Monday, November 07, 2005

Paris burning

This is deeply disturbing, as it suggests to me that a very deep fault in European culture is beginning to slip. Insofar as many of these minorities are likely of Islamic background, it supports Gideon Strauss's contention that two of the five top issues for God's people at this moment in history are modern liberalism and Salafiyyah Islam.


  1. Hey, read Strauss' article on Comment. it's been something i noticed recently: if someone thinks another person is spiritual, most likely they are thinking of Muslims -and NOT Christians. i think there are numerous reasons for this, one of the most prominent being the domestic quality of Christainity in America and Europe, and the exoticness of Islam. really, its kinda gutsy to wear a head-covering in an upscale, down-town area. it sticks out.

    There are ways of approaching the things that Strauss is concerned about: the use of multinational corporations and smart business to spread certain western ethics, the use of other NGOs, and an enlightened approach to immigration.

    But we also need to think of the spiritual aspects involved here: it is getting more difficult to evangelize, and the Church does not have the face on it that Islam now has. not to play catch-up, but we really need to think what it means to be outwardly Christian "in our moment".

  2. I find that thought-provoking, Justin: how do you think can we be outwardly Christian? (Would that we could have worn yarmulkes and twisty sideburns - that would have rocked!)

  3. you're about spot on in evaluation of the yarmulkes and side-burns! i think spiritual disciplines and liturgical worship need to be emphasized as part of the Church's outward character.

    Most people know what the major fasting observance is for Muslims. but what can one say of Christians? Lent? Yes, but often lent get reduced to simply not drinking coffee or eating chocolate for a while. would abstaining from drinking coffee suffice for Ramadan? probably not.

    that's not to say these things save us either. but they are part of our inheritance and identity in Christ. they are what marks us off as His, lend depth to our relationship with Him, and make the statement that what you do with your body matters very much to God.

  4. I agree with you, Justin. Problem is, we cannot simply adopt liturgy or disciplines and have them be associated with Christianity. The "high" churches already have both, have had for centuries / millenia, but they are not seen as being typical of Christians by most of the world. Even if we low-church evangelicals chose to adopt them, it would be congregation by congregation and never have the weight of historical practice that Ramadan has for all Muslims. It's hard to know how to fix the perceived superficiality of at least American Christianity. It would seem to require an actual revival of actual depth of practice across some large and visible part of the Church.