All those involved in evangelical and LDS conversation should read this latest article, “Facing Islam” by Marvin Olasky in World magazine (December 13/20, 2008).
Marvin quotes Mark D. Siljander and highlights Siljander’s latest book, A Deadly Misunderstanding: A Congressman’s Quest to Bridge the Muslim-Christian Divide.
Here are a just a few quotes from the article to spark your interest:
Thus Siljander believes it’s fine for a Christian, one who has surrendered to God, to call himself a Muslim (55).
And this . . .
Siljander defended his exegesis by telling WORLD that he’s trying to start among evangelicals “not a theological discussion but a strategic one. . . . Facing massive cultural differences, how do you present Jesus in a way that will open minds and hearts?” He argues that the primary goal of evangelicals should not be to convert Muslims to Christianity, but to awaken in them the desire to follow Jesus that Siljander says is embedded in Islam (56).
Would you recognize similar discussion over the same heart issues pertaining to the I-15 LDS Corridor in America?
Well, I’m a missionary in the Arab world, which is like 97% Muslim, and I will tell you that I don’t know a single missionary who agree with his first point–that we can call ourselves Muslims.
The second point is much more open to debate in the present context. There are a good number of folks who will say that one can be a Muslim follower of Jesus, much like one has Messianic Jews. There are other very compelling voices on the other side arguing that Islam was founded on the denial of central Christian doctrines (namely, the Trinity and incarnation). Therefore if one wants Jesus he should accept Jesus, body and all. His body is the Christian church.
Mark me down, friend, as one who agrees with you in this growing missiological debate among evangelicals.
I also read with keen interest the main, feature article in World magazine . . . the Daniel of the Year. Read it.
In America’s shifting evangelical strategies, for one to say boldly,
“I love LDS but hate Mormonism,”
there might come a day when that is no longer tolerated in the American evangelical movement.
Todd, it’s hard to say where I begin and where Mormonism ends. We’re both pretty thoroughly intertwined.
It is hard.
I do admit that, friend. It is very hard.
But I am going to move harder after what your first prophet did to my scriptures with his scriptures. And I am going to be more outspoken about what your modern day prophet and apostles are saying and not saying.
The older I get, the more urgent heart issues become.
And remember that my internet confrontation to leaders will be only one end of the stick in the sharing of my heart to LDS friends.
Having just spent a whole Sunday morning on the words of Jesus at the close of John 13, the Holy Spirit continually whispers in my ear what is the mark of a true disciple.
How will my LDS friends in S.E. Idaho know that I am even a Christian at all?
It is not my creeds.
It is love. A love that I can’t produce within myself.