Why is it that sharing the good news with Muslims is considered so much more controversial than sharing the gospel with Atheists? I was reading this report from Religious Intelligence the other day:
THE CHURCH of England is to be asked to back the explicit conversion of Muslims in a controversial motion set to be debated at the Church’s ‘parliament’ this summer.
The Private Member’s motion is being put forward by lay member Paul Eddy, who believes that senior church leaders are dismissing the church’s mission to evangelise, if those being evangelized are from another faith background.
But Mr Eddy admits that his motion has angered some in the church, with at least four bishops calling on him to drop his campaign for fear of harming inter-faith relations.
However, another bishop, the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali of Rochester, has backed Mr Eddy’s campaign, arguing that it was important for all faiths to enter into dialogue without giving up their core beliefs.
While I am not conversant with the UK situation, I have experienced similar attitudes over here in Australia on occasions. From what I gather, some Christians seem to think Atheists are a tabula rasa1 in terms of world view commitment. I find that very curious. I don't know about you, but guys like Dawkins strike me as being very committed to their world view. I can only see this dichotomy as naive and unbiblical. Every path has its hard core committed types and fluffier hangers on - even Atheists, even Muslims. What damages interfaith relations more is when supposed representatives of Christianity water down their Christianity to the point it is non-representative. That doesn't serve reconciliation. It just creates syncretistic offshoots.
1 Latin for blank slate