Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Ramadan, Day 21: A Muslim Transformed by the Bible

A former Muslim describes his encounter with the beauty and truth of the Holy Scriptures

  • 27 September 2016
  • Author: Guest Blogger
  • Number of views: 1576

by Wissam—

Ramadan Mubarek.  This month of fasting is an especially good time to think about the reasons for true and genuine faith. True faith is not something you're just born into.  It's something you have to choose.  That’s my belief and my own story. 


When I was in high school in Baghdad I yearned for beauty.  Back then I read a lot of books and watched a lot of movies, searching for anything that can have the genuine beauty that I craved but which my religious community has never known. Eventually I got a Bible and read it, and in its pages I found true beauty.  I also learned that much of the good literature I had been reading was influenced by the Bible. I realized that this book was the source of all the beauty I had been longing for. This was the beauty of goodness, a goodness that includes many virtues such as self-discipline, self-sacrifice, peace, integrity and kindness. The Bible is not only beautiful and good, it's actually true. 

The Throne Room

Turning Curses into Blessings - A Short Story

  • 17 September 2016
  • Author: Guest Blogger
  • Number of views: 829
by Sarah Stenger
The beautiful, vast throne room was flooded with light, white and warm. It was round. No corners, no shadows. No darkness. There were two people. One clothed in a fine crimson robe that fell on his features like silk, elegantly crafted and stunningly beautiful.  The other clothed entirely in white. White that was so pure it hurt to look after only a short while. Simple, and yet it had such inexplicably powerful appeal.


Peonies, Butterflies and Design

How Aesthetic Recognition and Intelligibility are Evidence for Design

  • 8 August 2016
  • Author: Scott Cherry
  • Number of views: 1108
Gardens are designedby definition. Consider the Jansen butterfly peony garden at the Henry Ford Estate in Dearborn, Michigan where June is peony season. On the 10th I was riding my bike past it and stopped to admire it and snap some pics. Its visual features immediately tell us that that this is not just a natural flower patch. Wild flower patches usually have no recognizable features of planning or design. But this one certainly does. 


This is a garden, designed and cultivated by an intelligent being—a 
human.  It was designed deliberately, not by chance, to resemble the contours of a butterfly to be immediately recognized as such by other humans, not animals.  That is to say, humans design most things for other humans, especially things with aesthetic qualities. When we do design and create something we usually have the full expectation that it will be intelligible to other intelligent beings that can recognize, appreciate, and understand them as such. Therefore, when we see something with obvious design (especially with aspects of beauty) we know with near certainty that it is the product of an intelligent mind with an artistic flare for the pleasure of human beholders that can recognize and appreciate the beauty and forethought of its design. 

"Vengeance is Mine"

A Biblical Ethic on Responding to Evil

  • 1 August 2016
  • Author: Guest Blogger
  • Number of views: 820

by Beth Smith

  In today’s world we don’t have to look far to find someone who wants to exact revenge for a perceived wrong. The verse above is from Romans 12 in the New Testament as quoted from Deuteronomy 32 in the Old Testament. It's God’s response to those looking for revenge, but what does it mean? What God is saying to us is radically counter-cultural, especially in some places where revenge is the status quo: “Revenge belongs to me; not to you. It is not within the actions allotted to you to try to take revenge. That is my job; not yours.” 

Islam, Freewill, and the Theologian of Glory

Martin Luther describes two very different ways to justify ourselves before God

Islam and the Fall of Man

The Quran includes a version of the story of the fall of Adam (Surah 7). Adam and Eve sinned but they asked Allah for forgiveness. He punished them with a mortal life on earth until the resurrection. Since they were forgiven, we can be forgiven. Islam teaches that man is born in a state of submission to God and through submission to God, he can be righteous. His failings can be forgiven. Martin Luther describes this type of theology as a theology of glory.