Below is an update I recently received from a friend teaching graduate students at a Christian seminary in the Middle East.

I think you will find it challenging. I certainly did.

I think that if you talk about it with someone else, you will almost certainly find it challenging. Try it.

“Dear Friends Stateside,

One of the classes that I co-taught this spring was entitled “Christian-Muslim Dialogue.”  We used Clinton Bennett’s Understanding Christian-Muslim  Relations, attended a churchwide dialogue event on a boat, became acquainted with several local shaikhs (leaders of mosques), and had hot conversation in class between the merits of helping people build bridges of interfaith understanding through dialogue versus the merits of helping people experience the joy of the Gospel.  One of the tools we used in class was the following exercise:

An Exercise in Precision in Thinking about Salvation
Muslim-Christian Dialogue

It is common for people to react emotionally without reflecting carefully about other faith claims than their own.  This exercise is
designed to help us be clear about what we as Christians believe about salvation in the context of our relations with Muslims.  By each
statement, write “A” if you agree, or “D” if you disagree.  Be prepared to say why or why not.  We are not interested for the moment
in right or wrong answers.  We are interested in your own views as a Christian and their clarity.

1. _______ Muslims can find God through Islam if they try sincerely (Gairdner and Massignon).
2. _______ Muslims as Muslims cannot find God, though they may try sincerely.

3. _______ Christians can find God through Christianity, if they try sincerely.
4. _______ Christians as Christians cannot find God, though they may try sincerely.

5. _______ All people can find God through any religion, if they try sincerely.
6. _______ Nobody can find God through any religion no matter how hard they try.

7. _______ God can find people by his almighty power even when they are not trying.
8. _______ God finds people by the action of Jesus Christ precisely when they are not trying.
9. _______ God finds people only by the action of Jesus Christ.

10. ______ God finds Christians only by the action of Jesus Christ.
11. ______ God finds Christians only by the action of Jesus Christ through their faith in Christ.

12. ______ God can find Christians through the action of Jesus Christ apart from their knowledge of that action
13. ______ God can find Muslims through the action of Jesus Christ apart from their knowledge of that action.

14. ______ The action of Jesus Christ is dependent, for its effect, upon our faith in Jesus Christ.
15. ______ The action of Jesus Christ is real apart from our faith in Jesus Christ.

16. ______ The action of God is not effective without the action (faith) of humans.
17. ______ The action of God includes the action of humans.
18. ______ You can be sure of the action of God even if it requires some human action to be effective.
19. ______ You will never be sure of salvation if it depends on human trust.
20. ______ You can trust in God’s salvation because it is effective apart from human trust.

Can you imagine that we have interesting conversation in class
sometimes?  I’ll attach a couple of pictures of students in classroom
discussion and invite you to join us in this conversation in your own
time and place.”

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