The seventh and final point, the most subtle and elusive one, concerns that silent and often unnoticed partner in Christian-Islamic dialogue, namely, modernism and, in increasingly important ways, post-modernism, phenomena which have influenced and continue to influence Christianity much more than Islam… It is often forgotten that the Christian position is not one of a St. Augustine or St. Bernard or even Martin Luther or John Wesley. Many ideas and practices which are now defended as Christian are the result of antireligious and secularist forces of modernism before which certain Christian thinkers have retreated or which they have joined during the past few centuries. There is in fact no serious dialogue possible without taking this fact into account.
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Originally published in Christian-Muslim Encounters, University of Florida, 1995.