From Christianity Today, some thoughts on an interfaith dialogue that is taking place at Fuller Seminary today:

1. Muslims and Evangelicals who are committed to the work of dialogue spend a lot of time explaining to each other why extremists do what they do in the name of their own faith.

2. Islam, Christianity, and Judaism have been, are now, and will be in a deep encounter for generations to come. While there was little discussion of Jews and Judaism, the reality of this encounter was for me inescapable. Dialogue that does not lead to tri-a-logue will not survive the test of time.

3. Muslims and Evangelicals once and for all must settle, resolve, mutually understand, and respect their divergent doctrines of God. The end value of such a heroic effort of understanding must not be underestimated.

4. One scholar admitted to what he called “dialogue fatigue.” Actually, I see that as real progress. When Muslims and Evangelicals press beyond the far point of verbal exhaustion, isn’t that when we can breakthrough to some other new place? Listening to God requires our silence.

5. Evangelicals and Muslims do each other a disservice when they mutually shy away from airing their grievances openly due to quick pursuit of easy faith-based harmony.

6. There is true urgency to this pursuit of relationship and understanding between Muslims and Evangelicals. The consequences of growing tension between Islam and Christianity are growing greater. As I said to one participant, “Lives and souls hang in the balance.”

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