Notes From The Balcony

Progressive Reflections on Post-Modern Living in a Multifaith Age

In My InBox (Week Two, July 2009)

Posted by John Montgomery on July 19, 2009

Christian-Muslim Dialogue

Recently, the folks over at IRD published a set of Guidelines for Christian-Muslim Dialogue. Of course, in spite of what appears to be a set of reasonable expectations, one guideline suggests that the participants need to be “orthodox” Christians – i.e.  read fundamentalists (or extremist evangelicals). It reads:

Make sure that the Christians entering into dialogue with Muslims have a firm grasp of an orthodox faith in the mainstream of the Christian tradition. Since their faith may be challenged and stretched in the dialogue, the Christian participants must know where the heart of that faith lies and where its bound­aries are. Churches do no favor to the Muslims by sending out Christian “representatives” whose own faith is uncertain, confused, self-contradictory, and unable to distinguish between confessional essentials and their own idiosyncratic views.

I guess that leaves me out!
For a different view, this week’s 30 Good Minutes featured Professor Diana Eck talking about the recent Muslim initiated letter to Christians, “A Common Word” and what an ppropriate response might look like. Dr. Diana Eck is  Professor of Comparative Religion and Indian Studies at Harvard University and Director of the Pluralism Project. She is a life-long United Methodist.

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