Recently, I purchased Miroslav Volf’s newest work entitled, Allah: A Christian Response. I still have a couple of books I am currently reading of which I am nearly finished. So I want to complete them before diving into this text. But I am truly interested in Volf’s newest title.
Why the interest?
To me, it seems that one of the more important issues of today is how Christians interact with those of other faiths, and especially how Christians interact with Muslims. You can get a little taster of what I am referring to as you read these two articles I posted a couple of months ago: article 1, article 2.
It’s not like this specific issue has never been around in the centuries of church history, for there are rarely, if ever, any ‘new’ issues. But what happens is that each new generation has its specific details to consider with regards to more cyclical issues that come around every so often.
I suppose, not to long ago, it would have been quite easy to completely anathematise and ostracise Muslims (and for some, it could still be that way). Even further back, followers of Islam would have been [unfortunately] identified as infidels. As a whole, Christians don’t have an extremely great testimony with Muslims. And we would have to admit that bad testimony carries into today.
Yet, in his newest release, we find Miroslav Volf, professor of theology at Yale Divinity School, offering his voice of conflict resolution and peace-making on how Christians can better understand Muslims. Even more, the book explores some of the similarities between the God of the Qur’an, Allah, and the God of the Hebrew-Christian Scriptures, Yahweh.
I suppose some fear might arise in the hearts of some Christians. But I believe Volf will do this well, with grace and wisdom and truth.
Though I am holding back from diving into the book just now, I did read the first paragraph of Volf’s new book, which states:
A deep chasm of misunderstanding, dislike, and even hatred separates many Christians and Muslims today. Christian responses to Allah – understood here as the God of the Qur’an – will either widen that chasm or help bridge it. If for Christians Allah is a foreign and false god, all bridge building will suffer. Muslim responses to the God of the Bible matter as well, of course, But Muslim response to the God of the Bible are a topic primarily for Muslims to explore. My interest here is the proper Christian stance toward the God of the Qur’an and what that stance means for Christians’ and Muslims’ ability to live together well in a single and endangered world.
I look forward to engaging with the work very soon. I hope you can as well.