We like pleasant conversations. We need hard conversations. Rarely do we find pleasant and hard in the same conversation.
Out of Context is one such exchange. An extended interview of Shaykh Omar Suleiman by Christian pastor Mike Baughman, this video is at once challenging and reassuring.
Both men are reflective, articulate and unafraid of disturbing the comfort between them. Baughman asks tough questions, one after another. Suleiman draws on his vast knowledge of Islamic history and theology to give answers that are direct and clear. We know these are questions he's fielded hundreds of times, yet he gives no signs of impatience.
Almost as compelling as the wisdom in Suleiman’s answers is the kindness in his eyes. He is nuanced, thorough, and disarmingly funny. But his charm doesn’t tempt Baughman to lob only softballs. These are penetrating, important questions. The interview feels like a conversation between friends with the courage to go deep.
Broken into brief segments of five to ten minutes, these clips are a perfect resource for individuals or groups wanting to learn more about Islam. Those with some previous knowledge are sure to learn something new, while newbies can watch one or two segments and find a solid start to a new understanding. Watch with a friend and start your own deep conversation. Click here to start.
The power of this video goes beyond a Memphis congregation's decision to welcome some new neighbors. The real story lies in the change of heart needed to take that generous step.
Upon hearing about plans for an Islamic center to be built across the street from their church, welcome was not Heartsong's first instinct. Pastor Steve Stone and his congregation's ability to open their arms rested in the deep courage they first showed in examining the fear in their own hearts.
When we search for God's way through the untrimmed shrubbery of our lives, we're often led down surprising paths. May we be blessed with companions as wise and brave as the members of Heartsong Church.