At 4:30 this morning, munching on one of
Ellie divine biscuits, I was reading on
page 145 of A History of God.
(Karen Armstrong never fails to inspire
me with her keen intellectual and spiritual
Came a big vision- a coming together of many
ideas that had been germinating for days or
months (this often happens about 4:30 A.M.).
I was Reading her 38 page chapter on The God of
Islam. She was talking about how eloquently
inspired Mohammed's recitation of his
half-complete Koran was until, like John Wesley's
sermons, people came to scoff, but fell on
These Bedouins were primitive people, polytheists,
bearing an uncanny resemblance to the children
of Israel when they were in Captivity in Egypt.
Christianity was about and in the air; Aden lived
in captivity to some 'Nestorians' just as it
later came into captivity to some English
The Bedouins resented this, just as the Arabs do
today. (Amazing how long the 'Christians' have
been up to those imperialistic tricks.) They had
a strong built in resistance to imperialistic
Christianity (as they do today).
Mohammed was a clear headed Bedouin; he admired
the faith of the Christians and Jews, and envied
it. Then he started having his visions. He was
illiterate, but he was given words of power that
provoked among his people a spiritual revolution.
Just like Moses; yes, yes; he delivered those
primitive, superstitious people into monotheism.
al Lah! A remarkable resemblance to the Jehovah
worshiped by the early Hebrews under the
inspiration given by God to Moses.
So what happened then? The same thing that
happened to their ancestors (and ours!): they
conquered. They soon had the mightiest empire
in the world, stretching from Cathay to Spain,
knocking at the doors of Europe, the western
stronghold of Christianity. Came the Crusades!
It struck me at 4:30 this morning that they had
reenacted the O.T.
In 1958 a wise old seminary professor, speaking
to proud young seminarians: "brothers" he said,
"why doesn't God give us more power? (pause)
because we arrogate it!"
That's the history of the world, dear friends;
God gives us power and we arrogate it; we
conquer; we exploit; we aggrandize ourselves
at the expense of the primitives; then we
suffer another Captivity.
Jesus came along; he understood that. He had
immense power, and he could have conquered the
world with the sword, like some of his latest
disciples mean to do. But he chose something