Our postmodern world has many allowances. Free thinking individuals have been set free from the constraints of rationality. No longer does one have to have consistency or coherence in their beliefs or practice. Cognitive dissonance is a thing of the past being such that cognition need not create problems with regards to your faith or practice. Syncretism is in. You can take “the best of” from the various belief systems at the smörgÃ¥sbord of reality.

“I am both Muslim and Christian.” These are the words of Rev. Ann Holmes Redding, Episcopal priest and former director of faith formation at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral. Being emotionally struck by a Muslim prayer 15 months ago, Redding converte . . . no, Redding synchronized her Christian faith with her newly found Muslim faith. Indeed, there is no need for conversion anymore when one can simply add one faith to another.

Hanging in her car, Redding has a cross. Beside this cross, she has a leather heart with the Arabic symbol for Allah marked on it. “For me, that symbolizes who I am,” Redding said. “I look through Jesus and I see Allah.”

The article that broke this story says that both Muslim and Christian scholars are mixed concerning this issue. Some call her breakthrough a bridge. Others say they will have to look into this further. Few are saying that this is not possible. Redding, who graduated from Brown University, earned her master’s degrees from two seminaries and received her Ph.D. in New Testament from Union Theological Seminary in New York City, believes that the two religions are compatible. “I am both Muslim and Christian, just like I’m both an American of African descent and a woman. I’m 100 percent both” says Redding. “At the most basic level, I understand the two religions to be compatible. That’s all I need.”

Forget the fact that Muslims and Christians have mutually exclusive beliefs that have defined them historically (does history matter?), forget the fact that they have two distinct definitions of God, forget the fact that they use two different and doctrinally exclusive books that define their religion, forget the fact that Christianity has redemption based on grace and Islam’s is based upon submission, and most importantly, forget the fact that when confronted by Christ’s question “Who do you say that I am?” Muslims answer “A great prophet who was not God” and Christians answer “the eternal God-man who created all things.” Forget all of these issues and many more and then you can join Redding. If you were to alleviate yourselves of the problem of rationality, then you can say with Redding, “It wasn’t about intellect. All I know is the calling of my heart to Islam was very much something about my identity and who I am supposed to be.”

Such is the opportunities of the postmodern world. It’s not about intellect. It’s about what feels right. It’s about free thinking. It’s about breaking free from the former constraints of the mind, searching for something deeper. It’s about the heart; the heart that calls one to its hopes without consulting the mind; the heart whose cognition regards no source, is the ultimate guide.

What do you think? . . . I mean feel?

Such are the opportunities of our postmodern world. 

C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Find him on Patreon Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Join his Patreon and support his ministry

    13 replies to "I am Christian and Muslim"

    • Chad Winters

      And people say the slippery slope argument isn’t fair. It’s been amazing to watch the episopals slide down an ever steeper slope. I’m pretty sure they’re off the map now….

    • Carrie Hunter

      Pluralism. 🙁

    • jntowers

      If she has such a clear understanding (big assumption there) of being able to dually participate in Christianity and Islam, maybe she can explain the paradigm of Christ being 100% God and 100% man to her muslim (and Christian for that matter) friends? Or the nature of the Trinity? Of course she conveniently doesn’t believe in those. I have to wonder what the high-ups in Islam think of this – the true followers can’t possibly like this.

      Here’s another one – the article states:

      “She considers Jesus her savior. At times of despair, because she knows Jesus suffered and overcame suffering, “he has connected me with God,” she said.”

      If she’s trusting in Christ alone for her salvation, is that essential enough that she could truly be saved?? Hmm!

    • vangelicmonk

      It seems if one can ignore the core doctrines of a faith at their basic level,
      then you are not revering a faith, you are making a mockery of it. You would think this
      is more offensive than any painting of Mohammed could ever bring.

      At least orthodox Christians (some) respect Islam on a basic level in allowing them
      and their writings define themselves, rather than projecting something
      else upon it.

      Thank God that for orthodox Christians today it takes much more for us
      to be offended. Nevertheless, it is one more example of why the Episcopal
      Church (of which I was baby baptised in) should seperate from the more
      orthodox Anglican Communion.

    • Eriol

      I don’t think we should be surprised by such things: is this not simply another application of elevating one’s self to the position of God? Mankind now rejects His paradigm, His reality, His logic and substitutes its own anti-paradigm, non-reality, and a-logic.

      There is no absolute in our world in these days, and everyone does what it right in their own eyes. Each step on the path brings us closer to solipsism and nihilism. The light seems to be fading; is there an approaching moral, intellectual, and psychological darkness?

    • kolabok21

      SAD, very sad indeed. sort of like when Jesus told his disciples, you still don’t get it.
      It would not be to forgone of conclusion that we (people, no humanity) has just about used up all creatvity in defining God.
      Seems time is drawing to an end.
      What next?
      Here’s a thought, NASA has a another lander(attempt) to land a probe on Mars next May I believe, to search for life in the soil ( A three legged scientist).
      Why if they do discover life, how will that effect religion?
      Will we combine into something else to realign with assumptions?
      Will religion then include a cosmic element?
      I feel like the statue of the three monkeys, see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil, whoops that is an idol!!!

    • Jeff

      As always, scripture sums it up best.

      The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it? – Jeremiah 17:9

      everyone did what was right in his own eyes – Judges 21:25

    • Preacher Jack

      Two comments on this.

      The first one is Syncronizing is an age old problem. Isreal kept trying to syncronize their beliefs with the ones of the pagan nations and we can see from scripture how that worked for them. I am jogging my memory banks because it has been sometime since my Western Civilization class back in college but, isn’t Islam a syncronization of both Judism and Christianity?

      My second comment is that I am also not suprised by a move like this. When she holds an office that scripture says she is not to hold it is not outside the relam of possibility that she would futher go out with the twising and perverting of the truth.

    • Threepwood

      They just put up a Bahai billboard out on our highway. I’m having eerie flashbacks.

    • C Michael Patton

      lol. Do you expect different.

    • […] provides living proof that spiritual blindness and irrationality are closely aligned.  As blogger Michael Patton points out:   Forget the fact that Muslims and Christians have mutually exclusive beliefs that have […]

    • keri

      This is a clear example of what is going on in the world concerning beliefs.
      I read a book a while back and I am sorry but I have since passed it on and do not recall the title. I think It was written by Josh McDowell(?)
      In this book he told of an event where all types of faiths were called together to “tolerate” each others beliefs for the sake of peace. It was in the wake of 911. Of course he was not advocating it, just pointing out the disgrace. I find it hard to believe that anyone could think, for example, that they could be Muslem and Christian at the same time. Where do such ideas come from???????
      I know that there is one common belief. We are all Abrahams offspring. But from which child? This is the agruement going on still today and I think it is one of the causes of the trouble in “the Promised land”. This fight is real the two sides will never meld and Christ will put an end to it all when He returns.

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