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Showing posts from December, 2012

Abu Daoud: Short, Sharp and Shocking

Short, Sharp and Shocking
by Abu Daoud

Normally when I'm talking with M's I take an irenic approach, but I have also learned that sometimes you meet someone who wants to talk about religion with you but from a combative point of view. This happened the other day and I felt in my spirit that I should take a short, sharp, and shocking approach (I learned this from an Egyptian pastor). One can hope that something you say will stick in the person's head and over time lead to a genuine openness and questioning attitude. John the Baptist and Jesus used this approach quite often when they were talking with the self-righteous folks of their day.

Sitting in his shop this man started off with what he thought were the weaknesses of our faith. I had pulled up the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5-7) on his computer, in Arabic, and told him to read it, which he did not want to do. And then he pointed out how our book is translated, while his book is the same all over the world (in Arabic). Time …

Spengler: Secularism is a 'prescription for despair'

Spengler at Asia Times writes:

Enlightened secular culture tells us that the brain is a machine, albeit a very sophisticated one, that ultimately will be decoded by the neuroscientists; that sin and salvation were sad imaginings of our ignorant ancestors; that the soul is an illusion of flickering neural impulses; that human life has nothing more to offer than fleshly satisfaction combined with a random sense of idiosyncratic spirituality; that our choices of lifestyle are ultimately arbitrary, such that every culture, quirk, and sexual subculture has equal rights to social esteem; that there is nothing sacred to …

Excellent new church-planting resource

Well, I'm not doing church-planting in the West, but I must say I am impressed by this website and its content. Check it out and plant a church. Yes, I mean you Catholic and Orthodox readers too!

People of YES!

Also, leave a comment and let me know what you think.

PS: My favorite was this part about church-planting in a context of persecution.

The Wisdom of the Prophet Muhammad

The wisdom of the Prophet Muhammad (ص) on sleeping too much:

Sahiih al Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 54, Number 492:
Narrated 'Abdullah:
It was mentioned before the Prophet that there was a man who slept the night till morning (after sunrise). The Prophet said, "He is a man in whose ears (or ear) Satan had urinated."

Daniel Ali: Kurdish convert to Catholicism

Recently read a review of Daniel Ali's book Out of Islam, Free at Last. So I decided to see if he had a website and sure enough he does. What is most interesting to me is that he is an evangelical Catholic. He became a Christian and only later joined the Catholic Church (with his wife). Here is the story of how he was attracted to Catholic Christianity:

Soon after my baptism, Sara and I began a neighborhood Bible study for anyone from any denomination who would come. To this Bible study came a nine-year-old neighbor boy, Joe Sobran, who would read questions and answers from his Baltimore Catechism. Sara and I were shocked at the unique questions and were floored by the simple and profound answers in the back of each chapter.  Little Joey did not give up, asking us why we were not Catholic. He would plant seeds every time he spoke to us of the Catholic faith.  One evening, Sara and I were watching television and happened upon a broadcast  of the Mass on EWTN at the exact moment of …

Archeology and the Qur'an

From Does archeology support the Quran?

Mecca
According to the Qur’an, Mecca was the first and most important city in the world. Adam placed the black stone in the original Ka’ba (sanctuary) there, while Abraham and Ishmael rebuilt the Meccan Ka’ba centuries later (Sura 2:125-127). Mecca was allegedly the centre of Arabian trading routes before Muhammad’s time.

Yet there is no archeological corroboration for this. Such a great ancient city would surely have received a mention in ancient history. However, the earliest reference to Mecca as a city is in the Continuato Byzantia Arabica, an 8th century document. Mecca is certainly not on the natural overland trade routes- it is a barren valley requiring a one hundred mile detour. Moreover, there was only maritime Graeco-Roman trade with India after the first century, controlled by the Ethiopian Red Sea port Adulis, not by the Arabs. If Mecca was not even a viable city, let alone a great commercial centre until after Muhammad’s …

St Francis Magazine Vol 8/6 is out