Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Cragg, Islam, and Prison

It is assumed that Islam is a faith that no Muslim would conceivably wish to question. consequently the option to do so is neither valid nor feasible. It is nonexistent. Looked at from this side Islam is a faith that no adherent is free to leave. And that which one is not free to leave becomes a prison, if one wishes to do so.

Kenneth Cragg, The Call of the Minaret, 3rd Ed. 1956 (2000). Oxford: One World. p 307.

Monday, December 28, 2009

UK Mosque burned down

From HERE.

Look for more of these to happen in the future, and then more retributive terror attacks on civilians a la July 7.


Friday, December 25, 2009

Sharon's Christmas Prayer by John Shea

Sharon's Christmas Prayer
by John Shea

She was five,
sure of the facts,
and recited them
with slow solemnity
convinced every word
was revelation.
She said

they were so poor
they had only peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
to eat
and they went a long way from home
without getting lost. The lady rode
a donkey, the man walked, and the baby
was inside the lady.
They had to stay in a stable
with an ox and an ass (hee-hee)
but the Three Rich Men found them
because a star lited the roof
Shepherds came and you could
pet the sheep but not feed them.
Then the baby was borned.
And do you know who he was?

Her quarter eyes inflated
to silver dollars,
The baby was God.

And she jumped in the air
whirled round, dove into the sofa
and buried her head under the cushion
which is the only proper response
to the Good News of the Incarnation.

The Cultivation of Christmas Trees by TS Eliot

The Cultivation of Christmas Trees (1954)

TS Eliot

1 There are several attitudes towards Christmas,
2 Some of which we may disregard:
3 The social, the torpid, the patently commercial,
4 The rowdy (the pubs being open till midnight),
5 And the childish---which is not that of the child
6 For whom the candle is a star, and the gilded angel
7 Spreading its wings at the summit of the tree
8 Is not only a decoration, but an angel.
9 The child wonders at the Christmas Tree:
10 Let him continue in the spirit of wonder
11 At the Feast as an event not accepted as a pretext;
12 So that the glittering rapture, the amazement
13 Of the first-remembered Christmas Tree,
14 So that the surprises, delight in new possessions
15 (Each one with its peculiar and exciting smell),
16 The expectation of the goose or turkey
17 And the expected awe on its appearance,
18 So that the reverence and the gaiety
19 May not be forgotten in later experience,
20 In the bored habituation, the fatigue, the tedium,
21 The awareness of death, the consciousness of failure,
22 Or in the piety of the convert
23 Which may be tainted with a self-conceit
24 Displeasing to God and disrespectful to the children
25 (And here I remember also with gratitude
26 St. Lucy, her carol, and her crown of fire):
27 So that before the end, the eightieth Christmas
28 (By "eightieth" meaning whichever is the last)
29 The accumulated memories of annual emotion
30 May be concentrated into a great joy
31 Which shall be also a great fear, as on the occasion
32 When fear came upon every soul:
33 Because the beginning shall remind us of the end
34 And the first coining of the second coming.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

US at war against Islam?

When radical Muslims claim the US has declared war on Islam, it smacks of mirror imaging. It is Muslims, not secular Americans, who view wars in a religious context and fight in the name of Allah, wrongly assuming the rest of the world is trapped in a similar mind-set.

From the CSM.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Short Term Missions: do they help at all?

This guy says no, not really:

Part of this response is also driven by the hollow hope, expectation, and rhetoric about the impact of short-term missions activity on long-term missions commitment. The myth says that growth in short-term missions and mission trips leads to growth in long-term missions. The facts, however, say that growth in the one has not led to growth in the other. The Mission Handbook statistics regarding the overall U.S. and Canadian trends are clear: the short-term boom has not produced a long-term echo. (p 36)

Jaffarian, Michael. ‘The Statistical State of the North American Missions Movement, from the Mission Handbook, 20th Edition’ in IBMR Vol 32:1, Jan 2008, pp 35-38.

Charles Amjad-Ali on Islam and the modern nation state

Charles Amjad-Ali suggests that much of the difficulty faced by Muslim thinking today is because “Islamic political theory developed during the heyday of such an Islamic state with multi-cultural, social, national, and tribal affiliations, they have had difficulties with the ‘modern’ concept of nation-state for their emphasis has always been on state-nations­, i.e. a single Muslim state encompassing the entire umma with many nations in it. […] So one of the greatest difficulties Islamic theorists face is how to deal among the Muslim states themselves as this falls outside the pale of their doctrinal structures” (Amjad-Ali 9).

Amjad-Ali, Charles. 1996. ‘Setting the Agenda: Contemporary Challenges to the Development of Theology in the Context of Islam’ in Developing Christian Theology in the Context of Islam, Christine Amjad-Ali ed. Rawalpindi: Christian Study Centre, pp 1-20.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Dec 20: Feast Day of Saint Ammon

Ok, I like this for two reasons: it took place in Egypt, and conversion related to persecution is kind of a running theme in Dar al Islam:

St. Ammon
Feastday: December 20

One of the Theban Martyrs who were converted by Egyptian Christians. Ammon, along with Ingenes, Ptolemy, Theophilus, and Zeno, were guards during the persecution of Christians in the reign of Emperor Decius. During the torture and trial of these prisoners, Ammon and his fellow guards were converted to Christ. They cheered the faithfulness of the Christians under torture and urged them to endure in their courage. As a result, Ammon and the others became prisoners. They were beheaded displaying the same Christian constancy.

HT to Catholic Online.

Orthodox worship in the Middle East

Took this not too long ago.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Have you prayed for Tajikistan lately?

Have you thought about Tajikistan lately? Have you considered the possibility that God designed you and formed you in your mother's womb to be a light and witness to the peoples of this nation? If not, please discuss the topic carefully with God.

Here is the Joshua Project profile on the almost entirely unreached and Islamic nation of Tajikistan: Here. Note that the two largest population groups have no witness among them to the Gospel.

In other news, here is a nice article from IHT on the trade between this nation and Afghanistan. Splendid. Thanks to the author Andy Isaacson. And also check out the photos here.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Conversion of Mosab Hasan from Islam to Christianity

Watch it all. The Fox News narration is a little outlandish, but hey, beggars can't be choosers.



Is God doing a 'new thing' among Muslims

Rick Brown in 2000 explained that there are five main reasons why he believes that God is doing a "new thing" in the Muslim world:

1) More workers
2) More collaboration: missions agencies working together
3) Contextualization
4) Prayer, Signs and Wonders, and Spiritual Warfare
5) Socio-political change: the fall of Communism, globalization, urbanization, the rise of Islamic governments and shari'a

How we became post-human

Ok, so not really about Islam or Christianity, but still a fascinating point. BTW I have been posting less lately (obviously) but if anyone has any topics you want me to address just let me know.

Actually, we have become symbionts, says Katherine Hayles, author of "How We Became Posthuman." Just as a lichen is the marriage of a fungus and an algae, we now live in full partnership with digital technology, which we rely on for the infrastructure of our lives. "If every computer were to crash tomorrow, it would be catastrophic," she says. "Millions or billions of people would die. That's the condition of being a symbiont."

From HERE.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Southern Yemen and Secession

Why Southern Yemen is Pushing for Secession

In the CS Monitor. Please pray for Yemen. Now even Saudi is getting into the fight over in the Northern areas, as they are worried about the near-civil war going on there will spill over into KSA.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Syllabus for Eastern Christianity--I need your insights!

Hi All,

What if you have to put together a syllabus for a course called "Eastern Christianity: Spirituality and Theology"? It would have between 10 and 14 sections. What would you include? Work from the assumption that the students have already taken early church history and thus know the basics of the first 5 centuries and the Christological and Trinitarian debates. This is a seminary-level course being taught to people training for the ministry.

Also, what books would you use?

I look forward to hearing your ideas! Please feel free to paste the above question on your blog for your readers as well.


Abu Daoud

Friday, December 11, 2009

Dispute on the nature of the Eucharist and Priesthood

Hi All,

Abu Daoud is off to an overnight planning session for a very strategic ministry to the local churches. The goal is to motivate and train them to engage in planting cell churches in homes and thus provide a venue where inquiring non-Christians could attend safely and comfortably. Please say a prayer for us. One important thing to note is that said effort is largely an initiative of local Christians, not foreigners.

Meanwhile, two folks on my blogroll have an interesting debate going on regarding the Eucharist and the nature of Christian priesthood. Please do drop by and share your ideas. The most recent installation of said dialogue is overt at Don's blog, Positive Infinity. Check it out.

--Abu Daoud

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Should governments control family size?

A question. That's what I'm asking. This author says YES, and that each woman should have one child, world-round. In a way I agree because Islam will take over europe by birthrates and migration, but still...I'm not sure how that works with my Christian ethics though. Am curious to hear your thoughts.

Here is a segment, do share your thoughts on the matter:
For those who balk at the notion that governments should control family sizes, just wait until the growing human population turns twice as much pastureland into desert as is now the case, or when the Amazon is gone, the elephants disappear for good and wars erupt over water, scarce resources and spatial needs.

Read more:
The Financial Post is now on Facebook. Join our fan community today.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Anyone want to pray for mission to the unreached peoples?

Dear Readers,

I recently learned that one missionary agency which is active among groups who have NO witness witness to the Gospel is looking for prayer partners. This means you will pray for them each and every day. They supply a calendar each month (by e-mail) with a different prayer point each day. Said group is Anglican so their goals should be (I hope) amenable to Catholics, evangelicals, and Orthodox. If there is one thing all Christians can unite in, it should be prayer.

Please do e-mail me if you are interested: winterlightning [@+] safe-mail [d0+] net

This is a real opportunity to contribute to the Church's work among the unreached, many of whom are Muslims.


Abu Daoud

Saturday, December 05, 2009

American Lives and Funds Expended to increase persecution of Christians in Iraq

Tragically, liberating Iraq from Saddam Hussein meant liberating some of the worst sectarian passions, which he had brutally held in check. Roughly half of Iraq’s historical Christian community has been displaced, many to Jordan and Syria, another secular Arab dictatorship. Although the government does not persecute, reports State, “violence conducted by terrorists, extremists, and criminal gangs restricted the free exercise of religion and posed a significant threat to the country’s vulnerable religious minorities.” Although overall violence is down, Christians and other religious minorities continue to be targeted by radical Muslims.

From HERE.

Vision of St Mary and Conversion from Islam

From an interview with an ex-Muslim:

What was your first exposure to Christianity or Jesus or the Bible or any of those things?

Samira: Well, my first exposure was when I was six and had a vision of the Virgin Mary. And at the time I didn’t know who Mary was or who Jesus was or who Muslims were—I didn’t know anything about anything. I was in a mountain place, it was dark, I fell and I couldn’t get up. And there was this huge rock, this lady came from behind the rock, she was all in white, and she held my hand and picked me up and said that she was Mary. And when she held my hand something stayed with me and I just loved her and I asked my mother who she was and she said she was the mother of Prophet Jesus, as Muslims knew her. And I just knew since then that I wanted to be where she was which was the church. And then when I was nine I learned about St Bernadette, there was a movie called The Song of Bernadette and that is when I received my calling into ministry because I knew that my life belonged to the church. And that was the place to go to [inaudible]. And the interesting [thing] about that is I didn’t know anything about Jesus and—or the Bible. It was all the love of the church through the Virgin Mary.

HT to Dar al Masih. Read more HERE.

Friday, December 04, 2009

A Damning indictment of House of Saud (بيت سعود)

The state of our country is best exemplified by the Musk Lake, where 1,200 tankers of human waste from Jeddah sewage have been dumped daily for the past 25 years. Naming this chasm of foulness "musk" gives great insight in how Saudi rulers distort the simplest of realities. Musk Lake, not the only lake of human waste in the country, has been the source of diseases such as dengue fever, which has killed dozens and afflicted thousands for years.

From HERE. The main portion of the article is about the recent flooding in Jeddah, which doesn't even have a sewage system.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Photos of Dubai

Great photos of Dubai here. I am so fascinated by that city, God willing we will visit it some day.

Still alive

Hi All,

Been a while. I was in Scotland where I was quite busy and had irregular internet access. Will be posting stuff this week.


Abu Daoud

PS: New blog added to the blogroll: Circumpolar: a blog about Muslim Ministry.