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Reflections on Engaging our Muslim Neighbors

Evangelical leaders from around the world gathered at Calvin Theological Seminary from Thursday, August 24 through Saturday, August 26 to discuss Christian-Muslim relations. This was a private consultation and I invite you to read what participants have written about this.

Tony Richie: Consultation on American Evangelicals and Islam

Antipas Harris: How Can Christians and Muslims Relate?

I am grateful that my friend who participated in the Consultation, pastor-scholar Tony Richie, invited me to attend the public forum on Friday, August 25. This forum was appropriately titled, “Learning to Engage our Muslim Neighbors.” The diverse panel was made up of Rick Love, Marion Larson, Richard Mouw, John Azumah, Michal Muelenberg, and facilitated by Cory Willson.

Recently, the leadership at my church has been thinking about how hope, humility, and hospitality can be a profound way of expressing how we follow Jesus. Therefore, when Marion Larson used similar language to speak about stances to take as we approach conflict and welcome strangers, I was all ears. Three ideas she mentioned were Receptive Humility, Reflective Commitment, and Imaginative Empathy.

Part of Receptive Humility is being willing to receive gifts and hospitality. In my experience, this ability to graciously receive is something our Muslim neighbors understand much better than I do. We value being a good host, do we value being a good guest?

Having a Reflective Commitment is making a decision to be teachable, to intentionally reflect that I don’t have it all figured out and that I have much to learn. All of us need to be humble enough to recognize we are wrong about some things. I always want to be willing to let God surprise me.

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Category: Ministry, Summer 2017

About the Author: Raul L. Mock is one of the founders and directors of the Pneuma Foundation and editor of The Pneuma Review. Raul has been part of an Evangelical publishing ministry since 1996 and their Information Technology team since 1998. He and his wife, Erin, have a daughter and twin boys and live in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. Google+ LinkedIn

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