Monday, June 23, 2008

"I have a mustard seed, and I'm not afraid to use it": Spengler on the "threat" Christianity poses to Islam

I'm still here, and still battling my bad neck, so that's why there isn't much blogging going on.

Today I read this interesting opinion piece by Spengler: "The Pope, the President and the Politics of Faith".

I just love his line on Pope Benedict's "threat" to the world: "I have a mustard seed, and I'm not afraid to use it." You can just imagine the Holy Father striding into town and saying "Go ahead, make my day."

But I was somewhat surprised at one of his opening remarks:
Muslims suspect that the pope wants to convert them, a threat they never have had to confront in Islam's 1,500-year history.
What does he mean by that? Surely we, as Christians, have been "threatening" to convert Muslims for centuries?

But Spengler, as always, thinks a little differently from received opinion. His point is that
For the first time, perhaps, since the time of Mohammed, large parts of the Islamic world are vulnerable to Christian efforts to convert them, for tens of millions of Muslims now dwell as minorities in predominantly Christian countries. The Muslim migration to Europe is a double-edged sword. Eventually this migration may lead to a Muslim Europe, but it also puts large numbers of Muslims within reach of Christian missionaries for the first time in history.
He concludes his essay with:
Islam is in danger for the first time since its founding. The evangelical Christianity to which George W Bush adheres and the emerging Asian church are competitors with whom it never had to reckon in the past. The European Church may be weak, but no weaker, perhaps, than in the 8th century after the depopulation of Europe and the fall of Rome. An evangelizing European Church might yet repopulate Europe with new Christians as it did more than a millennium ago.
Yes, it just might. Even yet.

3 Comments:

At Monday, June 23, 2008 10:15:00 pm , Blogger Joshua said...

Here is an appropriate prayer from that sterling old Anglo-Catholic pocketbook, "The Priest's Book of Private Devotion" (1952 ed.):

For Mohammedans

Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Maker and Father of all men; regard not our sins, but remember the souls whom thou hast made, and reveal to the children of Islam thy fatherly love; that they may know thee truly whom now they ignorantly worship, through the revelation of thy only begotten Son, Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, three Persons in one only God, blessed for evermore. Amen.

 
At Tuesday, June 24, 2008 9:29:00 pm , Blogger Schütz said...

Actually, I quite like that. Very nice. Respectful, when you think of it (it admits that they are worshipping the true God, although without true knowledge of him), but firm in our own faith that true knowledge of God comes through Jesus Christ.

Perhaps we could translate this into latin and add it to the Extraordinary rite for Good Friday? (NO - I AM JOKING!)

 
At Wednesday, June 25, 2008 2:07:00 am , Blogger Joshua said...

Sounds a good idea!

BTW, I thought of you, Herr Schütz, when I heard this sung as the Epistle at Mass tonight:

...in umbra manus suæ protexit me, et posuit me sicut *sagittam electam*... (Is. xlix, 2)

["in the shadow of His hand He hath protected me, and hath made me as a chosen arrow"]

A good motto for your armorial bearings, perhaps?

Maybe that Lutheran rose thingy with the Keys of St Peter superimposed?

 

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