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News for End of August 2006

Dear Friends,

As I write I have just returned from a successful trip to Tanga in Tanzania.

I had hoped that I wouldn't have to teach on Islam again at KIST. This hope has not been fulfilled! It seems to me that this is no small responsibility.
What on earth to teach to today's pastors about a movement with over 1 billion worldwide adherents, whose foundation is laid in an attack on

Marxists and secularists say that whether one adheres to Christianity or to Islam is irrelevant. Muslims believe that the whole world should and
will (and must!) turn to Islam. Christians are horrified at such a prospect..What have I discovered in my travelling to Islamicised regions of Kenya and
Tanzania last week, and my reading to date?

1. Much of Islam's critique of Christianity is rooted in misunderstanding of it.
2. Christian critique of Islam is often of what it would be, if it were to remain true to its foundation.
3. In today's society many Muslims have been 'Christianised', not in their beliefs, but in the way that they express those beliefs.
4. Aggression amongst Muslims is often dampened and rendered invisible by Christian toleration and 'turning the other cheek'.

The problem that remains for Christians is that Muslims outrightly deny many tenets of Christian faith, like the divinity of and salvation through
Christ. The question also for the wider world is whether a current 'playing down' of Islam's more aggressive foundation is a permanent change or
only a temporary state?

Please pray for me as I prepare to teach 30 plus pastors-to-be about Islam.

Best wishes,