Our vision is to see Muslim & Christian relationships transformed through shared academic study and by following the example of Jesus Christ.
We welcome all who are committed to serious study, to seeking for truth, and to respecting all human beings. We recognise that different people have different motivations for study, and that different people will apply what they learn in different ways and in different contexts.
The sponsoring board of CMCS Houston is motivated by a desire to glorify Jesus Christ and to be obedient to God. They believe that there will be no transformation of relationships without the transformation of human hearts and minds that can be accomplished through the Holy Spirit.
Both Muslims and Christians find their authoritative motivation and direction through Scripture. While there are many significant differences, both the Qur'an and the Bible declare that human beings are created by one God, and that all are answerable to Him as judge. Both call their readers to learn, to think rightly, and to follow the truth when they find it. Below are two verses which have respectively motivated Christian and Muslim scholars working together on research in our sister center in Oxford.
Don't let yourselves be squeezed into the shape dictated by the present age. Instead, be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you can work out what God's will is, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
(Romans 12: 2, trans. NT Wright)
You who believe, be steadfast in your devotion to God and bear witness impartially: do not let hatred of others lead you away from justice, but adhere to justice, for that is close awareness of God. Be mindful of God, for God is well aware of all that you do.
(Surah 5:8, trans A. S, Haleem)
Yahweh invites his rebellious people, "Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord" (Isaiah 1:18). Believing that God has spoken (Isaiah 1:2), we who follow him accept his invitation to dialogue with him on his terms. CMCS Houston is one of those rare places where we who follow Jesus can invite our Muslim friends and neighbors to look over our shoulders as we enter into the fruitful work of careful listening to God's voice. Such neighbors and friends also graciously allow us watch them at work with their sacred texts. We invite you to benefit from engaging with us in this humble interaction that is at once both uncompromising and respectful.
Rev Dr Greg Scharf, Bridge Trust USA board member, professor emeritus, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School