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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Father Dave on Interfaith Dialogue

Dave here replies to an issue raised by Keith, who supports freedom of religion and dialogue between all people yet asks how Christians can engage with other religious groups, given the exclusive claims Jesus made about Himself? To see the full forum dialogue, click here.

I don't think all religions are basically the same (or basically anything) and my main interest in trying to encourage dialogue between faith communities has always been to break down racial and religious prejudices (of which there are still plenty).

Conversely, I have tended to shun inter-faith prayer and/or worship meetings, as I'm not keen to dillute my faith to try to make it fit in with somebody else's. Even so, I did attend an inter-faith 'Christians and Muslims praying for Bethlehem' meeting just before Christmas, and I'm frankly glad that I did.

I hadn't intended to go at all until my Catholic brother who was hosting the event let me know that I'd been scheduled to speak! Shocked I did wonder how I'd feel, praying alongside people who had a very different concept of God from me, but then I figured I did that a lot anyway when I turn up to Diocesan events. Wink

One thing I am clear about, as a Christian, is that nobody is 'saved' by their theology, and I have indeed sensed the presence of the spirit of God in some of my Islamic friends, such as Sheikh Mansour.

Does that mean that their theology is correct? Not necessarily. It means that the Spirit of God is bigger than all our efforts at being religious. Wink


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