I got an email telling me my library rental was delinquent. (This is my version of living dangerously)
I did the walk of shame this morning and returned the book to the front desk, change in hand to pay. When I slipped the book across the counter, the librarian was more interested in my choice of book than the fee.
“Are you practicing?” The lady eyed my book and gently tapped the cover. It took me a second to figure out what she was asking me, but when I did I smiled and simply replied, “No, just wondering what it said.”
I’m not sure if it sufficed her curiosity, but she checked the book back in and thanked me for my “prompt” returning of my delinquent book!
For the past few weeks, I’ve read the Qur’an along with the Bible. I’ve been studying under several brilliant apologist who were once Muslim and are now Christian. If anyone is going to know the differences and similarities, it would be them. However, as they made reference after reference to it, I wanted to see the 114 chapters (known as the Suras) for myself.
My limited amount of time reading the book is not sufficient enough for me to know absolutely everything there is to know about the Islamic worldview. But never-the-less, I can see why so many Muslims (and even Christians) think our worldviews are more similar than different.
I often hear from my Christian friends who have great relationships with the Muslim community that Jesus is a staple in the Islamic worldview just as He is in the Christian worldview. After all, Jesus supposedly proclaimed the coming of Muhammad and the whole of scripture pointed to His coming. (Sura 7:157)
Unlike other religions, Islam bases its authenticity and legitimacy firmly upon the prior revelations contained in the whole Judeo-Christian scriptures. It was only when Christians began to question the scriptures and special revelations of Muhammad that the tide changed and the aforementioned Judeo-Christian scriptures were rejected, along with the uniqueness of Christ. Reference: (Beyond Opinion, pg. 66-78)
And if we went and looked at the Atheist worldview we would see their claim is natural science has disproved God, there is no reliable basis for the Christian faith and it’s simply a trick of the mind. Unlike the Islamic worldview, there is nothing beyond the very particles and matter that make us. From the earth we came and back we go.
And I would ask a question to the question. Why would we not?
For those unfamiliar with the term, a worldview is like a lens. It is not what we see, but what we see with.
It changes every aspect of our lives if we let it. The lens in which we look at our faith will change how we manage our money, our ethics, views on biology and theology etc.
So again, why should we make an effort to know the worldviews that fall outside of our own?
Simply put, because you cannot interact and build relationships with those in which you do not understand. I’m not encouraging you to look at them like some science experiment gone bad! But I do find it very important for us to actually take a second and learn about them before jumping in and sharing just how much you think they need Jesus in their lives. By studying other worldviews, you are able to see from the lens in which they are already looking.
One of my dear friends said something and it stuck: “Sarah, I never want to look at someone like a project. I want to know them so I can better love them where they currently are.”
And she is right. Jesus met people where they were. He understood the lens in which they asked their questions (not always with the best intentions.) And I must stress that we can’t point those to Christ unless we can at least try to understand their current view from the window.
Have you ever sat down with someone who held another worldview? What did you learn?