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American Muslims: Attitudes

An extensive Gallup Poll published in 2011 reported that though they continue to experience some perceived bias, Muslim Americans are satisfied with their current lives and are more optimistic than other faith groups that things are getting better. In this blog I offer a brief synopsis of this 132-page document, singling out what I am guessing are some of its most startling findings.

Bob Roberts Jr., Glocalization & the Global Faith Forum

My mind was spinning with excitement as I read Glocalization: How Followers of Jesus Engage a Flat World by Bob Roberts Jr. Bob clearly understood the unique challenges of living out faith in a post-9/11, interconnected, pluralistic world. I had found someone serious about following Jesus and someone who at the same time understood the tectonic communicational shifts impacting our world.

Perfect Fear Casts Out Love... wait, that's wrong

Social distancing is a major problem these days. We seem more polarized, more ready to place the "other" in the dark camp on the opposite side of an issue, political viewpoint AND religious belief. Just last week I saw a simple encounter in the grocery store parking lot escalate to an altercation where strangers were yelling at each other and demonstrating with hand gestures. I do not think they were the least embarrassed by their behavior. They probably even felt justified.

Why "Both And" may be the most important book you'll read this year

I remember the first time I heard Rich Nathan speak on being a Both-And Christian. My heart was burning within me. I felt like the disciples did when Jesus walked them through the Old Testament after his death (Luke 24:13-35). Why was I so stirred? Because Rich was offering a paradigm, a way of looking at the Scripture, that was serious about the whole Bible.

We Need More Jesus in the World

A couple weeks ago I received an unexpected email. It was an invitation to a local interfaith meeting. Apparently this group wanted to plan their meetings and events for the next twelve months, and somehow they had acquired my email address. "Well," I thought, "why not show up to this meeting of people I do not know and see if a little light of Jesus could be injected into it?"

Pakistani Friends Seeking Peace

My friend Dr. Babar is a Pakistani physician and a leader in the local mosque. We were working together to organize a Pakistani Peace Feast at which we planned to get Christians and Muslims in the same room, sharing a meal around the same table, and talking about Pakistan. Martin, Babar said over the phone, the US State Department has eight Pakistani journalists visiting Louisville this week. Should we invite them to the Peace Feast?

An Evangelical Man of Peace

Every week I receive a standardized email from Jawad, inviting me to featured events relevant to Muslims in the greater Seattle area. He also includes specific programs in his mosque, a schedule from their website to help everybody keep track of what is going on. Several weeks ago, the standardized email caught my eye.

Cultivating Peace Habits

Rain turned to hail as Rory and Linda Brannum drove down the road. They were shocked to see a naked woman in the distance on the side of the road. As they got closer, Lashunda Richardson dove right in front of their car. Rory slammed on the brakes and screeched to a halt, barely missing Lashunda. Rory jumped out of the car and called 911, thinking this was a suicide attempt.

Overcoming a Volatile Tension

Sometimes when I spend time with my Muslim friends, it seems so very easy, nearly effortless. I forget that by sitting around the table together we are peacemakers. At this moment you may rightfully ask how a pleasant meal shared between Muslims and Christians is peacemaking. It is an important question to have answered, especially since Peace Catalyst so often facilitates such events.

Pastors and the Peacemaking Paradox

I don't know a single local church pastor who doesn't believe in peacemaking. And yet, there is a clear gap between U.S. church leaders' stated support of biblical peacemaking and our actual pursuit of peacemaking in our ministry initiatives.