Islam And Postmodern Technology Some Reflections

Apr 23rd, 2011 | By | Category: Culture & Wordview
  • Social networks have provided one of the several sources of energy for the pro-democracy movements in the Middle East.  Information technology is changing the global balance of power.  ?The Facebook Generation? helped significantly to bring down Hosni Mubarak of Egypt.  One of the heroes of this same revolution is the young Google executive, Wael Ghonim.  However, as Niall Ferguson demonstrates, information technology is also providing opportunities for the enemies of freedom.  How did the people of Afghanistan hear about the burning of the Qur?an by that strange pastor from Florida?  The Internet!  Also, consider that Facebook recently took down a page called ?The Third Intifada,? which proclaimed that ?Judgment Day will be brought upon us only once the Muslims have killed all of the Jews.?  It had 350,000 hits.  One can now download encryption software, pictures and 3GP-format video clips with titles like ?A Martyr Eulogizing Another Martyr? by Somali-based mujahedeen.  There is also the online magazine, Inspire, published by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, aimed at inspiring jihadists in the West.  It contains bomb-making instructions and publishes lists of people already on fatwah lists, which means they can be killed with the blessing of Allah.  Islamic jihadists have seen the Arab Spring as a golden opportunity.  The 29 March issue of Inspire records:  ?The Revolutions that are shaking the thrones of dictators are good for the Muslims, good for the mujahedeen, and bad for the imperialists of the West and their henchman in the Muslim world.?  Fatwahs are now posted on Facebook, the call to jihad is now on Twitter and select passages from the Qur?an are now available via email.  The radical Islamists may want a 7th century caliphate restored, but they are using the technology of the 21st century to get it.
  • Second, consider the theology of Islam versus the theology of biblical Christianity.  I am convinced that Islam is so appealing to so many because it offers clear, black-and-white answers.  It is rigid, structured and a worldview that has very little tension.  Allah is strictly and rigidly one God.  There is no Trinity and there is no substitutionary death of the Savior.  Genuine, biblical Christianity recognizes the reality of suffering, pain, death and evil.  But it offers an answer.  Suffering is real but our God understands our suffering.  For that reason, He sent His Son, Jesus.  The second person of the Trinity added to His deity humanity and came to earth.  His express purpose for the incarnation was to become a victim of monstrous evil so that He could eradicate evil from the planet.  He asks us to trust Him explicitly when things do not make sense.  He asks us to trust Him when the tensions between His sovereignty and our free-will responsibility seem to conflict.  He asks us to accept that in a fallen world there are not always neat answers to complex questions.  Just because someone is blind does not mean that his personal sin or that of his parents caused the blindness (see John 10).  There is theological stress and theological tension in biblical Christianity.  But at the same time there is immense strength and fortitude in our faith.  At Easter we celebrate the death, burial and resurrection of our Savior.  He loved us so much that He (the Godman) died?became a victim of torture, loneliness, unimaginable suffering, and a horrific death?for us.  As rebels we deserve hell, but we instead receive eternal life and the new heaven and new earth?because our God loves us!  No other worldview and no other world religion offer such hope.  The complicated, difficult, often tension-filled theology of Christianity has the answer and it is found in the cross and in the empty tomb.  That is what Easter is all about.  And it is imperative to remember that in Islam there is no Easter.

See Ferguson?s essay in Newsweek (10 April 2011) and Marvin Olasky in World (23 April 2011), p. 84. PDF

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