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How Can Christians and Muslims Relate?

I was blessed to participate in “A Consultation on Christianity and Muslim Relations” that was convened at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan from August 24-26. The meeting consisted of outstanding conversations among pastors, missionaries, seminary presidents, deans, professors and seminary students about godly ways to engage and to relate to Muslims.

When we meet people’s humanity, we see how much we are alike. It is easier to appreciate others when we recognize that we are in the same human boat.

Jesus teaches to love our neighbors. He does not give us religious criteria for loving the neighbor. We do not need to agree with our neighbors to love them.

In a world of political and social distresses over ethnic, gender, racial and religious plurality, how can the Christian lead in expressing love? One way is to get to know our neighbors. It is hard to truly love people we do not know.

We must not allow the media, social media, politicians and others teach us who another person is because of the other person’s beliefs or preferences.

Let’s meet and spend time with people who are not like us – whatever “us” means to you.

Learning from others is a civil exercise.

Living alongside people who we do not agree with is a sign of intelligence.

Loving people who are “different” is the heart of Christian love of neighbor.

The future of our world belongs to those who know what it means to bear witness to Christ in lifestyle and love of neighbor. Amidst increased plurality, what wonderful opportunity as well as challenge to live out the call of Christ in renewed ways!

Many blessings,

Dr. Antipas


[Editor’s note: Read Tony Richie’s report: “Consultation on American Evangelicals and Islam.”]

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Category: Ministry, Summer 2017

About the Author: Antipas L. Harris, D.Min. (Boston University), S.T.M. (Yale University Divinity School), M.Div. (Emory University), was appointed as the founding dean of the Urban Renewal Center in Norfolk, Virginia in the Spring of 2017. He is the Criminal Justice System Director for the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), president of the Global Institute for Empowerment & Leadership Development, known as GIELD, and he serves as the Director of TheUrbanCircle.Net, a relational network of urban ministries and churches. He has additional experience as an educator, academic lecturer, itinerant preacher, pastor, youth director, motivational speaker, and Christian musician. He is the author of Holy Spirit, Holy Living: A Practical Theology of Holiness for Twenty-first Century Churches (Wipf & Stock, 2013) and Unstoppable Success: 7 Ways to Flourish in Your Boundless Potential (High Bridge Books, 2014). | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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