Do Muslims and Christians worship the same God?

I have much respect for Joseph Cumming, and I have learned a lot from him.  He is great example of what it means to take Christ seriously and respect Muslims at the same time (that sentence, written in that way, makes it look like those two things–taking Christ seriously and respecting Muslims–don’t go together.  But they do, and they must!).

Joseph Cumming and Nabeel Qureshi discuss the question in the title of this post on this podcast on the topic of Do Muslims and Christians worship the same God?

Perhaps you are not familiar with this controversy and wonder if it makes any difference.  And the picture I have posted complicates that question. It shows a store in Paterson, NJ that sells “spiritual paraphernalia”.  The owners of that store have tried to Continue reading “Do Muslims and Christians worship the same God?”

Muslim and Christian intolerance

The title is scary, when read alongside the evening news these days.  Does ISIS agree?  Europe, Globalization, and the Coming Universal Caliphate was written before most of us in the USA had much of an idea about what a “Caliphate” is (though arguably, “Caliphate” is embedded in the name of my state, “California”.   Bat Ye’or published the book in 2011.

Bat Ye’or’s particular reading of Islam has had a strong influence on Americans.  She was a “young Jewish woman forced to leave her native Egype as the Jewish community which had existed in that country for over 2600 years came to an end.”

Bat Ye’or is known for challenging the mainstream portrayal of how non-Muslims are tolerated in Islamic countries.  She is particularly interested in researching whether Jews were treated with more toleration in Islamic countries than in countries under Christian rule.  Bat Ye’or takes a contrary stance against “the orthodox view is that both Jews and Chrsitains in return for being ‘protected people’ by Muslims accepted their subordinate status as second class subjects and the restrictions, taxed at highter rates that those for Muslims, tolls and customs duties.” (viii).   For her, this is a myth that begain in the Ottoman empire when it proclaimed itself “tolerant” and the best choice for ruling Christians in Balkans.  Ye’or claims that Jews were held in the condition of “insecurity, humiliation, and subjection to a repressive system of rule over them.”

She locates the cause for a fundamental intolerance in the Islamic doctrine and justiriction of jihad the struggle or holy war, which is “central to the development of Islamic countries and to the requiredment to spread Islam throughout the world by peaceful means or by war.  She draws, as well, on the doctrine that the Dar al-Islam must overcome the Dar al-Harb.  “Perpetual war against those who will not submit to Islam”

In Eurabia:  the Euro-Arab Axis (2005) she suggests that Islam is exercising increasing influence on European political and social life, beginning “in 1973 with informal alliances between the then nine countries of the European Community…and the Mediterranean Arab States.”  And she locates the influence in an ambience of “cooperation and collaboration by Europeans and Arabs.”   She predicts that the outcome will be that Europe “will be lost to Islam…Eurabia is thus the enemy of Europe.”(x)

I agree that it is important to interrogate the idea of “tolerance” especially if the interrogation can inform efforts toward human equality, and religious freedom to practice and propagate.  It is much more problematic to attempt to compare the tolerance of Jews by Christians against the tolerance of Jews by Muslims — and this appears to be a core issue/question that Ye’or wants to answer in her work.  At one level, I don’t think the comparison is really possible, because the definitions of Muslim nations and of Christian nations are not stable.  The comparison is not practical.  For example:  what is Christian?  How faithful is a nation to what it means to be Christian?  Was Hitler’s Germany Christian–particularly when it attempted to destroy European Judaism?  It certainly isn’t Muslim (though it had the support of many Arab Muslims in the Middle East during WWII, but more based Levantine Arab desire to be free of the British Mandate — the beginnings of the end of the British Empire which, by the way, had other manifestations in other colonies during the war, leading to the devolution of the Empire).  I am sure that the same level of complication must pertain in the relation of Muslim nations to some concept of Islam, and to the relation of Jews to Islamic rule.

The practical difficulty of comparison does not end there.  I have only made a cursory read of a couple of books by Ye’or, but it seems apparent that she assumes the bordered and governed idea of the modern Nation-State when she talks about “Muslim countries” or “Christian countries”.  In reality, “countries,” as such, were not the form of political rule–with policies enforced within a structure of borders and citizenship–that pertained during most of the period within her well documented The Dhimmi (1980).  Since her focus is mostly on Ottoman Islam, this is particularly important because she seems to be comparing the semi-tolerance, with huge inconsistencies and major inequalities of the Ottoman Empire, with the modern secular states in the West that have chosen to tolerate all the religions as equals.    But, if she were to compare the Ottomans with, for example, the Spanish at the time of the Reconquista in Spain, the comparison would be more favorable to the Ottomans — at least that is how the ethnically cleansed Jews of Spain voted with their feet when they were removed from Spain and moved to various places in the Ottoman Empire.  At that time, part of the Muslim World, at least, was safer than Christian Spain.   A glance at the table of Contents of The Dhimmi shows a big gap in the historical documentation.  It skips from the 13th to the 18th Centrury, at least in relation to the Ottoman’s which is, arguably, the Islamic territory where Jews (and Christians) were more likely to be found.   There are only two references to Sephardic Jews, many of whom moved to Arab and Muslim contexts in the Ottoman Empire during the period that is blanked out.   I am not well versed, but recently aware of Arab Jews.  What I think I understand is this: for centuries Jews were part of Arab societies.  When Arabs migrated to the Americas at the end of the 19th Century, a significant enough number of them were Jews and the expat organizations in South America, at least, did not differentiate, as if Jews could not be included as Arabs.   The separation of the two semitic identities took place in the face of two historical moments related to the establishment of the State of Israel.  First, the Arab-Israeli conflict over the land, was re-stated as an Arab-Jew conflict.  Zionists, drawing on the memory of the Holocaust asserted that Jews have long been marginalized in every society, and that they had to protect themselves from being wiped off the face of the earth.  To do that, they, very effectively, tied the existence of Israel to Jewish identity.  When Israel entered into conflict with the Arabs over the land, it produced new conditions whereby “Arab” came to mean “anti-Jew” (This, by the way, is a change in the meaning of “anti-semitism.” Previously, it referred to someone who hated both Jews and Arabs alike).  Second, the longing of Jews to return to “the land” was ignited at the establishment of a jewish State of Israel, and many Arab Jews, from Morocco, Algerial, Libya, Yemen, and other Arab places, chose to migrate to Israel, and vacated the Jewish communities in the Arab World.

These historical moments, and many others throughout the centuries are important moments in which tolerance or intolerance was practiced, by both Muslims and Christians toward Jews, but they do not define whether Christians or Muslims are, by nature and by conviction, more or less tolerant than the other.  Sometimes Muslims protected Jews from Christians and, if we are to believe Bat Ye’or, even more times, Christians protected Jews from Muslims.  Since all these moments are contingent and negotiated, I think that all they really tell us about Christianity and Islam is where they were on the path each too vis a vis Jews.  We are now in a historically contingent moment, and we stand in a particular place in relation to Christianity and Islam — and it is obvious that Israel and Judaism continue to have to deal with both Christans and Muslims, along with their own internal differences.  The story of the relation between the three is useful, perhaps, to understand the divisions and the connections created by that history that affect their present ability to act and their disposition to act with justice in the present and do whatever they can to define what they think is a better future, and to produce it.

As I said above, I am not sure the “comparison game” actually establishes anything.  It is not just that there are too many variables, rather it assumes that Christianity and Islam are “things” that can be examined, and that give the same answers now and here, as they do there and then. It assumes that they have constant and consistent effects, and are not themselves sites of contestation and contingency.  They are actually in contestation with each other and with Judaism, and the outcomes are contingent on so many factors.  It does make me think, though, when I read in the paper that Christians are being wiped out in towns in Northern Iraq, where they, and their ancestors, have lived, believed and practiced Christian faith (mainly under Islamic regimes) for nearly 1800 years.  And it brings up (in)tolerance.  Certainly the moment is a moment of intolerance–and of ethnic cleansing. But the long story is as story of 1800 years of survival.  That is a long time for any movement or community to survive.  A certain amount of tolerance had to have permitted and actually contributed to those 1800 years.  On the other hand, the idea of ethnic cleansing seems like it may have been invented in Europe.  It certainly happened much earlier there:  in 1492 the Jews were removed from Spain.  Muslims were forced to convert or leave. Then in 1609, the descendants of those who had converted were also forced to leave.  But now, Jews and Muslims are being invited back.  So, in the present, perhaps all we can say is that it seems like Christian or, perhaps more accurately, secular regimes — of nation states — seem to have decided that it is OK to have, within their borders, people with differing, and even conflicting, sets of religious beliefs and practices, than present day Muslim ones.  Who knows if that commitment will last.

Pipes or Piper? Jesus and the response to Muslim outrage

I love this article by John Piper. His comments about Jesus can point us to the way ahead in a world that is in grave danger of dramatically increased violence and of a great reduction in human hope about the future.

Whenever more news comes out about a new and more violent reaction by some Muslims against the West, I worry some will use the news to justify a violent response of our own. We say, “they are closed. They leave no room for dialogue. They hate us. It’s either kill or be killed,” etc.

When we look inside Western values for something to help us face the Islamic challenge and assure a better future than constant war, we get stuck. The geopolitical option soon looks like the only way out of the mess we are in. But the geopolitical option has serious trade offs (war, loss of freedoms, the risk of increasing alienation between the West and Islam, etc.).

Attempting to preserve the Western value of toleration, some suggest dialogue will help. A first reading of Daniel Pipes’ most recent article “How the cartoon protests harm Muslims” seems, at first, to recommend this option.

He begins by outlining how Muslims and the West are increasingly “disengaging” in many of the areas important to maintaining geopolitical relations: commerce, investments, intergovernmental relations, tourism, immigration, foreign aid, education, etc.

There is a serious “wall of separation” separating Muslims from Christians. While I don’t always agree with Daniel Pipes , I agree with his premise that the path the world is taking will lead to greater disengagement. The Islamic world will increasingly disengage (with some hostility) from the West and the West will disengage (also with hostility) from the Islamic World.

He would probably agree that disengagement between Islam and the West can be harmful for the future of humankind.

Nonetheless, we have to ask ourselves some questions:

  • What good will dialogue do?
  • Why should we expect that exposing more Muslims to Western ways will cause those Muslims to appreciate Western ways. This is a big leap especially when intellectual foundations radical Islam were laid by Muslim clerics and others who have lived in the West and been exposed to “the best the West has to offer.” Why would we expect the same sort of contact to produce different results in the future?
  • Do we really think that increased contact between Westerners and Muslims will change Westerners and make them more open to Islam?

I question whether Pipes is offering dialogue at all when he writes: “For everyone’s sake, it is important that Muslims begin more successfully to negotiate their path to modernity, not to isolation.” This is not dialogue. It is a one-way conversation. In this conversation, the West offers the solution and Muslims are “free to take it or leave it”.

Would it ever be possible to get all the parties to agree to rules of dialogue like those offered by Daniel Dennett (clearly from a western perspective)? What reasons would any of them have to do it his way?

If you think about it, it is next to impossible for the secular West to offer true dialogue. It isn’t open to changing itself. The West would just not be the West any longer, if it bowed to Islamic demands.

In spite of the failures of dialogue, I do think Christians should actively and intentionally break down the barriers keeping Muslims and Christians from knowing each other. Why? Do I think it will work? Won’t increased violence between Muslims and Christians be taken as proof that breaking down barriers didn’t work? Will this, like all the failures in the relationship of Islam and the West over the last 1300 years, be just another reason to lead the West to defend its interests by using political, economic and military power?

Christians should seek out Muslims and accept their friendship. I believe God Himself wants to take an active part in such friendships. He is actively making himself known when people meet and get to know each other. He is actively at work when people follow in the steps of Jesus.

Piper’s article tells us why Jesus changes the rules of the game. There is danger in John Piper’s article, though. Christians can use John Piper’s arguement to say “Jesus is better than Mohammed, so you should be a Christian.” It does not follow that Christians are thus better than Muslims. Muslim resistance to Christian arrogance is not persecution. Under the circumstances, Christians should be careful not to blame Muslim for “resisting” the gospel. The true problem is not resistance, but lack of contact. The vast majority of Muslims have never met a Christian. It would require time, intentionality and effort for them to meet and understand the rare Christian who is willing to bear insults for their sake like their Master did.

If Christians read Piper’s article and choose to live as Jesus did, leaving their comfort and privilege to go and to live out their discipleship in Muslim communities, God will make Himself known to all of us. Both Christians and Muslims will get to know Him better. This should motivate Christians. We will know God better only when we are willing to follow Him and bear insults in Jesus’ name, even to the point of wasting our lives through the kind death that can follow the insults.

"End of the Spear" and the struggle between Islam and the West

I went to see The End of the Spear today. Wow!

Go to the site and click on Behind the Spear and read it.

You dare not miss the first lines of the narration of the movie. It poses the question, can mankind, from different cultures, ever hope to get along? Can we live together without killing each other? The true story of the movie, though painfully violent, left me hopeful.

I am less hopeful about the current violent reaction to the cartoons that were published in Denmark insulting Islam and the Prophet. I don’t think freedom of speech should give license to people so that they can insult and blaspheme.

On the other hand, the reaction that the media says is going on in the Muslim World is incredible. For those who have no hope in Jesus, and whose hope is that the West will prevail, this reaction should be frightening. Just look at the pictures in the link above. This could well be used to justify more war against Muslims. People in the West would be justified to think that their way of life is threatened by these attitudes.

The confusion among Western leaders about how to react to this is incredible. Religion just seems to throw us all into a tizzy. We don’t understand it.

I read an article by Daniel Pipes in which he thinks outloud about what this means. Is this the clash of civilizations that Huntington was talking about?

Perhaps this will serve to remind us that the Kingdom of God is represented neither by the imposition of Western ways nor by the victory of Radical Islam.

The statement in the Pipes’ last paragraph


It is a tragic mistake to lump all Muslims with the forces of darkness. Moderate, enlightened, free-thinking Muslims do exist. Hounded in their own circles, they look to the West for succor and upport. And, however weak they may presently be, they eventually will have a crucial role in modernizing the Muslim world.

contains a sub-text implying that “modernizing” the Muslim world is the path to peace. If we all just shared the same presuppositions of the Modern world, then all would be well and mankind could live at peace.

There is debate about whether moderate Islam is even possible or acceptable in Islam. I do not know. I am not a Muslim scholar. I do suspect, though, that modernization is not the hope of humanity.

At best, modernization is just one step along the path of humanity’s violent history. Though it is a step that has been pretty comfortable to me, it may actually lead to the death of humanity (read CS Lewis, especially the science fiction).

Fortunately we know the end of the story. Anything that leads to death will be destroyed and replaced with the New Jerusalem (Rev 20,21).

This is what we are working and praying for. Keep praying.

What do Muslims think of us? revised 1.23.06

Yesterday a friend asked me if I would help him in a presentation he is making, by answering the question: What do Muslims think of us?

I agree that it is important for each of us to listen well enough to know the answer to this question, but I am not sure that I am the person people should be listening to.

Ideally, we should be listening to Muslim friends and that what we think of each other is part of a real friendship. But, given the realities of the barriers between Muslims and Christians, barriers that limit both the instances and depth of personal relationships between Christians and Muslims, this question, and its counter question, what do we think of Muslims?, we cannot come up with accurate answers very easily.

Before I get into some possible answers to the question, it is also worth noting that the question itself is highly reductionistic. Think about the following:

  • How can one dare think of an answer that would work for all 1.3 billion Muslims in the world today? Do all Muslims think alike? Do some Muslims like Christians and hate Westerners?
  • When we ask what they think of “us”, who is “us”?
  • Are we asking what they think of Christians or what they think of Westerners?
  • Is there a difference between a Westerner and a Christian (I think there is!!!)?
  • Is there a difference “in the Muslim mind” (I beg forgiveness for even using that expression) between Christians and Muslims?
  • How can one dare think that it is possible to discover the answer that the 1.1 billion Muslims would give when they don’t have a friendship with a Christian? Who is going to ask them?

Assuming the question is what do Muslims think of Christians? might help us focus on the real issue: If the 1.1 billion Muslims who do not have a friendship with a Christian have an opinion about Christians, what is it based on?

It is a common thing for Christian missionaries to say that Muslims consider the terms “Christian” and “Westerner” to refer to the same people and values. So that they think that the sex and violence in Hollywood movies is a reflection of Christianity, or to conclude too quickly that Westerners who visit their countries are Christians and that their behavior reflects Christian values, or even to say that the West’s “war on terrorism” is a continuation of the Crusades and a reflection of Christianity’s hatred or fear of Islam.

If Muslims do not know Christians (or, more importantly than those who are Christian in name, they may never have met people who seek to be followers of Jesus) it could be easy enough to think that Western Culture is Christian Culture, just as we think Middle Eastern Culture is Muslim Culture when in fact there are many Arab Christians and, in fact, most Muslims are not Arabs.

I could go on. The point I want to make, though, is that Muslims are probably as ignorant of Christians as real human beings as Christians are of Muslims. Our impressions of each other are formed through different means and are part of the great wall of separation and hostility that has characterized Muslim/Christian/Western relations for 12 centuries.

It might be important for us to understand where Muslims can draw from to form an opinion about Christians or about Westerners.

  • Islam has a place, in its holy book (in the Koran) and in its theology, a place for Jesus, the founder of Christianity. Muslims are forced to answer for themselves the questions, who is Jesus? Is the Bible accurate?
  • The opposite is not true. Mohammed is not in the Bible and most theologians, unless they specialize in comparative religion or in the encounter of Christianity with other religions, do not have to worry about the meaning of Mohammed’s life and religious claims or even about the Koran.
  • Mohammed was married to a woman from a Christian background and Mohammed lived among pagans, Christians and Jews. Though most Christians today would consider the forms of Christianity he encountered heretical, Muslims have an understanding that their version of monotheism is better than Christian or Judaism. In fact, for them, it is based on God’s corrective and final revelation of His Word, the Koran.

Getting to an answer to the question…

Words in Islam that refer to Christians:

  • people of the book recognizes the revelation about Jesus that was entrusted to Christians. The Injil (New Testament) is a true revelation, though Christians are accused of changing it to promote deceptions they made up after Jesus died (such as that he is God). Nonetheless, this description is positive.
  • infidels describes Christians as NOT believing the truth about God as revealed by Mohammed and expressed in the Koran.
  • dhimmis is the name for Christians who, in Islamic society, are allowed to continue to follow their Christian faith.

Christians are both tolerated and protected by Islamic law. This creates an interesting situation. Muslims can legitimately claim that they are more tolerant toward Christians than Christians are toward Muslims. At the same time Christians can rightly argue that Islamic freedom of religion does not include freedom for Muslims to become Christians.

Why the double standard? Perhaps it is related to the belief held by many Muslims that as each country, region or people group submits to Islamic law, the world gets closer to a world that will finally be in harmony with God’s design. The forward march of Islam can be seen by some Muslims as an irreversible sign of the grace of God. Under such a vision, it is easy to understand how there might be freedom to become a Muslim, but none to stop being one!

So, having made this long discourse, can we find a one sentence answer for the question: what do Muslims think of us?

Here are some one sentence answers:

The western system has come to an end primarily because it is deprived of those life-giving values which enabled it to be the leader of mankind.

–Sayyid Qutb in Milestones, p8, 11

Why do you not acknowledge our prophet?

man on the street, Morocco

Why won’t you allow us into western society?

immigrants from the Middle East

You Christians are better Muslims than we are!

–a frequent comment by local Muslims to Christian humanitarian workers in their communities

many Muslims view the West
as the source of colonialism, racism, and immorality while Islam
is viewed as the fount of equality, justice, and godly civilization

–Bernard Adeney-Risakotta in SojoMail Nov 13 2002

I began to think to myself, how could such a man be condemned to hell [for not being a Muslim]

Mehdi Abedi in Debating Muslims: Cultural Dialogues in Postmodernity and Tradition


I think finding an answer to the question can be a fruitful endeavor, but I hope we can do it with careful attention to our own motives and methods:

  • I know this was not my friend’s intention when he asked the question, but it is important that when we ask what Muslims think of us that we do so honestly. If our answer will be an excuse to either love them, or hate them, we will have forgotten God’s proactive stance toward humans and we will be reaction.
  • If we are asking the questions so as to merely study about them (to enter into the debate about the legitimacy of orientalism), we should be careful that we not do this as an alternative to actually meeting, knowing and engaging individual Muslims about the things that are important to us and to them.
  • Our biggest challenge is to break down the walls of separation that keep us from knowing Muslims and them from knowing us. These walls keep us from knowing our Muslim neighbors and from accepting them into our lives. These walls keep us from being a bridge over which the Holy Spirit can make the living Jesus we follow known to Muslims.

The peace of our world today is directly affected by geographic and social barriers that keep Muslims and Christians from knowing each other at the personal level. Most Muslims go through life without meaningful contact with the few Christians who live among them and Christians are unaffected by the few Muslims in their part of the world. Muslims who know no Christians and Christians who know no Muslims make our world more dangerous.

By avoiding each other, we do nothing to reduce the violence inherent in both the West’s war on terrorism and in Jihad, fighting in the way of Islam for the world to submit to God.

But, breaking down the barriers is not a panacea. Getting people together can cause clashes as much as it can cause reconciliation. It is, however an essential first step if we are going to be experience the fulfilling of God’s goal to reconcile all humanity in Jesus, make His good gifts available to all peoples and put an end to injustice. That happens when Jesus followers and Holy Spirit carriers live in close contact with people who haven’t been introduced to Jesus yet or touched by God’s Holy Spirit.

Perhaps the most important question I can ask myself: what do I think of Muslims? Is what I think of Muslims in line with what God thinks of Muslims? Am I willing to go out of my way to be a friend to Muslims here and around the world?


What to Muslims think of us? Ask a Muslim.

What do we think of Muslims? We need to ask ourselves the hard questions.

As for what God thinks of Muslims. Maybe we need to ask Him!

How I got started thinking about Islam

On a trip to Dakar, Senegal, I came across an artist who paints on the back of glass. I found this picture interesting and asked the artist about it. He said it was Abraham and Ishmael.

That was the first I was ever exposed to this interpretation of the life of Abraham. I have used this picture to lead me to try and understand what God thinks of Muslims and of Christians. This seems to me to be even more important than what Christians and Muslims think of God, though that is of fundamental importance, too.

A quick look at the Atlas the other day reminded me that we westerners do not see the world in terms of religion. Our way of evaluating a country or a region is to ask how many goods and services they produce. Or to ask what language they speak. But at least the Atlas’s I looked at had no map of religions. But what people think about God is proving to be important, at least in today’s world. People are killing each other over that.

In the Abraham/Ishmael/Isaac story, one that is important to approximately 1/2 of all humans on earth today, we can see how what God thinks of humans is important. Read Genesis 22.

Or read this article about the Feast of Sacrifice by Gilchrist. I think the article is marvelous.

May God continue to take initiative in each of our lives and may we be open to what He wants to do. Without that, we are lost and so are our children.

More on the hope for humanity’s future

I don’t want to get the focus off the question that I raised at Eid: “What is important for the future of humanity?”

I got a lot of comments on that posting. Make sure you read the comments. That’s where I say a little about what I believe is important for the future of humanity. My hope depends on Christians and Muslims living next to each other and developing a relationship in which God has a role. There are many ways this can happen, but it seems to me that we are doomed to jihads followed by crusades followed by terrorism followed by “just wars”, ad infinitum unless we can figure out how to break down the “dividing wall of partition”. For that you may want to take a look at Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.

It is not easy to imagine how this is going to happen!

We I did get one very interesting reply to my posting was an article from the Internet regarding whether the son that Abraham offered was Ishmael as is popularly believed among many Muslims or if it was Isaac as the Bible declares. It is from a Christian polemical site, so it would be interesting to know if thinking Muslims actually agree with what is written there.

This of course gets into a polemic that can degenerate into an arguement about “who is right”. While one may be right and the other may be wrong (or did Abraham offer both sons and have this experience twice?), such polemic hasn’t been able to settle this question during the last 1300 years. If our disagreements continue define our relationship, the future of humanity is at risk.

I don’t think that is what God was thinking about when he rescued Abraham’s son, whoever it was. What was He thinking?

Eid and hope for the future of Humanity.

Ever since I was introduced to the Muslim world through my Latin American friends, I have had a special fascination with Eid, the Muslim holiday that was celebrated yesterday.

Eid, by its place in the Islamic calendar and by the things that are done on Eid, can remind Muslims each year that their ancestor Ishmael was spared death because God provided a substitute (yes! that is their variation on the story of the rescue of Isaac in Gen 22).

My fascination (and my hope) grows when I read in Isaiah 60:7 that God promises that the rams of the children of Ishmael will be “acceptable on my Altar”.

Does that refer to the rams in these pictures of the Eid holiday? Take a moment to look at them.

Islam can be a challenge to our Christian faith. For many Muslims “devotion” to God is critical for the future of humanity and they see Abraham’s willingness to offer his son as a supreme devotion to God.

Our Christian faith says that Jesus is critical for the future of humanity.

What do you think is critical for the future of humanity?