Patriarch responds to Muslim theologians

You may remember that some months ago 138 Muslim scholars wrote an open letter to various Christian teachers and leaders of major Christian Churches including the pope, the major Orthodox Patriarchs, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the heads of Lutheran and Methodist world-communions, and others asking for dialogue and a warming of relationships between the world's largest two religions.

Recently I read a response from Patriarch Alexy II, of the Russian Orthodox Church, that welcomes such a dialogue, while being careful to stress the need to guard the total theological integrity of both faiths. As an example, his letter includes a wonderful description of the character of God, working mostly from 1 John - explaining what we mean when we say that "God is love" and why this necessitates our belief in the Trinity, and how it also finds ultimate expression in our belief in the atoning death of Christ on the cross (both of which are, of course, explicitly rejected in the Koran). It's a wonderful expression of some of the foundation stones of classical Christian faith. I recommend it!

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