Greetings from MattSTL


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Hey all,

I'm new to the board. I'm a Christian pastor that works with Muslim people as part of the work of the nonprofit my wife and I formed to help refugees and immigrants in St. Louis. As such, interfaith discussion is basically a part of my life. Also some of the best friends I have are atheists.

Not only is interfaith discussion important to me, KIND and RESPECTFUL interfaith discussion is important to me. Far too often one side beats up the other side without making any case for their own side. I prefer to just present what I believe and why and let that stand for itself. If people ask a question, I try my best to answer the question, and if I ask a question, it isn't to trap's because I legimately want to know.

Now of course, I believe what I believe, so I'm not of the "all paths lead to God" persuasion...but I think we can hold differing beliefs and still be decent to each other and pursue truth as brothers and sisters without devolving into flame wars.

So...nice to meet you!

UPDATE: One of the moderators asked me to mention our YouTube channel and the motivation that led to it. A friend of mine works with me and so we have a lot of Muslim friends, including several imams. We are forever hearing "why do you believe this" or "how does that make sense" or "why do you do that?" And we know there are resources out there that answer those questions, maybe better than we can...but FAR too often there is antagonism and negativity in response...even "friendly debates" are really just "that can't be true because, xyz." We thought it'd be better to just state our answers affirmatively rather than tear down those who disagree with us. So we created the channel to say "hey, we are two guys and this is what we believe and why" and to do our best to give regular guy answers to common questions in the spirit of friendship.

So Eric and Matt of the Book was formed. If you go to the Abrahamic Faiths forum on here you'll find a link.
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Welcome to the forums. I think you fill find a close approximation to the ideal of interfaith dialoge which you sketched out in your post, i.e. while it can get a bit heated around certain topics that are tough to reconcile across different traditions, this forum really stands out among similar ones, in a positive way, at least in my opinion.

So, it's really good to have you aboard, and feel free to explore other sub-forums apart from the Christian one. We all want to share and learn and figure out how the discourse between different world views can take place in as good a way as possible.
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