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July 24, 2008

A measured response ...

A few months ago it was widely reported that a hundred or so Muslim clerics or scholars (Since Islam is officially a religion without clergy!) wrote to the leaders of some twenty-seven Christian Churches including the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury. Plus Rowan has now responded with a seventten page reply in which he says that Christians and Muslims should enter into discussions on the difference in our understanding of God - but he stresses, wisely, that we should not rush this. The letter is entitled "A common word between us and you" and is a very carefully thought out and argued response.

In his response Archbishop Rowan sets out some of the areas of "understanding" that need to be addressed and not least among these is the Christian understanding of the Triune nature of God, something the followers of Islam do not accept. As the Archbishop says in his letter, the Trinity is not to be understood in human terms, it is not a "physical" thing, but rather a manner of presenting in the world. The "name" God, is not a name as of a person, it is rather a term for a life beyond our understanding, eternal and self-sufficient. As a Rabbi once told me, we must consider God as being at the beginning of time and at its end - and everywhere in between at the same time.

I commend to you the Archbishop's own words rather than mine - please do go to his website and read the letter for yourselves. If a true dialogue can be started between the faiths, who knows where God will lead those willing to follow where He leads!

Posted by The Gray Monk at July 24, 2008 06:51 PM

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