London Journal – Sunday, June 22

In the preceding post I told about our visit to London’s Central Mosque.

Our afternoon and evening were occupied with our usual Sunday routine: training in apologetics and polemics at a certain church; going to Speakers’ Corner; then conversation, fellowship and prayer at a restaurant.

The ministry at Speakers’ Corner felt quite different today…

…in that we had a very large group of Christians in the crowd, mostly because a group of students from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, joined us. This was their first time at Speakers’ Corner. Some of them were overwhelmed and hardly knew what to make of it; others entered vigorously into meaningful conversations with our distant cousins.

As you perhaps know, at the Corner, Mr. Debate sometimes gives a speech, but his preferred approach is to have an informal debate with a distant cousin. Today he had a debate with a Muslim on the subject “Which Scripture is authoritative, the Bible or the Quran?” Mr. D had some new material about the formation of the Quran, material discovered from the research that he and others have been doing, The Muslim speaker quoted the Christian scholar Bruce Metzger on the errors found in some of the Greek manuscripts, but he failed to quote Metzger’s copnclusion that 99.9 percent of the NT text is totally valid.

It was obvious to all us Christians that if you hope to debate a person of another religion at the Corner, you had better know your material well, be able to think on your feet, and not be distracted by hecklers, who will challenge and interrupt you constantly. Do any of you feel called to this ministry?! Good, we can provide the training, ground support and prayer support to back you up.

One positive benefit of today’s larger group was that when Mr. Debate called for a response from the crowd or for a cheer for Jesus, the Christians were louder than the cousins, whereas on other Sundays the reverse is true. Mr. D was encouraged and energized by this Christian support, as were all of us.

I was assigned to record the entire debate on video. I think it will appear on Mr. D’s YouTube entries.

For our fellowship we went to a Lebanese restaurant on Edgware Road, which is the location for many Arab people. At the sidewalk restaurants you see men and women, but mostly men, enjoying the hookah, a multi-stem water pipe used for smoking a mixture of tobacco and fruity herbal essences. The fragrance as you pass by is pleasant, but those in our group who have tried hookah smoking said the taste is very strong and not all to their liking.

Somehow a leader from Point Loma Nazarene University connected with our Speakers’ Corner group and joined us for the fellowship afterwards. I thoroughly enjoyed our conversations. Because the Nazarene Church is part of the holiness tradition, and because he married a Mennonite woman, he instantly understood who the BIC are, which is rare in this city of 11 million people.

Tomorrow we fly home, so this ends our London Journal for now. We have so much to process and to build on for our next trip here. Thanks for joining us on this journey. Peace and joy to all of you.

One Response

  1. Dear Teacher; I will pray for safe travel and
    good health. Godspeed to you.

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