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 (25+ years). I’ve taught world religions, and I’ve spoken at mosques.
The Muslims I have met are very interested in the differences between Christian groups (just as we are interested, and puzzled by, the differences between Muslim groups).
I think in particular of one conversation with a couple of Muslim friends some weeks ago. I was telling them some unique things about my Seventh-day Adventist faith, and the more I spoke, the more interested they became. I mentioned that we don’t use alcohol, and don’t eat pork. “Really?!” And I mentioned our hope in the soon coming of Jesus, and the necessity of preparing for God’s coming judgment. I quoted Revelation 14, which gives God’s last message to the world: “Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” They had never heard anything like this, and were very excited. These are themes of the Qur’an, and they were very moved to realize that we shared these beliefs in common.
I’ve also reached out to some longtime friends who are Muslims, and have been having some good conversations with them by e-mail. I’ll combine some of those into an article that I will post here.