb. Why do we do this? Because Friday is a special day. It is the day when Jesus was crucified, which means that we can honor life in a special way by what we refrain from eating. Now this is not a particularly example of dietary devotion, but I offer it as one reason for such a an exercise of piety.

Islam Q & A in its customary way offered a long rambling answer to this question, in a way that only an imam or Anglican bishop could. Rather than post his prolix answer I will summarize and abridge the four points he has outlined:

a) We Muslims fast the month of Ramadaan because All…

Eastern Orthodoxy (Part IV)

By Frederica Mathewes-Green:

3.) In At the Corner of East and Now you mention that while Protestants tend to see Orthodox and Catholics as closely related brethren, Orthodox tend to see Protestants and Catholics this way. Can you explain the difference in understanding?

Answer: It's funny, but I remember when my editor was going over that chapter, he wrote in the margin that I needed to give some examples of what Protestants and Catholics disagree about; as a Jewish man, he didn't know what they were.

It took me a very long time to grasp how Orthodoxy is different. As I said above, there is really no book that encapsulates it. I learned, I guess, the old-fashioned way, the way people have assimilated this faith from the beginning, by going to worship and listening. The words of the services are very rich and full of teaching. The feast in early June of the Council of Nicea, for example--the hymns recount it all thoroughly, explain what Arius taught, why he was wrong, what the co…

September 14th: The Triumph of the Cross

From Here:

September 14th: The Triumph of the Cross

Early in the fourth century St. Helena, mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine, went to Jerusalem in search of the holy places of Christ's life. She razed the Temple of Aphrodite, which tradition held was built over the Savior's tomb, and her son built the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher over the tomb. During the excavation, workers found three crosses. Legend has it that the one on which Jesus died was identified when its touch healed a dying woman.

The cross immediately became an object of veneration. At a Good Friday celebration in Jerusalem toward the end of the fourth century, according to an eyewitness, the wood was taken out of its silver container and placed on a table together with the inscription Pilate ordered placed above Jesus' head: Then "all the people pass through one by one; all of them bow down, touching the cross and the inscription, first with their foreheads, then with their eyes; and, after kissing…

Inspired by the Nazis

[People in the West are usually not aware that many Muslims respect and love Adolf Hitler. Here is a little info on the historical ties between the National Socialists and Muslims of Jerusalem.--Abu Daoud]

Inspired by the Nazis
by Suzanne Fields for The Washington Times

A major figure connecting Nazi and Islamist ideologies was Amin al-Husseini, a self-styled "grand mufti" of Jerusalem who fomented riots against the Jews in the 1920s and ordered the murder of any Muslim who traded with Jewish settlers. Adolf Eichmann visited him in Palestine in the 1930s; he was a friend of Heinrich Himmler. He was a guest of Hitler in Berlin from 1941 until the end of the war in 1945 and directed the Muslim SS in the Balkans. He was responsible for stopping the Bulgarian government from releasing thousands of Bulgarian Jewish children to travel to Palestine. "It was he," says historian Paul Johnson, "who first recruited Wahabi fanatics from Saudi Arabia, transforming them into k…

"The Revolution in my Heart"

From Here:

We live simply here [in the USA] because of a different choice. The choice to raise our kids ourselves rather than farm them out for someone else to care for. I know I am the best caregiver for my children and don't want to settle for anything less for them. But living on a teacher salary for the past year has been hard. Many of my friends and family have heard me talk about how we struggle financially. And they probably think - why don't you work then? I guess then it wouldn't be so hard. But that for me is not an option.

Read it all at Or something like that.

Section XIV: Islam and Tahriif

Section XIV: Islam and the "Corruption" of the Bible

The Arabic word referring to this corruption is "tahriif", and the teaching is that the Christian (and thus Jewish) Scriptures are profoundly flawed and are thus not reliable indications of God's will, commandments, prophets, or of the history of his people. (Note: I am particularly occupied with questions regarding Jesus' teaching--the injiil--in this article.)

Tahriif is a very wide-spread belief among Muslims today, though it is not universal. It places Muslims in a very powerful position regarding the Bible because for anything they agree with already they can say, "This is from Allah, do you see that we believe in the Prophets? Why do you not accept Allah's final prophet (Muhammad) as well?" But if they are confronted with anything that challenges Islam or the Qur'an, they can say, "Clearly the text has been corrupted, for Jesus would never have said such a thing and this goes a…

Christian Tortured to Death in Eritrea

Christian Tortured to Death in Eritrea - Compass Direct News/Open Doors

On September 5, Eritrean authorities tortured to death 33-year-old Nigsti Haile for refusing to recant her Christian faith while being held at the Wi'a Military Training Center. Haile is the fourth Christian killed in Eritrea in less than a year. Compass Direct News reported, "She was one of 10 single Christian women arrested at a church gathering in Keren. They have spent 18 months under severe pressure. Haile was killed for refusing to sign a letter recanting her faith."

In May 2002, government officials called in the leaders of all evangelical churches in Eritrea and told them they would not be permitted to hold further public services. Only the "historic religions" of Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran and Islam have been allowed to hold public worship since that time. Compass Direct says that more than 2,000 Eritrean Christians are imprisoned. Not a single one of them has been formally charge…

Ex-Muslims Unite!

Encouraging news from Eurabia:

Europe: New Groups Unite Those Who Renounce Islam
September 11, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Some call them apostates, but they prefer the term ex-Muslims.

Today marked the official launch of the Dutch Ex-Muslim Committee, the latest such group to emerge in Europe. The groups say they want to make it easier for people to renounce Islam -- and draw attention to places where leaving the faith is punishable by death.

The new group is headed by Ehsan Jami, a 22-year-old Dutch politician of Iranian origin.

The group's creation follows the launch this spring of a German council for former Muslims.

Other groups soon followed suit in Scandinavia, and in Britain.

"If these groups in Europe are able to draw attention to the worldwide problem, this is of great benefit." -- Paul Marshall, Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom

Rights activist Maryam Namazie, the force behind the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, said that even for those living in Europe, it's…