What a joy to be in the Belgian countryside a little way outside of Brussels at the Continental Theological Seminary. The seminary’s research center invited me to present an intensive one-week course on Islam and Muslim refugees.
The place has really impressed me. The tuition is affordable and most students live on campus. Indeed, many of them contribute to the upkeep of the buildings, the grounds, and the dining hall. All of that with accredited degrees at the graduate and undergraduate levels.
Some time ago Stephen J. Bedard, blogger at Hope’s Reason, reviewed my book Two Stories of Everything. Stephen is a pastor, teacher, blogger, author, disability advocate and a promoter of discipleship.
As a follow up of that interview, he interviewed me recently for his podcast. Listen to the whole interview here and check out the other resources at his blog. I really enjoyed talking with Stephen and I think you’ll enjoy the podcast.
I’m glad to share with you all this recent review of my book Two Stories of Everything: The Competing Metanarratives of Christianity (Credo House, 2018) over at the website Biblical Missiology. Here is a segment:
Miller’s book is not a polemic against Islam, though he begins the book by clearly stating his Christian conviction. He concludes this helpful book as follows: “It is obvious that I find the Christian metanarrative to be more fulfilling, consistent and beautiful, not just because it tells the truth about God, but because it allows for us to make sense of ourselves—our great capacity for good living side by side with our great capacity for evil. In the case that a Muslim has read this book, I extend to you an invitation to be reconciled to your Creator, but according to the path Jesus son of Mary presented to us, and to acknowledge that commitment by public baptism at a local congregation of his disciples” (p. 137).
Miller’s approach helps students of both Islam and Christianity arrive at a realistic comparison. He gives an accurate and even-handed picture of the two faiths and their respective communities. For all these reasons, I highly recommend Two Stories of Everything to both the casual reader and the specialist.
Read it all HERE.
[…] A dear friend and colleague who is a minister with the Assemblies of God was returning to Spain after an extended stay back in the States — fundraising, you know. He got a flat in the neighborhood next to ours, which is […] one of the main centers of Islamic presence in the city. We started weekly prayer walks. He joined a church in that neighborhood, and the pastor was excited about the idea of reaching Muslims with the gospel. Redeemer is in a great neighborhood for reaching young secular Spaniards, but not Muslims.
Sharon and I are both proficient in Arabic. I can teach and play guitar, she sings well. Why not give this a try? I asked. Dan had connections with local leaders as well as a ministry in the city center reaching Muslims, and my wife and I had the language skills. We prayed. Doors opened.
Read the rest over at Covenant, the blog of The Living Church.
On of my favorite online journals is Global Missiology. I have published reviews and articles for the publication over the years, both in English and Spanish.
I am glad to share that Dr. Don Warrington of the University of Tennessee has recently reviewed the book for that journal.
Here is part of the review:
Miller’s narrative is crisp, clear, informative, sweeping, thoughtful, and to the point. He is able to include many details on the specific beliefs and practices both of Christianity and of Islam without getting bogged down in their internal variations (which are considerable.) It is hard to envision a better summary of the two faiths juxtaposed than this one. It is a valuable addition to the literature on the subject, and one hopes that it gets the dissemination that it well deserves.
Read it all HERE.
Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Enchanting, profound, elegiac, epic, beautiful. As a man with a PhD in Divinity and professor at a seminary I will tell you that the missiology and anthropology of religion in this book is penetrating and deep. As a priest and pastor I found it incredibly moving, sometimes to the point of tears.
Anyone interested in the history of the West of the USA or missiology should read this book or listen to the audio version.
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Robots and Empire by Isaac Asimov
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was a hard book to find here in Madrid. Neither of my two (American) library systems had it as an eBook or mp3 audio book. That was odd when the Elijah Bailey (Robot) series and Foundation series are easy to find.
This is an enormously ambitious book. It is much more than meets the eye. In this book the author is trying to marry two distinct and quite different universes into one. For people who know the universe of Caves of Steel and Foundation this is the uniter, this is the book that explains how R. Daneel Olivaw can appear in certain of the Foundation books and the pre-history of psychohistory.
But Asimov’s other concerns are quite interesting and relevant and even prescient, one might say. What happens with the Spacers who are all very comfortable and really have no need for self-betterment at this point? Nor do they have any need for fanciful things like procreation. The robot economy will do everything they need for them. Well, it’s not quite Brave New World, but it’s getting there. (The big difference is that Spacers are somehow immune to vices like drugs and alcohol. How can they resist these temptations? Asimov has no answer because his philosophical anthropology is in the end deficient.)
And the Settlers who all hail from earth: they remain stuck in a sort of nativism in relation to earth. Ergo, earth must be depopulated, but not too fast. (Again, this explains why no one knew were earth was in a much later book.) Is this Asimov’s humanistic effort of people to get past nationalism? If it is it doesn’t sound preachy or condescending as do so many authors when they try to address contemporary political issues. (Yes, Hunger Games and Divergent, I’m grocking you. Oh, and of course the infamous book The Martian by Heinlein.)
As to characters, D.G. and Gladia are amusing, but Daneel and Giskard are by far the most interesting characters.
If you really want to appreciate this book read the Elijah Bailey (Robot) books, then all the Foundation books, and then, finally, this one.
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