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Showing posts from 2013

Christmastide: the true meaning, according to John Wright

I really liked this post by John Wright, sci-fi author extraordinaire and ABRC (atheist-background Roman Catholic).

I always had to tell Daoud and the family that Christmas doesn't start until the 25th, because before that it is Advent. Stinkin' pagan America. (Speaking of which, we're back in the USA for the time being.)

Anyway, check out John's informative and funny summary of what Christmastide really means. Here is a section to get you going:
So what are the Twelve Days? And why are there Thirteen of them? I have not been able to find easy to hand a list of the Twelve Days of Christmas for 2011-2012. Here is my own list I have gathered from various sources: Christmas: December 25th–The Nativity of Our Lord
December 26th—Feast of St. Stephen, first martyr
December 27th—Feast of St. John, apostle and evangelist
December 28th—Feast of the Holy Innocents, martyrs
December 29th—Memorial of St. Thomas Becket of Canterbury, bishop and martyr
December 30th—Feast of the…

Former Muslims United (USA)

I was aware that various councils or groups for ex-Muslims existed in Belgium and the UK and some other countries in Europe, but behold, there is one in the USA as well. On their Mission Statement page they list, among other things, the following goals:
1. Develop a legal framework for and ensure the civil rights of American individuals and organizations to provide sanctuary for former Muslims without being subject to legal penalties or threats.

5. Educate the American public, especially politicians and those in the U.S. legal system, of Islamic law’s encouragement of extra-judicial enforcement or vigilante street justice against apostates who are subjected to serious death threats in America and from abroad.  Denial is a common reaction by many Muslim leaders to those who warn about clear-cut laws in all Islamic legal schools of Sharia.  As a matter of fact, Islamic law states that it is permissible to lie to non-Muslims to accomplish a Sharia-sanctioned objective.  Thus, si…

Responding to Marc Cortez and the poor situation of Theology PhD's

Marc Cortez recently posted on the dismal job prospects of folks who have recently received a PhD in Theology (HT to Phil Sumpter). Here is a portion of his post, just so you get what he is getting at:
In 2008 ATS schools hired 420 new faculty. In 2009 they hired 339. By 2010 the number was down to 226. That’s an almost 50% decrease in just two years. [...] That becomes a problem when you consider the number of new PhDs produced every year. ATS schools alone graduate over 400 new doctoral students every year. Add in the students graduating from non-ATS schools (including all of the overseas programs) and you begin to see the shape of the market. I felt that his post was interesting and worthwhile. Here is the comment I posted on his site:
I just am wrapping up a PhD in divinity (close enough, no?) and am very content working as a missionary to Muslims. I teach on the side at a local university but that is not my main job or main source of income. Consider the mission field.…

Pray for Evangelistic Meeting in Egypt

Christians in Egypt are gathering together for a large evangelistic meeting, and expect opposition from the religion of peace.
“The Holy Spirit is working mightily in Egypt,” said Jerry Dykstra, the media relations director for Open Doors. “There is revival and many coming to Christ. Yes, there are many dangers for Christians, especially from the Muslim Brotherhood extremists. But for decades we have seen that in times of great persecution, the Gospel is preached and people turn to the Lord.” Read about it at Maghreb Christians.

Sermon on Christian Witness and Evangelism

Nice sermon here on the Gospel and witness to Muslims. Check it out:

threestreamschurch

Camel urine, your health and Yemen

Drinking camel urine is an Islamic remedy that comes from the Prophet himself. It is alive and well today in Yemen:
Bottled urine from the desert animal can be found throughout the Old City, with at least five shops selling the item for an average of YR300 ($1.40) per 750 ml. bottle    

Rumored, but not scientifically proven, to offer health benefits for a number of ailments, Yemenis as well as those across Gulf have been consuming the animal urine for centuries. 

“I drink a cup of camel urine every morning,” said 67-year-old Um Aziz, an Old City resident.  Read more about it here, and keep the people of Yemen in your prayers, that the light of Christ might shine upon their land and that many would come to faith.

Sad News

Recently got news that two of our supporting churches are dropping us. Makes the heart sad. Nothing personal, just changing missionary strategies or something like that... Please pray that others would step in to make up for the loss.

The Myth of Muslim Tolerance in Spain

Great article at the New English Review titled 'The Myth of the Golden Age of Tolerance in Medieval Muslim Spain' by Norman Berdichevsky. Here is an excerpt:
The tolerant Spain of The Three Great Monotheistic Religions [...]graduallycontracted and was eventually extinguished as a result of repeated invasions of the peninsula from North Africa by severe Muslim-Berber tribes people who brought with them a fanaticism reminiscent of Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Only later did a resurgent Christian-Hispanic reaction begin to imitate this intolerance. The term “Golden Age” of Muslim Spain most correctly applies to a relatively short period from the eighth to the mid-eleventh century and is even more accurate when applied to the Christian North of the country for a period of more than three hundred years. (1050-1390).Read the whole article here.

The Economist: why going on Haj is getting harder

From The Economist:
But the growing global Muslim population of 1.6 billion, coupled with cheaper international travel, has brought its own problems. Back in 2004, 2.2m Muslims went to Mecca. Last year the number was 3.2m, the highest ever. Stampedes in 1990, 2004 and 2006 caused hundreds of deaths. This year Saudi Arabia, which gives a quota of haj visas to each country on the basis of the size of its Muslim population, has slashed the number of visas for foreign pilgrims by 20%, as it carries out renovation works to expand the capacity of the Grand Mosque. Thanks to an outbreak of the coronavirus in the Kingdom, many countries have asked elderly and sick Muslims not to travel. Read it all HERE. Pray for Muslims as they go on Haj, that God will draw them close to himself through his Son our Savior, Jesus Christ, by the power of his Spirit.

Turkey: a mixed bag for religious freedom

Turkey can be a difficult country to interpret. On the one hand, legal conversion there is possible and I very much appreciate that. On the other hand, the notions of identity there mean that anyone who leaves Islam is understood to have betrayed the Turkish people.

But here is a little bit of good news:
For almost a century, the bells of St. Giragos, a magnificent 14th-century church built of sturdy black basalt bricks, were silent.

Severely damaged during the 1915 massacre and deportation of local Christians, it stood roofless and abandoned for decades, a poignant reminder of the void left by the killing of its congregants.
Yet for several months now the tolling of bells can once again be heard emanating from the belfry and echoing through the city’s narrow alleyways and busy markets.

St. Giragos recently underwent an extensive $3 million dollar restoration that included a new roof, the reconstruction of all seven of its original altars—a unique feature for a church, which us…

Abu Daoud interviewed by VirtueOnline

I was recently interviewed by David Virtue at VirtueOnline. Here is an excerpt:
VOL: We hear there are conversions of Muslims to Christ. Many Muslims are seeing visions and dreams of the risen Christ. Can you speak to that?ABU DAOUD: We should not lose heart. "The Church is an anvil which has worn out many hammers" (Beza). Muslims are turning to Christ in unprecedented numbers. Not so much here in Israel and Palestine, but it is happening there too. Training Christians in the USA to be effective in reaching out to Muslims is at the heart of the new stage of our mission back in the USA. If there are any parishes out there interested in learning about this they can contact me through my blog, islamdom.blogspot.com.But as to the traditional churches in Israel including the Anglican churches, there is little or no future. Israel is the one country in the region where Muslims can legally convert to Christianity, yet it hardly ever happens. Anglicans in the Diocese of Jerusalem are…

What Abu Daoud predicted about the Arab Spring

Hi All,

I was recently going over this interview I did with Don Warrington at Positive Infinity for another interview I'm doing right now, and I was struck by how I nailed the Arab Spring all the way back in January of 2012. Check this out:
6) Where do you see MENA going, especially in view of events such as the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq and the Arab Spring? This is the million-dollar question, isn’t it? First, the people who protested didn’t take political control, so as much as they wanted freedom and democracy, they just won’t get it, I’m sorry to say. The Egyptian elections were demonstrably corrupt, though the international press has not said so—I have no idea why. The Islamists will take power and they will not let it go. And why is this surprising? That is precisely what Muhammad did—engaged in diplomacy and compromise and so on, but once he had power he was ruthless. In the end, an Islamic society cannot be a free society. Islam and freedom are mutually exclusive.

How many virgins may a Muslim get in Paradise?

Muhammad: cross-dresser and unfair husband

The Qur'an says that a man may take up to four wives (and the Prophet up to eight) as long as he treats them all fairly.

Did Muhammad do this? Check out this sahiih/verified hadith from Al Bukhari which shows how unjust Muhammad was to his wives, and also his explanation of why he favored A'isha the daughter of Abu Bakr above his other wives. Enjoy:
From the Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari, Hadith Number 2442, Chapter 52. Book of Setting Free, VII: The one who gave a gift to his friend aiming for a time when he was with one of his wives rather than another. It is related from 'A'isha that the wives of the messenger of Allah fell into two parties. One party contained 'A'isha, Hafsa, Safiyya and Sawda, and the other party contained Umm Salama and the rest of the wives of the messenger of Allah. The Muslims knew of the love of the messenger of Allah for 'A'isha, so when any of them had a gift which he wanted to give to the messenger of Allah he would delay i…

Syrian-Australian woman speaks out for Syria

Powerful. Please do share.

Episcopal Church Leased to Muslim Group

Dr. Khamis Abu-Hasaballah, president of the FVAMC, told The Christian Post that they are "thrilled" by the interfaith partnership and plan to move into the Avon property soon."We hope to move in in the coming weeks. Since we're leasing the facility, we're keeping the modifications to the bare minimum needed to accommodate our activities," said Abu-Hasaballah. "The facility has been de-consecrated by the bishop and the altar removed. We are also relocating some pews to free up enough space for Muslim congregational prayers."
Read it all HERE.

Sad to see stuff like this happen.

Context and Power

Some great quotes here and context, power, and forming or making theology:
...identifying a context is not simply naming a place, group or identity, but is an activity laden with power and purpose that has theological and social dimensions.  [...]  Moving to a new identity--Christian--then becomes a matter of constructing a notion of a new context, a Christian one, where the previous identities may or may not intersect.
Power and Identity in the Global Church, eds Brian Howell and Edwin Zehner, p 5

Did the Apostles espouse insider movements?

I answer that the Biblical witness clearly leads to the answer no:
Further, the mixed churches in cities like Rome and [the region of] Galatia were likewise errors. These believers, both Jews and non-Jews, had mistakenly supposed that they in some way had come into a new oikosand a new identity, and Paul, lacking wisdom as usual, taught them these things. Indeed, a triumph of IM hermeneutics and practice would have meant that Peter should have been victorious when Paul confronted him. Indeed, Paul, in violating kashrut was stepping needlessly outside of his oikos, while Peter himself was honoring his God-given identity as a Galilean Jew. 

In the end though, it was the faith—the apostolic faith—that was victorious. A faith which understood that in Jesus a new community had come into being demanded allegiance above and beyond one’s own community of birth. Or as one African pastor put it in those early centuries: you cannot have God for your Father without having the Church for your moth…

"Rebecca Lewis and Kevin Higgins against the Ropes": a new article by Abu Daoud

As a contributing editor of St Francis Magazine I have the privilege (and duty) to write at least one substantial article per year. All my previous SFM articles can be found in the menu to the right of the main blog text. My recent article started as a mere book review of Jeff Morton's recent bookInsider Movements: Biblically Incredible or Incredibly Brilliant?

The material in this book unfolded itself into an article-length article (which is also a review) concerned with 'insider movements'. In his book, Morton particularly takes on two of the main proponents of IM: Rebecca Lewis and Kevin Higgins--hence the full title (and biblio):
Abu Daoud. 2013. "Rebecca Lewis and Kevin Higgins against the Ropes: sounding the death nell of the insider movements and the victory of Apostolic faith" in St Francis Magazine 9(4), August, pp 52-58. (Yes, that is "Abu Daoud" and not "Daoud, Abu.")

The article also takes on Dave Bogs, who is the gatekeeper of the…

Salvation according to Augustine

And today is the feast day of this great saint. A quote:
Salvation, such as it shall be in the world to come, shall itself be our final happiness. And this happiness these philosophers refuse to believe in, because they do not see it, and attempt to fabricate for themselves a happiness in this life, based upon a virtue which is as deceitful as it is proud. — St. Augustine of Thagaste, The City of God, XIX, 4.

How the US attacking Syria could plunge the region into war

So 90% of the American people want NO military action in Syria, but President Obama, it seems, is intent on doing just this. This will be very bad for the whole region, though. Here is a likely scenario:
In fact, it is being reported that cruise missile strikes could begin "as early as Thursday".  The Obama administration is pledging that the strikes will be "limited", but what happens when the Syrians fight back?  What happens if they sink a U.S. naval vessel or they have agents start hitting targets inside the United States?  Then we would have a full-blown war on our hands.  And what happens if the Syrians decide to retaliate by hitting Israel?  If Syrian missiles start raining down on Tel Aviv, Israel will be extremely tempted to absolutely flatten Damascus, and they are more than capable of doing precisely that.  And of course Hezbollah and Iran are not likely to just sit idly by as their close ally Syria is battered into oblivion.  We are looking …

Farah Shama, young Arab poet

Freedom and peace in you, Jesus...

Hi All,

I'm pretty sure this is a song from the West, with (translated) Arabic words. But I can't figure out the original. What is the original song/lyrics? Please help and share with worship music people you know.


Islam says no new churches--why?

On dhimmi/millet neighborhoods:  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. […] In principle, non-Muslim communities remained constant, while only the community of Muslims was free to grow by way of proselytism. 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 Islamic Law by Bernard G. Weiss, p 149.

The Crap that Reza Aslam is Full Of....

More on Reza Aslam and his mediocre, sub-standard faux scholarship, this time from The Jewish Review of Books (Muslims at this point can dismiss the whole thing as a Zionist conspiracy, and feel sorry for themselves, being the "best of all nations" while also having the lamest of all countries):
Speaking on CNN in the wake of his Fox interview, Aslan ruefully observed, “There's nothing more embarrassing than an academic having to trot out his credentials. I mean, you really come off as a jerk.” Actually, there is something significantly more embarrassing, and that is when the academic trots out a long list of exaggerated claims and inflated credentials.
Read the rest here, by Allan Nadler, director of Jewish Studies at Drew University.

Quotes from the brilliant Bernard Lewis

I really love Bernard Lewis, the great orientalist. I was just reading one of his books and thought I would share with you some of great, insightful quotes I found:
Lewis, Bernard. 1993. Islam and the West. Oxford.“The imported idea of ethnic and territorial nationhood remains, like secularism, alien and incompletely assimilated.” (p 136)“Since for Muslims Islam is, by definition, superior to all other faiths, the failures and defeats of Muslims in this world can only mean that they are not practicing authentic Islam and that their states are not true Islamic states.” (p 136, 7)“…many of the extremist organizations tend to be Christian, for in the radical extremism that they profess, Christians still hope to find the acceptance and equality that eluded them in nationalism.” (p 144)“After a long period of secular, liberal, and nationalist ideologies and programs, the non-Muslim minorities are no longer conditioned to revert to their former position of inferiority. Some have sought a sol…

Christians attacked in Egypt: press ignores it

The Errors of Reza Aslan on Jesus, a long list by John Dickson

How sad that such a mediocre book could get so much publicity. This list comes from this article (HERE) by John Dickson.
Litany of errorsFinally, the list of exaggerations and plain errors in Zealot bear testimony to Aslan's carelessness with concrete history. If this were presented as a work of fiction, there would be no shame in such oversights. But if this were handed in as an essay in an Ancient History Department, it would most likely fail, not just because of the numerous inaccuracies, but because of the disturbing confidence with which they are habitually stated.
Aslan repeatedly calls revolutionary leaders of the first century "claimed messiahs," when this crucial term hardly ever appears in our sources and certainly not in the contexts he is claiming.Aslan pontificates on questions such as Jesus's literacy (or illiteracy, in his judgment) with a cavalier style that does not represent the complexities involved.He rushes to dismiss some Gospel passages a…

Conversion from Christianity to Islam in Cameroon

In this part of the continent, including Cameroon, there has been growing influence of Islam through economic development. The country is a member of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and nations like Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey are increasingly investing in Cameroon. Other investors include Arab Contractors based in Cairo and the Islamic development bank in Jeddah, a coastal city in Saudi Arabia. These investments often come with increased Islamic influence and pressure on usually lower- income rural people to embrace Islam for the economic benefits connected with such a move.  Read it all, at Open Doors.

Message from a Christian of Syrian Ancestry to the Americans

Message from a Christian of Syrian Ancestry to the Americans by Abu Daoud (8/2013) Today I was running errands and I happened by my local pharmacy to pick up some stuff for the family. The man there is a Greek Catholic Christian of Syrian ancestry and he told me about how his ancestors had migrated from Syria to where I am, back in the days of Ottoman Empire. We got to talking and, as often happens with this sort of thing, he became rather impassioned and started to tell me his thoughts in detail about what was going on in Syria. He told me, You are American, you voted for this guy (President Obama)!I promised him I would relay his message to people in the USA as best I could. So here I am, trying to do that. I don’t necessarily agree with everything he says, of course. But I did think that people in the USA (and elsewhere, too) would be interested to hear the unvarnished thoughts of an Arab Christian whose ancestral home is Syria, in Wadi al-Nasara (it’s on Wikipedia). His main so…

Reza Aslan on Jesus of Nazareth

Good Lord, Americans are so stupid. I can say this. I am one.

Evidence: the recent fad regarding this man's book.

From First Things: Reza Aslan Misrepresents His Scholarly Credentials

For instance:
None of these degrees is in history, so Aslan’s repeated claims that he has “a Ph.D. in the history of religions” and that he is “a historian” are false.  Nor is “professor of religions” what he does “for a living.” He is an associate professor in the Creative Writing program at the University of California, Riverside, where his terminal MFA in fiction from Iowa is his relevant academic credential. It appears he has taught some courses on Islam in the past, and he may do so now, moonlighting from his creative writing duties at Riverside. Aslan has been a busy popular writer, and he is certainly a tireless self-promoter, but he is nowhere known in the academic world as a scholar of the history of religion. And a scholarly historian of early Christianity? Nope. Ah, yes. But Ame…

Child brides in Yemen: ندى الاحدال

Watch this and pray for the young girls of Yemen.

This practice will not die out. Rather, it will spread form Yemen, Afghanistan and Pakistan to those places where Yemenis, Afghans and Pakistanis spread--the UK and the USA. Just a guess, but time will tell.

It should be noted that Muhammad (he was about 50) had sex with his nine-year old bride, A'isha. Because of this, the Islamic shari'a simply cannot, and never will be able to, say that this is immoral. Muhammad was the ideal man, after all.

(By the way, if anyone knows for sure the correct Arabic spelling of Nada Al-Ahdal's surname let me know. That spelling is just my guess.)

A Church of Afghan Converts

Wow, what a wonderful story. Praise be to God for bringing these people to the light and hope that is found in Jesus, who is the very image and icon of God:
Between 200 and 250 Afghan converts from Islam to Christianity who feared persecution from the Afghan authorities and the Taliban have found refuge in Delhi.


“The number of coverts to Christianity increased as the U.S. presence increased after the fall of the Taliban,” said Obaid Jan, 33, the pastor, who led the Bible service. “Most of the Christian converts lived in urban areas, so the threat from the Taliban was minimal,” he added.

But the Christian converts started fleeing Afghanistan around 2005, fearing their identities might become public. Most came to India after video footage of their secret churches found its way to Noorin TV, a Kabul-based television network, in May 2009. Their lives were further endangered in 2010, when an influential member of the lower house of the Afghan parliament, Abdul Sattar Khawasi, ca…

'Violence' by Yemeni poet Adil Hossenally

I enjoyed this poem by Yemeni poet Adil Hossenally. I would assume that the author is Muslim, as Yemen has only a few hundred indigenous Christians. Nonetheless, as a Christian I appreciate his sense of wrestling against his own inadequate desires--desires that are so strong, but that don't tend, in the end, to life and hope and peace.

Read the poem, and say a prayer for Yemen, and say a prayer Adil as well:

Violence Every inch of me is screaming for violence
Fists clenched and fire flowing bitter anxiety
I want to punch, kick and wrestle
Blistered bloody knuckle
Beat my knuckles
Pound some flesh

But I don’t want to hurt anybody
Least not myself
I want to fight this world and put it in its place
Yet I can’t even seem to fight myself
And its myself that beats me down
My own rusty halo is what cuts me
I can’t be good
Even though it’s who I am
I still hold on to the evil that makes me weak
I’m not who I used to be
Nor am I strong enough to be whom I want to be
I’m stuck somewhere in between
A place whe…

See how far gone the UK is...

Tehmina Tariq: (Free) Christian music from Pakistan

Ok, so Pakistan is quite a ways from the Middle East, but I was just made aware of this fine Christian album from Pakistan which is available (for free) online. I thought you might be interested in knowing about it:

Tehmina Tariq

I don't understand the lyrics, but it sure sounds pretty :-)

--AD

Intelligent Comments on Egypt

Some smart commentary on what is going on Egypt right now:

Rick Wood is at it again....

Oh boy, the new issue of Mission Frontiers is out, which is great, and I look forward to reading it. But Rick Wood, the editor of MF and a main booster of Insider Movement methodology, has seriously goofed up right off the bat. Do you see it?

As Dr. Garrison reports on page 7, Sadrach “then gathered
converts into contextualized, indigenous mesjids of Javanese
Christian communities called Kristen Jawa, rather than
extracting them into the local Dutch Christian churches.”
Sadrach allowed these Muslims to have their own contextual
centers of worship and did not force them to join a culturally
foreign body in order to follow Jesus.

Thank you Rick Wood, but that is the whole point--they were no longer Muslims. They had been Muslims. They became Christians. Why do IM people always try to take movements like this one from Indonesia and try to make them back up their IM ideas? Lame.

Part IX: Victimhood and Muslim Identity

Part IX: Victimhood and Muslim Identity (originally posted in December 2006)
by Abu Daoud

“No one admits that his own yoghurt 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 economic advancement, justice and good governance, and so forth. It is very clear though to people throughout the Middle East and North Af…

London's Favorite Terrorist: Abu Qatada's decade-long safe haven in the UK

Matthew Kalman, Jerusalem Correspondent: Abu Qatada's decade-long safe haven in the UK: London's favourite terrorist

By Matthew Kalman

Abu Omar (aka Abu Qutada) was born in Bethlehem in 1960. He was convicted in...

USA complicit in murder of Syrian clergy?

The so-called freedom-fighters and rebels in Syria which we are told ae fighting against the unjust oppresive yoke of Bashar al Assad are now being funded by the USA and, along with Saudi and Qatar, the USA is providing weapons for them.

Meanwhile the allies of these 'brave, kind heroes' are slaughtering Christians by the score.

No one will care though, because, while Obama will stand up for Muslims, he doesn't seem to care about Christians at all.

The USA is complicit in the elimination of Syrian Christianity, just as it was in the elimination of Iraqi Christianity a few years ago. A sad country without a future.

The Universal Litany of the Liturgy of St James

The Universal Litany of the Liturgy of St James

The Deacon makes the Universal Litany. XXII In peace let us pray to the Lord.
The People. O Lord, have mercy.
The Deacon. Save us, have mercy upon us, pity and keep us, O God, by Your grace. For the peace that is from above, and the loving-kindness of God, and the salvation of our souls; Let us beseech the Lord.
For the peace of the whole world, and the unity of all the holy churches of God; Let us beseech the Lord.
For those who bear fruit, and labour honourably in the holy churches of God; for those who remember the poor, the widows and the orphans, the strangers and needy ones; and for those who have requested us to mention them in our prayers; Let us beseech the Lord.
For those who are in old age and infirmity, for the sick and suffering, and those who are troubled by unclean spirits, for their speedy cure from God and their salvation; Let us beseech the Lord.
For those who are passing their days in virginity, and celibacy, and discipli…

Bernard Lewis on the demise of Western culture

‘‘It may be that Western culture will indeed go: the lack of conviction of many of those who should be its defenders and the passionate intensity of its accusers may well join to complete its destruction. But if it does go, the men and women of all the continents will thereby be impoverished and endangered.’’

From HERE, p xxiv.

Christians struggling in Egypt

I argued a long time ago that the Arab Spring could not succeed. As I have said before, and will say once more: The Arabs can either have human rights or Islam. The two just cannot go together.

Here is an update of the sad state of Christians in Egypt:

In November 2012, an Egyptian court decreed that eight Christians living in America—seven native Egyptians, and one American, Pastor Terry Jones—be sent to Egypt and executed in connection with the 16-minute YouTube Muhammad video. The prosecution offered no real evidence against the Christians, most of whom deny any involvement, and instead relied on inciting Muslims against the accused by replaying the video in the courtroom. Last September, 27-year-old Copt Albert Saber was accused of posting clips of the Muhammad movie—which he had actually downloaded from a Muslim site, not YouTube. Muslims attacked and evicted him and his mother from their home; he was arrested and is currently awaiting a multi-year sentence. In March 2012, Makram Di…

Missionary Secrets 5: How to fruitfully insult the Prophet

Missionary Secrets 5: How to fruitfully insult the Prophet
by Abu Daoud

It has become accepted in many missionary circles (among Muslims, at least, an that's me folks) that one should never, ever insult the Prophet. If you do it, then as Mazhar Mallouhi, evangelical turned Jesusy-Muslim, said, it is like telling someone their mother is ugly (that is from St Francis Magazine). Actually, normally he is right. Normally you touch Muhammad and that is the end of the conversation. So I appreciate his insight.

Here is a missionary secret which took me like eight years to learn: there are ways to do this fruitfully and to God's glory and to the good of the person you are speaking with. It is not an easy procedure though.

First, you need to earn the right to be heard. Say you're in Cairo, for instance. Demonstrate a knowledge of the history of the place. Show that you know a lot about Egypt and the people there. And this is the hard part: you actually need to really know this stuff…

Debunking Edward Said's Orientalism

Readers of this blog know I despise Said's Orientalism... But here is more:
Nadim al-Bitar, a Lebanese Muslim, finds Said‘s generalizations about all Orientalists hard to accept, and is very skeptical about Said having read more than a handful of Orientalist works. Al-Bitar also accuses Said of essentialism, "[Said] does to [Western] Orientalism what he accuses the latter of doing to the Orient. He dichotomizes it and essentializes it. East is East and West is West and each has its own intrinsic and permanent nature…."  The most pernicious legacy of Said’s Orientalism is its support for religious fundamentalism, and on its insistence that "all the ills [of the Arab world] emanate from Orientalism and have nothing to do with the socio-economic, political and ideological makeup of the Arab lands or with the cultural historical backwardness which stands behind it".Debunking Edward Said

Demography in England and Wales, and the end of British culture

Demography in England and Wales, and the end of British culture
by Abu Daoud

I have pointed out from time to time where I see things going in Europe. I don't necessarily think that it will be majority Muslim in the near future, but I do see the proliferation of de facto Islamic area-states, which you already see all over the place in France, Sweden, the UK and Germany (among others). Indigenous European populations (English, Irish, French, etc) are stagnating or (as is becoming more and more the case) actually in decline for a number of complex reasons which touch on de-Christianization, the proliferation of artificial birth control, the sexual revolution, and, recently, the economic downturn and emigration.

I also have opined that current figures of ethnic Europeans mask the true dimensions of this loss of European identities and the concurrent Islamization of portions of Europe. (Of course, I know that not all immigration to Europe is Islamic, but even if it Indian Hindu or Afri…

Successful multiculturalism in Sweden

Image
Not that you're going to see this much on BBC or CNN of course...And just remember, it is Sweden's fault for not, uh, integrating them better and, uh, giving them jobs and more free stuff. I mean, being poor in Sweden is a lot harder than the homeland of Somalia or Iraq or whatever, right? Poor abandoned immigrant youth. It's all Sweden's fault.

Syrian Diagnosis: Too Many People and Too Little Water

Weeks Population: Syrian Diagnosis: Too Many People and Too Little W...: Thomas Friedman of the New York Times is in Syria right now and his column yesterday laid out a more nuanced view of what's going on th...

How Israelis view America

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This is hilarious!

So true!

We don't have answers...

Missionary Secrets 3: we don’t have answers by Abu Daoud (5/2013)

I sat around smoking water pipe with a guy considering a long-term career in the mission field today. He is a friend of mine, a bit younger than me, but not much. But I have been out here for going on a decade, and he and his young family are only here short term.

He asked me questions. We were there to talk about life and pray together. (Yes, at a hookah bar—I’m all about religion in the public square…maybe I’ve been too influenced by Islam? Who knows, and who cares?)
How do you handle the stress? Me: Go on vacations outside of dar al islam?
What if the local churches don’t build you up? Me: You find fellowship in…your family? Old friends? The liturgy at my church sustains me, but you don’t go to a liturgical church, so…not sure…
Who are the mature Christians who can build you up? Me: here? Not many…there are older people but they are just passing through and don’t really grasp the local context. Maybe some European …

Your Church and Global Mission - Julian D. Linnell

VirtueOnline - News - Reformation, Renewal and Revival - Your Parish and Global Mission - Julian D. Linnell

These are some good questions. Thank you Dr Linnell for this article.

NT Wright on Miroslav Volf on Forgivenesss

This is why the concept of divine forgiveness in Islam is incoherent:
In his magisterial Exclusion and Embrace [...], he demonstrates, with sharp examples from his native Balkans, that it simply won't do, when faced with radical evil, to say, 'Oh well, don't worry, I will love you and forgive you anyway.' That (as the 1938 Doctrine Report already saw) is not forgiveness; it is belittling the evil that has been done. Genuine forgiveness must first 'exclude', argues Volf, before it can 'embrace'; it must name and shame the evil, and find an appropriate way of dealing with it, before reconciliation can happen. Otherwise we are just papering over the cracks.From N T Wright's article 'The Cross and the Caricatures'

In Islamic doctrine Allah can and may forgive sins, even great sins. There are actually ways to force the god if Islam to forgive your sins (ie, dying in jihad). But there is now way to account for the enormity of sin in Islam. Allah jus…

The UK: Slouching towards dhimmitude

From VirtueOnline:

Christian hymns dropped from Anglican school where 75 percent of pupils are Muslim. Assemblies at Slough and Eton Church of England Business and Enterprise College are not based specifically on the Bible, but may make reference to it alongside other religious texts.

Bowing to Muslim dietary requirements, the meat served at the secondary school, which has over 1,000 pupils aged between 11 and 19, is halal.

Headmaster Paul McAteer said the approach was to be "sensitive to the fact that we do have many different faiths in the school." As justification, he added that Christian values were "more prevalent here than I have experienced in non-Church of England schools."

McAteer also stresses that the Church of England describes itself as "a faith for all faiths. The values we support are very much Christian values of honesty, integrity, justice." The gender-separated prayer rooms at Slough and Eton, McAteer says were not specifically…