Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

From Vitamin Z:

“Most people in the world believe that if there is a God, you related to God by being good. Most religions are based on that principle, though there are a million different variations on it. Some religions are what you might call nationalistic: You connect to God, they say, by coming into our people group and taking on the markers of society membership. Other religions are spiritualistic: You reach God by working your way through certain transformations of consciousness. Yet other religions are legalistic: There’s a code of conduct, and if you follow it God will look upon you with favor. But they all have the same logic: If I perform, if I obey, I’m accepted. The gospel of Jesus is not only different from that but diametrically opposed to it: I’m fully accepted in Jesus Christ, and therefore I obey.”

– Tim Keller, King’s Cross: The Story of the World in the Life of Jesus

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Fasting in the NFL

Wednesday marks the beginning of Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting. Muslims all over the world will neither eat nor drink from sunrise to sunset for 30 days. Imagine trying to do that while playing in the NFL. That’s what Husain Abdullah, who plays for my favorite team, will do.

“I’m putting nothing before God, nothing before my religion,” Abdullah said. “This is something I choose to do, not something I have to do. So I’m always going to fast.”

HT: Avari

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A Hexalogue?

A few months ago I asked if anyone was up for a trialogue. How about a hexalogue? Six people from six different religions (yes, I do consider Mormonism and Christian Science to be distinct religions from Christianity) answered the question, “Who is Jesus?”

I think these kind of dialogues are very helpful because it helps create understanding between people. We all need to work on better understanding others. However, these kind of dialogues can also be dangerous because they make lots of people think that all view points are equally valid. They are not. And if you think I am wrong to say that, you agree.

Here are the videos of the men who answered the questions. Each had five minutes to talk about Jesus and how he is viewed within their faith tradition. Then they had time for Q & A.

Introduction and Mormon Perspective:

Christian Science Perspective:

Jewish Perspective:

Buddhist Perspective:

Islamic Perspective:

Christian Baptist Perspective:

Q & A, part 1:

Q & A, part 2:

HT: Muslim Matters

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I recently found the website Scriptural Reasoning from Usama Hasan’s blog. It looks very interesting. It was started by some Jewish, Christian and Muslim scholars who wanted to better understand one another’s faiths. So they began to meet together and read about different topics from their holy books. Now there are other small groups doing the same thing.

They say that their deepest purpose is “to offer the broader public a way of practicing peace at a time of inter-religious tension and conflict.” On the site they have “text bundles” you can download about different topics. Each bundle includes Jewish tests, Christian texts, and Islamic texts that speak to the specific topic. Topics include: Common Humanity, Money and Debt, Repentance and others.

In the future I hope to go through these texts more and perhaps will blog about some of it.

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Oh My God

I’ve only seen the trailer, but I hope I will be able to see the movie. The premise of the movie is simply someone going to 23 different countries asking the question, “What is God?”

Hugh Jackman is in the video and states that if you put a bunch of religious leaders (Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, etc.) at a table he “can’t see them having an argument.” This sentiment sounds great as people try to build bridges between people of different religions, but it is empty and won’t work. They would have arguments (read the New Testament and see how Jesus argued against the religious leaders of his day). My point is that arguments don’t negate peace. In fact, I believe that true peaceful dialogue between people of different faiths depends on having people who will be honest enough to tell someone else that he or she is wrong, but to do it in a respectful, honorable, and loving way.

I’m not offended when someone tells me wrong if he has first listened to me and sought to understand me. I welcome such honesty. It gives me freedom to say what I was already thinking, “You’re wrong!” :)

Another thing that looks interesting is that the filmmaker doesn’t just ask religious experts. I like the idea of asking regular people about their concept of God.

HT: Ibtisam B.

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The World of 100

World of 100 Religion

If there were 100 people in the world this is how many would belong to different religions. This is a great way to summarize the world in an understandable way. You can also see things like skin color, how many live in fear, literacy, access to water and more. Check it out.

HT: Doug Wolter

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