Tuesday, May 24, 2011

RMS Students Studying Islam; Visit the Islamic Center of America Tomorrow

Today Linda and I travel four hours south to Payne Theological Seminary where I will attend a faculty meeting. I will present my Spiritual Formation class - what I do, my teaching method, how it's going, for review and assessment. Because PTS is an African-American seminary I integrate into my teachings the spiritual and prayer lives of Howard Thurman and Martin Luther King, Jr. I was introduced to Thurman in the early 1980s. To me, he is the African-American equaivalent of a Thomas Merton (without a monastery). Thurman and King were deep thinkers who had deep prayer lives and rich experiential encounters with God. I am influenced by them.

Linda and I will stay overnight in Dayton. I look forward to driving with her and being together.

On Wednesday we'll come back to Monroe. We'll be at Redeemer's building at 5 PM and meet with current RMS students and some of our RMS alumni. From there we will travel to The Islamic Center of America. Eide Alawan will greet and host us on a tour of the Center, the Mosque, and explain Islam to us. In my RMS Apologetics class we have been studying Islam. This is a great opportunity for us all, since the ICA is the beating heart of Islam in North America. Eide is a very gracious host, and the Center's Director of Interfaith Affairs. I spent three hours with him a year ago.

FYI - the Imam of the ICA is Imam Hassan Qazwini. I bought his biography at the ICA's bookstore a year ago - American Crescent: A Muslim Cleric on the Power of His Faith, the Struggle Against Prejudice, and the Future of Islam and America.

Afterwards we'll find a place for a snack and tak about our experience.