Understanding Islam inspired participants to build bridges with Muslim neighbors


April 25, 2012

The April 14 Lavik Lectureship Understanding Islam: Breaking Down Walls and Building Bridges attracted over 150 people to the Trinity campus for a day of keynote speakers and workshops. The turnout was more than double the previous largest attendance for the lectureship, and many attendees had no prior connection to the college.

One of the presenters, Carl Medearis, is an international expert in the field of Arab-American and Muslim-Christian relations from his 12 years of experience in Lebanon. He told of stories of his time with leaders the Arab world and the amazing opportunities he had to share about the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.

The other presenter, Dr. Warren Larson, is the former Director of the Zwemer Center for Muslim Studies at Columbia International University Seminary and School of Missions, where he is now Scholar-in-Residence and teaching faculty in Islamic Studies. Larson lived and worked among Muslims in Pakistan for 23 years. His wisdom addresses the focal points of breaking down walls and building bridges with Muslim neighbors, coworkers and classmates.

One participant noted that the workshop was “very valuable for every day life and for understanding Muslim neighbors.” Another was grateful for the value put on being a good friend to Muslims, commenting, “I will open my home to more Muslims.”

Workshops ranged from understanding the five basic tenants of Islam to tips for how to build friendships with Muslims led by local leaders.

The Lavik Lectureship is an endowed speaker series sponsored by the Lavik Endowment for cross-cultural evangelism. Next year’s lectureship, “Good News in Postmodernity,” is scheduled for April 13, 2013.