11/10/11 Abdul, Calvin late 20's
After being prayed for and sent out by our Thursday night men's Bible study group, Bob and I headed for a nearby Starbucks where we met two 20-something African -American men who were doing some work on a laptop. Their names were Abdul and Calvin and they are involved in the Hip-Hop fashion and recording industries and are completing work on a rap CD. Though they had never talked to each other about their beliefs, they were very open to talking to us when we simply asked. Abdul told about his childhood conversion to the Nation of Islam, (led by Louis Farrakhan here in Chicago) due to his father's influence (a former Black Panther) and in spite of his mother's Baptist heritage. He soon began talking about his disbelief in Jesus' divine nature, a major source of disagreement between Christians and Muslims. We let him talk, asking more about his beliefs and Islam in general from the point of view of an insider. I think our genuine interest and active listening helped win his trust, so after 15 or 20 minutes I began to ask a line of questions not to directly convince Abdul of Jesus' claims to divinity but to convince him of his need for such a savior. We talked about the nature of his sin, God's infinite holiness and His love not only for man but His love for justice; the demands of His justice and the forgiveness found in Jesus. We talked priimarliy with Abdul but eventually Calvin, who said his father is a pastor, had to jump in with his doubts and some thoughts and questions of his own about our freewill and predestination. It made for a very interesting discussion and I could see other people at Starbucks take notice. After an hour or so we knew we needed to get back to our Bible study group, so we prayed with Abdul and Calvin, that God would lead all four of us into His truth. This seemed especially meaningful to them and they were very thankful for the conversation.