Sufism – Origin and History (Part 2)

2014-08-24-22-53-36-222038528Prophet Mohammed seems to be the first Sufi, communing directly with Allah. The early followers who were with him received revelations from God directly through them and formed the early Sufi school. The Hadith talks about ‘Ihsan’ or worship as one of the aspects of Islam and the Quran also talks about the purpose of God creating humans and Jinns is so that they may worship him.“I created the Jinns and humankind only that they may worship me.” Quran 51:56“He (the inquirer) said: You have told the truth. He again said: Inform me about Ihsan. The Prophet replied; That you worship Allah as if you are seeing him, for though you don’t see him, verily he sees you” – Hadith, Sahi Muslim Book 1:1

Early Sufism started as brotherhoods or tariqas. Over the time as it progressed into the middle ages, it developed a distinct feature of having a ‘Shayk’ or a guru who as a head of a Sufi school taught disciples to live out Islam. Sufism came to be identified with these tariqas and the ‘shayk’ who headed these had distinctive practices which came to define them and give them identity.Sufism is the branch of Islam which could accomodate local Islamic practices and cultural variations and provide people a culturally relevant local variant of Islam. Sufism was also very missional and brought a lot of people in Asia into the fold of Islam. [Read more...]

It’s Evidential

A review of Discovering Intelligent Design: A Journey into the Scientific Evidence
by Gary Kemper, Hallie Kemper, and Casey Luskin

DiscoveringIDCoverGraphic (4)When Hallie Kemper, a homeschool educator and science teacher, set out to locate a curriculum for intelligent design (ID), she couldn’t find one that met her needs. So she and her husband Gary, a former aerospace scientist and ID skeptic who had become a supporter after discovering academic and media misinformation on the subject, wrote one. Then they teamed up with Casey Luskin, cofounder of the Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness (IDEA) Center, to produce Discovering Intelligent Design: A Journey into the Scientific Evidence (“DID”) to fill the void in the curriculum market.  [Read more...]

Initial Thoughts: Copan & Litwak’s “The Gospel in the Marketplace of Ideas”

UnknownThe CAA is participating in Apologetics 315′s weekly Read Along program. We are reading “The Gospel in the Marketplace of Ideas: Paul’s Mars Hill Experience for Our Pluralistic World” by Paul Copan and Kenneth D. Litwak.

See the first announcement on the CAA Facebook page.

These are my initial thoughts:

This “context” topic has come up recently in my own circle of apologetics buddies, in terms of the tension between speaking German (“Christianese”) to someone who speaks Chinese on one extreme, and whispering sweet nothings to tickle the ears of the seeker on the other extreme.

We need to communicate the Gospel in a meaningful way without:

  • coming across as a resounding gong or clanging cymbal, or
  • watering it down

How do we do that?

This book zeroes in on Paul’s Mars Hill address in Athens, recorded in Acts–and I’m predicting that I’ve read something similar in Don Richardson’s “Eternity in their Hearts”–but Richardson covered many different cultures. I’m looking forward to a more in-depth treatment.

[Read more...]

Sufism – Mystical Islam (Part 1)

INTRODUCTION

sufi

 

 

 

Sufism is the mystical or esoteric school of thought in Islam. The Arabic word for Sufism is ‘tasawuff’. A practitioner of Sufism is called a Sufi or a Dervish. The following quotations reveal the various understandings of Sufism. [Read more...]

HBO’s True Detective: Touching the Darkness

“Matthew Coniglio’s Georgia home held a trove of child pornography, more than 50,000 images and videos stored true-detective-poster-540x390on laptops, external hard drives and thumb drives. Among the stash, hidden in a bedside table turned around to conceal the doors, authorities made an even more horrifying discovery: 56 8-millimeter cassette tapes they say show him raping and molesting girls. All were unconscious, apparently drugged, FBI Special Agent William Kirkconnell, who viewed the tapes, told The Associated Press. Some were so incapacitated they were snoring. The camera was always turned off before they awoke.”  - “Stash of child porn belonging to alleged Georgia pedophile reveals more victims,” New York Daily News

I read this two days after I finished watching Season One of the immensely popular True Detective (it broke HBO’s previous rating record, and HBO GO crashed when when too many users logged in to use the streaming service). If you’ve seen the show, this news story sounds eerily familiar. There are monsters among us. It’s not a pleasant thought. If you are looking for a fictional story to help you come to grips with that kind of horror in the world around us, True Detective will do just that. [Read more...]