Filed under Religion

When Islam is Not a Religion in America

When Islam is Not a Religion in America

This article was first published at Christianity Today on September 9. Is Islam a religion? This question is regularly posed by populists seeking to restrict Muslims in America. If Islam is not a religion—if it is a militant ideological system, for example—then some argue it is not subject to First Amendment protection. At stake is … Continue reading

Why Muslims Love Mary

Why Muslims Love Mary

This article was published in the July/August print edition of Christianity Today. Mohammed, a pious PhD student from Egypt, sat guardedly in the “Community of Reconciliation.” Invited by David Vidmar, director of coaching for Peace Catalysts International, the middle-aged Muslim seemed soured on the idea of interfaith exchange at his northern California university. Vidmar suspected … Continue reading

How Palestine Divides Messianic Jews

How Palestine Divides Messianic Jews

This article was first published in the May print edition of Christianity Today. Among Christians in America, Israel can be viewed as a fulfillment of prophecy, a democratic ally in a region of chaos, or an occupier oppressing stateless Palestinians. How to choose? Given that 2 out of 3 US evangelicals have a positive perception … Continue reading

Should Christians Quote Muhammad?

Should Christians Quote Muhammad?

This article was first published in the January print edition of Christianity Today. Christians breathed a sigh of relief last October when Pakistan’s Supreme Court acquitted Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of five on death row, of blasphemy charges against Islam. What many might not have noticed was the Islamic rationale. Whether or not she … Continue reading

Covenantal Theology: Can Muhammad’s Ancient Promise Inspire Muslim-Christian Peace Today?

Covenantal Theology: Can Muhammad’s Ancient Promise Inspire Muslim-Christian Peace Today?

This article was first published at Christianity Today, on December 21. Christians esteem the biblical progression of covenants—Abrahamic, Mosaic, Davidic—finalized by Jesus as he ushered in the New. But for the sake of religious freedom in the Muslim world, should they embrace a further covenant: Muhammadian? Recent scholarship suggests the potential promise, newly fulfilled in … Continue reading

Bearing False Witness

Bearing False Witness

This excerpt was first published at Christianity Today on August 24. So what if a Muslim invites you to a celebration? The lamb might be tasty, but should Christians be wary? Statistics show they already are. The 2018 American Muslim Poll from the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU) found only 36 percent of … Continue reading

Happy Orthodox Easter, from the Egyptian President

Happy Orthodox Easter, from the Egyptian President

Happy belated Easter, to Protestant and Catholic Christians who celebrated last week. But having enjoyed either “Pascha” or “Paas” (or both), please do not be remiss in remembering your Orthodox brothers and sisters today. After all, even the president of Egypt extends his greetings — and more. “I call on all of us to remember … Continue reading

Pope Tawadros’ Weekly Sermon, in English

Pope Tawadros’ Weekly Sermon, in English

Pope Shenouda III of the Coptic Orthodox Church was known as the ‘teacher of generations.’ I had the privilege of attending the beloved 87-year-old deliver one of his Wednesday weekly sermons back in 2010. Five years later, in post-revolutionary Egypt, I watched his successor Pope Tawadros continue the tradition. He preached on Esther, and for … Continue reading

Good Mourning America

Good Mourning America

This article was originally published at The Table, of Biola University’s Center for Christian Thought. In the days leading up to our presidential election, it seemed quite clear that Christians were not happy. But the ennui went beyond politics toward a greater sense that America was changing. The unhappiness was rooted in good reason. Our … Continue reading

The Arrogance of Enemy Love: A Poem to ISIS

The Arrogance of Enemy Love: A Poem to ISIS

This article was first published at The Table. Many have been impressed by the forgiveness Coptic Christians have offered to their enemies. Beheaded, ambushed, churches bombed, shot in cold blood – they have not retaliated. Instead, though anger boils, they pray for their persecutors. In the links above you can explore the opportunities I have … Continue reading