Welcome to this new series where we shall be exploring the depths and diversity of Islam found in our world today. I am a born again Christian living in the UK and I have found that our understanding of this faith is somewhat lacking in Churches and in the general public. Whilst attaining my undergraduate degree in Applied Theology I studied Islam from an academic perspective and spent time in several UK cities meeting with Muslims of all types from many different cultures in their homes and in the Mosques.
I am now occupied in looking after our one year old son and studying at Postgraduate level in Biblical Interpretation. But Islam still remains a personal interest of mine, and as a Christian we should be looking to build friendships with our Muslim neighbours and never be afraid of learning something new about their faith whilst always being prepared to sensitively share our own. My hope is that whatever your background you will enjoy and benefit from this podcast series.
Introduction To The Podcast Series
The media can deliver much of our experience and understanding of the Islamic faith from far reaching locations across the world. However, the tragedy of this is for most us who do not know Muslims personally we commonly paint them with the same brush, assume that they are all ‘out to get us’ or seem so different and unknown that we avoid them. This series will attempt to fill in the potential gaps and maybe even correct some misunderstandings all done in the spirit that ‘loving our neighbour’ includes those of a different faith or ethnic origin. However, it must be appreciated from the outset that we embark on a journey to better understand one of the largest world religions which despite its own ambitions for unity and uniformity contains significant diversity of expression.
Here is our first lesson; there can be a big difference between official orthodox Islam found in the text books, and the understanding and practice of individual Muslims across the world. I must qualify that what I bring to these podcasts is based not only on my own academic study of Islam but also in meeting with individual Muslims living in the UK from different cultural backgrounds. Much of what is accessible to Christians regarding Islam is written by Christians on the mission field and this is of great worth. However, I have found that first hand conversations with the Muslims who live nearby provides a unique perspective which will help us pray for them, build friendships, witness in love, and ultimately accept them into the Church as new believers. The journey starts here.