The Challenge to Biblical Christians of the Islamic Theology of Women -- By: Anonymous
PP 23:1 (Spring 2008) p. 13
The Challenge to Biblical Christians of the
Islamic Theology of Women
The author, who was born in an Islamic country, is currently a scholar residing in Australia.
Today, in the interest of global peace, various post-Christian popular cultures (e.g., in Africa, Great Britain, the United States, etc.) have been stressing that Christians, Muslims, and Jews are all children of Abraham, worshipping the same God, and thereby seeking to unify the thinking of all three faiths. But do Christian pastors really want to function with an Islamic mindset? Around the world, some pastors are already puzzled as to what policy to have in their congregations with respect to the role of women in various possible ministry tasks. Therefore, it may be helpful to see where accepting such a way of thinking may take us and our congregations in the development of identity, since each person’s self-perceived identity is the most significant factor in (a) self-understanding, (b) the prioritizing of personal goals, and (c) the establishment of one’s ethical stance.
It is a challenge to all in leadership roles to understand the theological input to a Muslim’s personal identity and to recognize the enormous difference between this and the Christian theological input to a Christian’s identity. With this understanding, we will have a more thorough basis for interpreting Muslim activities in our community and for reaching Muslims with the wonders of the Christian gospel as well as in developing appropriate public policy.
Personal identity develops in a person over the years of growing up to adulthood, but continues to be modified and expanded throughout adult life. Among the various influences to this development are one’s gender, personal appearance (as amplified by comments from significant others and standards set by the media), family relationships, worldview (which includes religion, values, political views, and personal philosophy), social class and/or ethnicity (more obviously so when there are others around who are of a different social class or ethnicity), nationality, and group membership.
One’s identity is also influenced by the image that others help create for the self and is often called the “looking glass self.”1 Each person needs to establish a balance between self-perceived identity and the self-image reflected by the community. A strong and demanding community can force one to adopt some elements of identity so as to maintain a harmonious (and in some situations a favorable) acceptance by the community that is significant to the individual. In some settings, individuals seek to establish an identity that is in contrast to their paren...
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