Faith Matters

Is there only one way?

Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali will be speaking on 'Only one way?' - Confidence in the unique Christ in our multi-cultural, multi-faith world' in Belfast this month

THE uniqueness of Christ as Lord and Saviour is increasingly contested in a multi-cultural, multi-faith world - so where does that leave Christianity, with its definitive claims such as Jesus being "the way, the truth and the life"?

This challenging subject will be tackled at a lecture in Belfast later this month by a Church of England bishop who grew up in a Muslim home.

Michael Nazir-Ali, the former Bishop of Rochester, is now president of an organisation called Oxtrad - the Oxford Centre for Training, Research, Advocacy and Dialogue.

He will be giving the Clive West Memorial Trust Annual Lecture at All Saints' Church on University Street on February 20.

The trust was launched in 2016 in memory of the Rev Clive West, a renowned Church of Ireland preacher and pastor, to support training for ministry in Ireland.

"Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali is an Anglican Christian leader known and respected the world over," said the Rev Trevor Johnston, rector of All Saints' Church and chairman of the Clive West Memorial Trust.

"His writing, speaking and leadership are of considerable significance, especially for those living in non-Christian cultures or with an aggressive secularism nearby, which seeks to suppress Christian faith and expression.

"Having grown up in an Islamic home and converted to Christ, Bishop Nazir-Ali knows well the insight that Christ is the only Saviour for mankind and the implications that this has for world mission, Christian confidence and faithful, confessional Anglicanism.

"We are privileged and delighted to have him speak on a question which faces all Christians in both discipleship and mission: is Jesus Christ, God?"

Oxtrad describes its role as being "to prepare Christians for ministry in situations where the Church is under pressure and in danger of persecution".

"We aim to face, rather than avoid, the hard issues confronting all parties, and to equip the Church to engage in a dialogue with Islam and with the authorities, which is biblical, Christ-centred and faithful - as well as sensitive and respectful," it says.

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