Muslims Urge Christians to Engage in Dialogue in Kentucky

April 23, 2004

Source: The Presbyterian News Service

On April 23, 2004 The Presbyterian News Service reported, "A group of 15 Muslim scholars and preachers said during a visit here last week that mainstream Islam is widely misunderstood in the United States. A Christian theologian challenged the group to engage Christians in dialogue that does not avoid the hard questions posed by either faith. 'We need serious, ongoing, in-depth discussion with other faiths,' said the Rev. Eugene March, a retired professor of Hebrew Bible at Louisville Theological Seminary, speaking of U.S. Christians, and of U.S. Presbyterians in particular. 'It is easiest to begin with Muslims and Jews because we share so much in common. ... 'Jews and Muslims become uncomfortable when we Christians talk about the Trinity, and we understand why. But we can’t dodge questions because they’re difficult.' In such dialogue, according to March, the point is not for the two sides to reach agreement, but to deepen their understandings of their own faith and of others’ faiths. March’s opinions fell on receptive ears during the two-hour conversation involving Presbyterians and the Muslims, who are traveling across the United States on a grant from the U.S. State Department. They said they have two aims: To see how Muslims in the U.S. live, and to help Americans to a better understanding of mainstream Islam and its adherents."