Islam: Europe's Future
I was recently interviewed for Escritorio Anglicano (The Anglican Desk), which is a Spanish blog for all things Anglican. The interview touched on various things—how I became Anglican, religion in Spain, and so on. I thought three of the questions on my recent book Two Stories of Everything (January, 2018) would be of interest to readers of this blog, so I have translated them from Spanish into English below:
One of the essential differences between Islam and Christianity is the figure of Jesus, so essential and central to Christianity, but relegated to being a normal prophet in Islam. It seems that Islam has not understood well the theological foundations of Christianity regardless of not subscribing to them. What is your opinion about it?
It is obvious from reading the Qur'an that the authors and editors of the text either do not understand the Christology of the church or are ignoring it. As early as the seventh century, when the Qur'an began to take shape, orthodox Christology was well established. For example, the Qur'an alleges that Christians believe that Allah, Jesus and Mary are the Trinity, which no Christian has ever said. Muhammad met few Christians personally during his life according to what we know. If he had wanted to know what Christians believe, he could have easily inquired. He seemed to not have wanted to.
Are there more Christians converting to Islam or Muslims converting to Christianity today? What do you think about the words of former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi who predicted that in a few decades Europe would be Muslim? What is the reality of this situation and what are, in your opinion, short- and long-term consequences?
In terms of conversions, there are more people converting to Christianity. But Muslims are much more fertile, and therefore their numbers are growing rapidly. Gaddafi spoke correctly. Europeans do not have many babies. Here in Madrid, you see many more dogs than children. Even apart from Islam, Spain is dying. The secular humanist society of Spain is infertile, just like its philosophy. My wish is that the churches of Spain would wake up and share the gospel with Muslims. Christians should not base their actions on fear, but on the love and power of the Holy Spirit.
One of the main things attracting people from a Muslim background to Christianity is the unconditional love of God. I remember one convert who talked with me extensively about her experience and decision. She said, "I read the Sermon on the Mount, and thought, how can someone say the Qur'an, which came centuries afterwards, is better than this? I could not imagine such a thing." Like many converts, she was intrigued by Jesus' instruction to "love your enemies."
The main thing to remember is that the Church can flourish and grow even if Western Civilization is moribund. When it comes to Muslims and ex-Muslims we do this by sharing the perfect and unconditional love of God with them.
Rev. Dr. Duane Alexander Miller lives in Madrid with Sharon and their three children where they teach and minister at the Anglican Cathedral of the Redeemer. He is adjunct faculty at the Protestant Faculty of Theology at Madrid (UEBE). You can contact Duane here.