Its the Friday night session. Pastor Bob Roberts, our generous host of the Global Faith Forum, is telling stories about traveling across Afghanistan and talking about what it means to be “multi-faith”, seeking reconciliation, justice and holding to our belief systems. “A man’s got to own his mind!”
He is introducing his friends who are the keynote speakers here tonight at Northwood Church.
John Esposito is up first. Big round of applause. He is the professor of Islamic Studies at Georgetown Uni. and Editor-in-Chief of The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World. He says he is ticked because we have great music and they borrowed your old Wesley hymns. Enjoyed listening to pastors today but suggests we Christians deal with fears not by discussing theology but through establishing relationships. We should hold on to our faith but recognise we have a dark side and do not have a lockdown on truth. We should talk more about Jesus of the gospels and less about our human constructs of doctrines.
HRH Prince Turki-Al Faisal, youngest son of the late King Faisal, former ambassador of Saudi Arabia to UK, Ireland and a few year later, to the US. [Interviewed by Wolf Blitzer here in 2005]Opens with a traditional Muslim prayer and explains it. He is making some jokes and everyone is laughing along with him.
He reads from Koran regarding Jesus and Mary. He is reading about the chosing of Abraham and the birth of Jesus. He has not said where in the Koran but it sounds like The Family of Imran that I read in the Koran earlier in the year. Ok – He is reading from other passages also including The Chapter of Mary which he calls “his favorite.” He was given ten minutes but he says he will take 20. Why not? He is a Prince. Fair enough. Big applause. He is liked here.
Coming up next: H.E. LE CONG PHUNG, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam to the United States of America. But unfortunately, my computer is running out of battery power so I might have to post this now and add to it later.