Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Headlines I wish I'd written

Tom Heneghan has as usual been writing lots of interesting things on his Faithworld blog. But the headline to the most recent post made me smile. I would love to write a headline saying "baptism makes waves". It makes me think of my friend Janet baptising people off the island of Iona and having to have ropes attached to them all because the sea was quite rough.
However the stormy waters Tom refers to have more to do with the inter faith aftermath of Magdi Allam's conversion and baptism at the Easter vigil.
Tom offers a really useful review of reactions and reflections to Allam's conversion including this:
"Rev. Samir Khalil Samir, the Egyptian Jesuit who is one of the Catholic Church’s leading experts on Islam, has a long analysis on Asianews.it of Allam’s conversion. In it, he notes that both Christianity and Islam are missionary religions and adds: The pope’s baptism of Magdi Allam is not an act of aggression, but an exigency of reciprocity. It is a calm provocation that serves to make us sit up and think. Each one of us must live as a missionary, attempting to offer to the other the best of what one has encountered and understood.”

Meanwhile the WCC has recently responded to the letter from 138 Muslim intellectuals received last October. It encourages Christians and churches to engage in profound dialogue and says:
"The testimony of past and present writings by Muslims and Christians about and against the other serves as a clear reminder that misunderstanding can easily arise when followers of each faith try to explore the other’s beliefs without proper care and attention. Therefore, it must be stated unequivocally that Christians should be ready to learn about Islam by listening closely to what Muslims themselves teach, and that Muslims should be ready to learn about Christianity by listening closely to what Christians themselves teach. Presuppositions are to be put aside, and followers of both faiths must be ready to seek the learning and wisdom of the other as the other imparts it according to their own unique insights."