The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Building bridges

Three kinds of Christian witness

A missionary to the Muslim community spoke at our church when I was a youngster. I particularly remember his observation that it was extremely difficult for a Christian to witness to Muslims because Jesus was quite familiar to them. Their tradition firmly placed Jesus as a rabbi and prophet—but certainly not the Son of God. Any effort to witness to Jesus as Lord and Savior was sure to raise an argument, often alienating the hearer and defeating the very purpose of one’s witness.

I thought of this incident when my congregation, First Lutheran in Norfolk, Va., hosted members of the local Muslim community at an Iftar Dinner. This is the name of the meal that breaks the dusk-to-dawn fast that Muslims practice each day during their holy month of Ramadan.

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