Friday, 29 June 2007

Inter-Faith Fair

Kate and I went along to the Guildhall for this (in wedding togs, as we had to nip out for such a celebration half way through) to wo/man a Rock Baptist Church stall with our church evangelist, Al. It was just as interesting and just as sad as it had been last year. [Though last year was notable for the amusing way that the earnest young men from the University Islamic Society crowded round the Ahhadiyyas' stall to argue, and possibly to prevent anyone else from talking to them...!?] So many little systems out there, so many of them based on 'my take on eastern mysticism'. But at least people were happy to discuss spiritual matters openly, even if in a different language. God does provide us with opportunities to speak of Christ, if we are alert and gracious to take them.

I learned quite a bit about "Christian Science", which seemed rather akin to neoplatonism infused with some alternative medicine and guru syndrome. And I had a long conversation with some well-funded Turkish muslims who were followers of Fetullah Gulen (a modern Sufi, with a fascinating place in that fascinating country). Their energetic, apparently peaceful, theism is undeniably appealing as an apologetic strategy, if you like that sort of thing. Quasi-universal, but still, it was strange that the only religious violence the guy I was talking to could remember was the Crusades...