Of Knights Templar, Venice, Constantinople, and Crusades

Some time ago I was approached about writing some entries for the newly released War and Religion: an encyclopedia of faith and conflict (ABC-CLIO, 2017). And I’m glad to share that it has now been published in three volumes.

My own humble contributions were (in alphabetical order) on the Fourth Crusade, the Knights Templar, the Sixth Crusade, and the Venetian Crusade. That last one was quite successful and does not get the attention it deserves, in my opinion.

Feel free to sample my own entries above and please do consider asking your institution’s library to acquire this valuable resource.

wp-1491440873740.jpg

Advertisements

Podcast: Understanding the Conversion of Muslims to Christianity

It was quite a new experience for me, as an Anglican Christian, to be interviewed by a thoughtful and inquisitive leader from the LDS (Mormon) Church about my research in religious conversion from Islam to Christianity.

Check out the full podcast at the LeadingLDS website or listen here:

It’s the Love: guest post at Chad Bird’s blog

I was very pleased to write a guest post for Chad Bird’s blog. Previously I published a guest post at Gladys Ganiel’s blog, and I’m glad to follow that up with this one.

Chad asked me about conversion from Islam to Christianity. What did I think was at the core of the movements we are seeing today?

Here is the intro:

The first time I heard the Breeders was during an episode of Beavis and Butthead, that pinnacle of American civilization and culture. It was the video for their song Cannonball. I loved the austere, lo-fi, sparse production. I loved Kim Deal’s raspy but powerful voice. And, especially, the bass line implanted itself deep in my brain. While I don’t remember the insightful sociological analysis presented by Beavis and Butthead anymore, a love for the Breeders has stuck with me, and over the years as they have come out with new albums I have picked them up (or more recently, downloaded them). Cannonball is from their 1993 album, Last Splash. Their next full-length album was Title TK (2002), followed up by the 2008’s Mountain Battles.

The title track of Mountain Battles is about dealing with an aging parent’s decline in vitality and mental health. But the peppiest track on the album is the irresistible It’s the Love.

And as I thought about this blog post and years of researching converts from Islam to Christianity, the name of the song just wouldn’t leave my brain. Why? Because, in a nutshell, what is the principal draw of Christianity to Muslims? It’s the love. But let me tell you how I learned this.

Read the rest HERE.

Learning to Pray…a guest post at Building a Church without Walls

Gladys Ganiel recently published a guest post of mine at her excellent blog, Building a Church without Walls.

Here is the intro:

I was running errands in the large Arab city where I was studying Arabic, when I ran into a friend of mine. We had had several spiritual conversations by that time. So there on the sidewalk I asked him if he would like to pray with me. He said he didn’t have time to go to church with me, so I explained that we could pray right there, and he agreed.

Click HERE to read the rest of the post, and thank you to Gladys for helping make people aware of Living among the Breakage.

Religion and Culture–what are they? (Video)

Some time ago I presented this lecture at Tezel Oaks Church of the Nazarene in San Antonio, Texas. They were kind enough to post it to their YouTube page with a number of other lectures, including one by my wonderful wife, Sharon.

But for now, here is the first of five lectures on Islam and Christianity. This one is titled ‘Religion and Culture–what are they?’

“Is the West finally winning the war against ISIS?”

I was recently interviewed by David Virtue, of VirtueOnline fame, on the state of Anglicanism in the Middle East, the Islamic State, the future or Christianity in MENA, and, of course, my new book, Living among the Breakage.

Here is my answer to his question on the Islamic State:

VOL: Is the West finally winning the war against ISIS?

MILLER: It depends on what you mean by winning. If you mean that they are losing land, then I would say that Iraq, supported by the West and Iran, is winning the war. But over the long term, I’m not very optimistic. The loss of territory for the Islamic State will result in enormous flows of migrants into Europe. Inevitably, a substantial number of those refugees will want to Islamize the countries that receive them as refugees. And among those, a certain number will utilize strategic violence in order to try and effectuate what they understand to be a divine mission. So if by winning you mean eradicating the religious convictions that animate movements like the IS, my answer is resounding no.

Read it all HERE.