I suppose I can’t begin to understand the gift it is to get to read the Bible in a language I understand. (The language, to be honest!) It wasn’t that long ago regular folks had to depend on the professionals to tell them what the Book said. Now we can read if for ourselves and listen to brilliant commentators from all over, both those who think like we do and those who stretch our minds.
Here’s something that’s been rolling around in my mind recently: Muslims don’t believe in the doctrine of original sin. That is, that we’re all born sinners because of Adam and Eve’s sin. Turns out Jews don’t believe this either and a good portion of Christians, including most who followed Jesus in the days before Augustine.
A pastor friend and I were sitting in Chick-fil-A in Muncie, Indiana, enjoying our waffle fries and conversation when a worker swung by and kindly asked if we needed anything else. His name tag said Rashid and I guessed he might be from Africa. . . and likely Muslim.
I asked him where he was from and he said, “Right here in Muncie.”
Jesus said loving your neighbor is second only to loving God. Most of us need connecting points to get that going. If you’re trying to be neighborly with a Muslim, commonalities between the Bible and Quran might serve as good starting points.