Tuesday, May 22, 2007

'Living with Islamists' and the 'Incarnational Imperative'

A friend tipped me off to a recent article from Christianity Today that really resonates with me, especially since my trip to Pakistan and move to islamic-dominated Thorncliffe Park. As you'll see from the article the author spent 'A year in Pakistan' which 'gave me a glimpse of what Christian witness might look like today'. What might it look like in Pakistan? In Thorncliffe? In your neighbourhood? His conclusion about the 'incarnational imperative' is profound:

We also need to find ways to broaden the way we practice Christian witness in this post-9/11 world...I had been sold a bleak picture of the Muslim world so at odds with my experience of the Pakistani people. What also stung was encountering hundreds of Pakistanis who had never before honestly interacted with someone from my country or of my faith.

Never once in Pakistan did I bring up the subject of religion, yet somehow I was always talking about it. People flooded me with questions: What do you think of the clash of civilizations? What do Christians believe about the prophet Jesus? Do Americans hate Islam? And my favorite, posed by a rather baffled old mullah: What is premillenial dispensationalism? My Muslim Pakistani friends were gracious enough to interpret for me their world and their faith. In light of our incarnational imperative, we Christians ought to be more eager to do the same.
How will we 'interpret our world and our faith' to those around us here in Thorncliffe? What does our witness look like? What will our church look like? As we call people to live incarnationally and move into Thorncliffe, and as I read articles like this, it makes me think we are at least on the right track, asking the right questions so that our main objective is making sure that only Jesus shines through!!

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