Thursday, January 28, 2010
But this new book by Lee Smith looks quite excellent. I would very much like to read it. Also if any of you do read it please let me know your thoughts on it. Here is a review over at the CS Monitor.
But just pages into the introduction, Smith, who is the Middle East correspondent for the Weekly Standard, shatters the stereotype evoked in the jacket’s photograph by stating that, “I give no credence to the idea that the Arab-Israeli crisis is the [Middle East’s] central issue.” Just one of a number of provocative assertions, Smith wastes little time in introducing a reexamination of Middle Eastern history that calls into question even the most conventional of American and Western beliefs.
To begin with, he argues that 9/11 was not an attack on America but rather the extension of an inter-Arab fight exported to the new battleground of lower Manhattan. “Bin Ladenism is not drawn from the extremist fringe but represents the political and social norm [of the Arabic-speaking Middle East].” Smith explains these two conclusions, as he does the Middle East’s political philosophy writ large, using the “strong horse” principle.
Friday, January 22, 2010
And here's another great quote:
Experience teaches that Islam, once the controlling factor in a country, will move to impose sharia on the population and do so without exception. Although the Ottomans were probably the most able rulers the Islamic world has ever known, their system of encapsulating and using non-Islamic groups to their own advantage is going out of fashion, replaced by the religious cleansing we see all too often in the Middle East today.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Sunday, January 17, 2010
- Sunday School
- The pulpit
- Preaching of the gospel in church - isn't every example in the NT of preaching the gospel outside of the church and to unbelievers?
- Bringing people to church to hear the gospel
- Grape juice used for Lord's Supper instead of wine
- Church buildings
- Stained glass
- The Sunday meeting being called a "worship service"
- Tithing to the church instead of in ministry to others
- Sunday meeting of the church without a meal
- Sunday meeting of the church without Lord's supper being part of that meal
- "Personal quiet time"
- A Sunday church meeting without considering how to stimulate one another to love, or how to stimulate one another to good deeds, or the encouraging of one another.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
In Lebanon, the Roman Catholic diocese and Muslim groups have accused the evangelical Christians of trying to convert Muslims. One bishop said Bonnie Penner Witherall, the missionary killed by a gunman [in 2002], combined preaching about Christianity with the distribution of toys and food to Muslim children.
Morocco's government says it practices religious tolerance but the Christian presence is low-key. St. Peter's Cathedral in Rabat does not ring its bells and churchgoers are all foreign.
Moroccan Christians worshipping there would risk arrest and Archbishop Vincent Landel told Reuters he would not baptize a Moroccan convert as it is against the law.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Saturday, January 09, 2010
Many of the young Muslims today are not afraid of this [Christian] missionary campaign, they think that it does not affect anything. I say that this is wrong, It was proven by study that this is not true, and that many Muslims are effected by this missionary activity, and that many Muslims leave Islam and enter into Christianity! add to that the ones who are slightly affected by christianity they for example leave Islam without entering into christianity, or accept some of the Christian belief, or help Christians in their activities, or accept that their relatives become Christians then that is a huge number of people! So the missionary activity is doing what it is supposed to do.
Read it all, it is a fascinating document.
What's Islam? Don't Ask Google
Google's search engine returns common results to most queries as you type. But the "don't be evil" company appears to be censoring its results when it comes to Islam.
Type a few words into the search field on Google's home page and the engine automatically returns a helpful list of popular, similar searches for the words you've typed in so far -- a convenient way to find the right information.
Enter "Christianity is" and you'll find results that, while offensive, at least indicate common discussions on the Internet. Likewise, type "Judaism is" and Google suggests other, potentially offensive searches such as "Judaism is false" and "Judaism is not a race."
But type "Islam is" into the search engine and Google's auto-results pane mysteriously vanishes, leading some to conclude that Google, whose mantra is "don't be evil," is censoring its search results. [...]
Friday, January 08, 2010
Narrated Um Salama:
While I was laying with the Prophet under a single woolen sheet, I got the menses. I slipped away and put on the clothes for menses. He said, "Have you got 'Nifas' (menses)?" I replied, "Yes." He then called me and made me lie with him under the same sheet.
When ever Allah's Apostle wanted to fondle any of his wives during the periods (menses), he used to ask her to wear an Izar.AD says: an Izar is a dress worn below the waist.
Ibn Warraq ed. Apostates of Islam, p 99:
“Even in the West, Muslim apostates fear for their lives and find it difficult to come out in public; hence the difficulty in finding reliable statistics for conversions in the West. However, we do have some figures for adult baptisms in French Catholic parishes. The latter parishes also record the religion of origin of those baptized. In the year 2000, 2,503 adults were baptized of which 9% were of Muslim origin; thus 225 apostasized in France alone in 2000.”
Thursday, January 07, 2010
The Cardinal of the Czech Republic, Miloslav Vick, is concerned about the fate of Christianity in Europe. He argues that Europe must return to its roots, if not the fate of the continent will be to become Islamic.
"Medieval Muslims tried to conquer Europe but Christians expelled them,” he said. “Today there is a similar war but with spiritual weapons. However, Europe lacks the tools and ability for a spiritual struggle while Muslims are well equipped," he says, adding that "the fall of Europe is close at hand.”
The day is coming when finding a practicing Christian in France will be as interesting and exotic as finding an Assyrian Christian in Iraq.
Wednesday, January 06, 2010
Monday, January 04, 2010
by Abu Daoud (4 Jan. 2010)
I have often complained about the lack of a culture of lay missions in the Catholic Church. And then you find something like FMC. In one way, this is very encouraging. But the main problem that I see with this is that the missionaries are sent out with the permission of the local bishop. Now how many Catholic bishops in the Middle East are going to tell some lay missionaries they can come over and evangelize Muslims? The answer is close to zero. The Catholic Church has physical resources scattered throughout the region, from hospitals to schools to monasteries to historical sites. In all honesty, and I'm not saying this to be a jerk, the upkeep and well-being of those physical resources will almost always trump Muslim evangelism. And the bishops, in a way, are right. When you get into the business of Muslim evangelism you really are putting everything on the line. Calling Muslims to embrace Christianity stirs up Islamic anger like few other things. Might there be a bishop here or there who is willing to do this? Maybe, but I wouldn't bet on it.
But that doesn't mean groups like FMC and Kerygma Teams (both Catholic) can't have a successful ministry to Muslims. I am thinking that bishops in places like southern Spain and some of the French ports would be happy to have lay missionaries explicitly (if quietly) working to evangelize Muslims. Ah but then you run into the funding problem. Catholic parishes do not have a tradition of supporting lay missions like Protestant churches do. Depending on where you are in the Middle East I would say a family can get by on between $70,000 to $100,000 a year in donations. That might seem like a lot, but from the top of that take of 10-15% which goes to administration of the missionary agency, then account for travel, communications, health insurance, and so on, and you're left with a man making about $40,000 gross in self-employment income. Work out the taxes and SEI and you end up with a man who has a net income of $15k to $30k.
But Europe is a different story. I would say Europe is about twice as expensive as the Middle East. So unless your independently wealthy (and I don't really know any missionaries who are) you have to raise funds from local churches. Figure in the fact that Catholics rarely tithe to their churches, and when they do it is at about 50% the rate of Protestants.
In sum, while I applaud this groups like FMC, I don't see how they can make a substantial contribution to the Church's mission to Islam.
[Note: the director of FMC has been invited to respond to this article.--AD]