Tripoli, Libya – January 3-6, 2008
Theme: Human Nature and the Divine Presence
The second meeting of the Evangelical Christian-Muslim Dialogue convened in Tripoli during January 3-6, 2008, to engage in conversation on the themes of “Human Nature and the Divine Presence.” The dialogue, which followed a November, 2006 gathering in Chicago, Illinois, began with a welcome keynote address by Dr. Muhammad Ahmed Sharif, Secretary General of the World Islamic Call Society, which hosted the interfaith event.
Themes addressed in the three-day meeting included “Sin and Forgiveness in Islamic and Evangelical Christian Thought,” “Salvation and Atonement in Christianity and Islam,” “Religious Freedom and Persecution: Our Mutual Responsibilities,” “Women and the Family,” “Human Rights and the Dignity of the Children of Adam.” Other panels focused on citizenship and civic responsibility, racial justice, and the nature of worship in the two traditions.
Participants came from a variety of Evangelical Christian and Muslim institutions, including Evangelical colleges and universities such as Wheaton College, North Park University, Fuller Theological Seminary, and the Arab Baptist Seminary in Beirut, Lebanon, as well as national and international organizations such as World Vision International, Sojourners, Open Doors, Venture International, and Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding.
Muslim participants came from the American Islamic College, Temple University, Loyola University (Chicago), the Hartford Seminary Foundation, Lake Forest College (Illinois), and the University of Western Ontario (Canada).
Nationalities represented at the gathering included Canada, Holland, Great Britain, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, Syria, Turkey, and the United States.
Participants sought to honor three principles in the dialogue: 1.) frank and honest witness to their respective faiths, without compromise; 2.) a willingness to be challenged and transformed through conversation; and 3.) a readiness to change preconceived notions and reformulate ways of thinking.
Dr. Donald Wagner of North Park University in Chicago, who co-facilitated the gathering with Dr. Mahmoud Ayoub of Temple University, said the groups identified both “common ground and important differences,” and praised the participants for the “unusually candid, honest, and sensitive interchange of ideas and beliefs.” The meeting emphasized the importance and potential of intensified efforts to expand the dialogue between Muslim and Evangelical Christian leaders and institutions around the world.
The meeting called for ongoing dialogue venues including broadening participation through awareness raising conferences and additional seminars on specific theological and contemporary justice issues that face both communities. The conference endorsed the “A Common Word Between Us” document which was recently endorsed by over one thousand Muslim and Christian leaders. The conference concluded its deliberations with a strong message of gratitude to the World Islamic Call Society and for its hospitality and facilitating local arrangements in Tripoli and the Government of Libya in hosting the event.
Schedule of Events
Thursday: January 3, 2008
Keynote Address by Dr. Sharif (Secretary General of the World Islamic Call Society)
Friday: January 4
First Panel: “The Question of Identity: Who Are the Western Evangelical Christians and What Do They Believe? Who Are the Muslims and What Do They Believe?” Timothy Morgan /Ibrahim Abu-Rabi
Second Panel: “Nature of Humanity and the Divine: Sin and Forgiveness/Adam and Christ in Islamic and Evangelical Christian thought” Chawkat Moucarry/Munir El-Kassem
Tour of the WICS compound and Discussion of WICS Mission
Third Panel: “Salvation and Atonement/Faith and Action in Christianity and Islam” Martin Accad/Mahmoud Ayoub
Fourth Panel: “Worship/Ibadah and Service: Community responsibility” Stephen Sizer/Assad Busool
Saturday: January 5
Fifth Panel: “Citizenship and Civic Responsibility” Colin Chapman/Faisal Joseph
Sixth Panel: “Human Rights and the Dignity of the Children of Adam” Riad Jarjour/Mohammad Sammak
Seventh Panel: “Religious Freedom and Persecution: Our Mutual Responsibilities” Brother Andrew/ Marcia Hermansen
Eighth Panel: “Women and the Family” Ghada Talhami/Velda Love
Dinner, speaker Gary Burge “on the theme true charity; Jesus parable of the good Samaritan.”
Abdullah Antepli; Muslim discussant
Sunday, January 6
Christian worship and discussion
Ninth Panel: “Racial Justice and Our Collective Responsibility”
B. Herbert Martin/Fadel Abdallah
Tenth Panel and Discussion: “Where Do We Go From Here?”
M. Ayoub and D. Wagner, Facilitators
Tours to historical sites and sack lunch on busses
Dinner and entertainment: local Sufi music group
* * * * * *
Planning Committee: Ghada Talhami, Ibrahim Abu-Rabieh, Mahmoud Ayoub, Gary Burge, Don Wagner, Stephen Sizer
1. Andrew, Br., Open Doors, Andrew@opendoors.org (Holland)
2. Assad Busool, Dr., American Islamic College (Chicago, IL), email@example.com
3. Chawkat Moucarry, Dr., World Vision (UK), firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Colin Chapman, Dr., UK, email@example.com
5. Charles Peterson, Dr., North Park University (Chicago, IL) firstname.lastname@example.org
6. Don Wagner, Dr., North Park University (Chicago, IL), email@example.com
7. Fadel Abdallah, Dr., Johns Hopkins University, (Baltimore, MD), firstname.lastname@example.org
8. Gary Burge, Dr., Wheaton College (Chicago, IL), email@example.com
9. Ghada Talhami, Dr., Lake Forest College (Chicago, IL), Talhami@lfc.edu
10 Glen Stassen, Dr., Fuller Theological Seminary (Pasadena, CA), firstname.lastname@example.org
11. Ibrahim Abu-Rabi, Dr., Hartford Seminary Foundation/Muslim World (Hartford, CT), email@example.com
12. Jim Rice or Jim Wallis, Sojourners Magazine (Washington, DC), firstname.lastname@example.org
13. Joseph Jones, Dr., Provost, North Park University (Chicago, IL), email@example.com
14. Mahmoud Ayoub, Dr. Temple University (Philadelphia), firstname.lastname@example.org
15. Marcia Hermansen, Dr., Loyola University (Chicago, IL), email@example.com
16. Martin Accad, Dr., Fuller Seminary, firstname.lastname@example.org
17. Munir El-Kassem, Dr., University of Western Ontario/Islamic Center of London, Ontario, Canada, email@example.com
19. Riadjarjour, Dr., firstname.lastname@example.org
20. Stephen Sizer, Dr., Christ Church (Virginia Water, UK), Stephen.email@example.com
21. Timothy Morgan, Mr., Christianity Today Magazine, firstname.lastname@example.org
22. Tom Verde, Journalist (Hartford CT), email@example.com
23. Tuba Nur, firstname.lastname@example.org
24. Fuad Gahwahji, email@example.com