A paragraph from my latest article:
It is common for apostates from Islam, and especially for converts to Christianity, to be construed as betraying their people. This reality comes across quite clearly in the many autobiographical books written by CMBs, that there was a genuine struggle for them in formulating and explaining that while they had left Islam, they were still loyal citizens of their nation. The intention of the two pastors in selecting Church history was, I suspect, to provide the CMBs with the historical resources whereby an intelligent and informed answer could be given to the question, “Why have you betrayed your people by leaving Islam.”
Get the PDF at academia or read it in two parts at the New Wineskins blog (part 1, part 2).
A few weeks ago I was asked to write on whether Anglicans value mission as much as evangelical Christians. That article was published today. Here is an excerpt:
Matter matters. Anglicanism is firm—in all its traditions—on this point. God made stuff, and it was good. God in his sovereign election has elected certain primordial pan-cultural things to operate as portals of his own saving presence and activity.
These things are humble: wine, bread, water, hands, man-and-woman, oil. All of this flows from and to the proclamation of the resurrection of all flesh. We don’t become angels. After our death our souls long to be reunited with our bodies in the new creation.
Anglican mission is not ashamed of this. Indeed, it is a great strength because the fundamental sacramental principal—that matter matters—is deeply ingrained in every human. Though yes, some of us in the West have somehow managed to deceive ourselves and believe the contrary.
The sacrament is the symbol that effectuates what it means; God binds himself to the sacraments, though he is not bound by them.
Read the entire article at Anglican Pastor. And also check out my previous video interview at that website from 2017.
Many Waters by Madeleine L’Engle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
First, I admit I’m approaching this book as a scholar of religion and theology.
L’Engle has taken a very obscure little chunk of the biblical book of Genesis—the first book in the Bible—and has filled these verses (6:1–8) in with imagination and fantasy.
The main characters of this book are Sandy and Dennys, who are transported back to the time of the Noah and his family. They are surrounded by seraphim (good angels) and nephalim (angels who have rejected El, which is the Hebrew word for ‘God’) and friendly mammoths and vanishing unicorns.
But I hesitate to call the book ‘Christian fiction’, because while its author was a devout Episcopalian Christian, there’s nothing preachy about the book at all. The first time I read it was when I was…maybe nine? That was before I knew anything at all about Christianity, having been raised in a pagan family. I don’t remembering being turned off at that time. Here I am three decades later, an Anglican priest, and it was still not preachy—like that time when one of the twins says that if El would let one of their friends die in the flood, then he did not like El much.
The choice of the two main characters is also a strength. After the first three books I was a bit tired of Meg with her mousy brown hair and drama and Charles Wallace with his enormous intellect and inability to connect to regular people. Sandy and Dennys are smart but practical, they get human interactions in a way their siblings do not.
So read the book and enjoy that the author can step out of her previous pathways. Enjoy her use of of other characters. Enjoy that this book is much more settled in one place and time than the previous three books.
View all my reviews
It’s always interesting to read reviews of books one helped write. In his 2018 review of Arab Evangelicals in Israel, co-authored with Azar Ajaj and Phil Sumpter, Daniel Hummel concludes with these words:
Undoubtedly, one accomplishment of Arab Evangelicals in Israel is bringing to the fore a community that most Americans and Europeans—including many scholars—are unacquainted with. Their small numbers and marginal social posi- tion notwithstanding, Arab evangelicals sit at the intersection of numerous fault lines in Middle Eastern and Israeli-Palestinian history. Arab Evangelicals in Isra- el offers a sympathetic introduction to this community that awaits more sustained and thorough treatment.
This review was published in the journal Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations (13:1). Read the PDF right here.
Aquí está el audio de una charla que di en la Catedral del Redentor en Madrid el 14 de Marzo, 2019.
¿Qué es la Comunión Anglicana?
Jeff Morton has recently reviewed my book Two Stories of Everything (Credo House, 2018) for the Journal of Global Christianity.
Here is one section:
Miller’s presentation of Islam’s story is spot on. He oﬀers us a conservative, orthodox, Sunni version of Islam; since this would include the majority of Muslims, it is a wise choice. The heartbeat of each of the two metanarratives, as he sees it, is anthropology. I think this will surprise most readers. Why? One might suppose the doctrine of God is the essential and deﬁning doctrine of any religion. Yet Miller takes an approach that is anthropocentric. It is each religion’s view of human beings that directs the story, he claims. God may have initiated the story, but the object of divine action is humankind – essentially true for both Christianity and Islam. Let the reader not be surprised; I am conﬁdent Miller will win you over in the end…
The PDF of the journal is available HERE.