The Military Chaplaincy in Crisis?

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court ¬†overturned ¬†the Defense of Marriage Act–a decision that redefines marriage. For those who hold to the traditional understanding of marriage, this has dire consequences. They argue that marriage is a union of male and female, and its purpose is for procreation and the nurturing of families. It is the…

Islamic Art

A few weeks ago I visited the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar. The thought that kept coming to me as I walked through the exhibits–this shows that Islam is indeed a religion of peace, because these ordinary objects that were crafted with such beauty and care give witness to a culture that values…

Dialogue with Muslims

I’ve been in Kuwait since the first of April, and will be here until the end of the year. I’ve had lots of opportunities for dialogues with Muslims. This isn’t the first time for me, of course. I had a Muslim roommate from Egypt in college. I’ve been involved in interfaith dialogue my entire ministry…

Plato’s Cave

In Plato’s “Republic,” Socrates tells the famous allegory of the cave. As I have discussions with Americans about Islam and the Arab World, I find that most Americans are like the prisoners in the cave looking at shadows. They have strong opinions and beliefs, but they see only shadows. They are sure these are the…

Violent Books with Dark Passages

Some say the Qur’an is a book encouraging violence. Philip Jenkins decided to compare the violent passages in the Qur’an with the violent passages in the Bible. He wrote a book, “Dark Passages,” analyzing them. Here’s a summary of his findings from the Boston Globe in 2009. Citing examples such as these, some Westerners argue…

Fear of Muslims

An anti-Muslim webpage reports (negatively) on a new mosque to be built a few miles from my home. They are welcome in our neighborhood, which is one of the most diverse in the nation. All y’all haters can stay away–we love the diversity and richness of this wonderful city which is more diverse than New…

Brian McLaren on Identity and the Importance of Liturgy

Spectrum¬†recently reported on the annual conference of the Association of Adventist Forums. Interfaith dialogue was a topic, and Brian McLaren a speaker. One of his talks was on identity and liturgy. I commented rather late in the discussion; I post them here because I may want to expand upon these thoughts another time. McLaren raises…