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The robot that closed an airport

Dr. Jim Denison is a cultural apologist who helps people respond biblically and redemptively to the vital issues of our day. He is also the co-founder and Chief Vision Officer of the Denison Forum, a Dallas-based nonprofit that comments on current issues through a biblical lens.

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Southwest Airlines plane sitting at a gate in the west concourse of Love Field in Dallas, TX (Credit: LoneStarMike via commons.wikimedia.org)

Did you hear about the robot that closed our airport in Dallas?  Yesterday afternoon, a Southwest Airlines jet bound for Amarillo was found to have a “robotic device” near the cockpit.  Thirteen gates at Dallas Love Field were evacuated and Flight 157 was delayed for three hours as officials investigated.  The suspicious device turned out to be a student’s science project that was accidentally left on the plane.  Eleven passengers linked to the robot were detailed; 13 flights were affected.

I’m old enough to remember when a science project wouldn’t create such a stir, but these are uncertain times.  As a student of Islam for many years, I would never have imagined a day when the Muslim Brotherhood would be America’s best hope for Egypt.  But according to this morning’s New York Times, that’s where we are.

Hazem Salah Abu Ismail is currently the leading candidate for Egypt’s presidency.  He is an Islamist who wants to abolish his country’s treaty with Israel and follow Iran’s lead in rejecting the West.  So the Brotherhood has broken its pledge not to nominate a candidate for the office.  When the group, long considered a terrorist organization, announced that they will nominate Khairat el-Shater for president, our State Department was “untroubled and even optimistic,” according to the Times.  He may be the best alternative to an even more radical Egypt.

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{/source}As many in the Muslim world turn to radical Islam for answers, many others are turning to Jesus.  Last weekend, I shared the platform at a conference on radical Islam with Tom Doyle, longtime missionary to the Middle East.  Tom is an amazing servant of our Lord.  He loves Muslims and Jews, and has given his life to help them find Jesus.  Tom told us that more Muslims have come to Christ in the last 15 years than in the previous 15 centuries, many of them through dreams and visions of Jesus.

And he made this very insightful observation: we have seen the rise of radicals in Islam just as this spiritual awakening began in the Muslim world.  Could this be Satan’s response to what the Spirit is doing?  We in America could react to jihadism by hating Muslims, by refusing to pray for them or take the gospel to them, at the very moment in history when millions of them are more open to Jesus than ever before.

We must not fall into Satan’s trap.  On Holy Monday, Jesus took the gospel to the very people who opposed his Kingdom.  He cleansed the Temple of its corrupt moneychangers, then began teaching in its precincts (Matthew 21:12-13).  As he shared God’s word with the crowds, a group of Greeks responded.  They were considered pagans by the Jewish people, but not by our Lord.  When they asked to see Jesus, he saw in their faith the advance of his Kingdom (John 12:20-23).

Would he see the response of Muslims to the gospel in the same way?  I have prayed this morning for 100 million Muslims to come to Christ this year.  Will you join me?