When it comes to the relationship status between American Christians and Muslims, it’s complicated. But that relational gap is a chasm that Dallas pastor Bob Roberts has committed to bridging. For years, Roberts, who leads Northwood Church, has led pastor-iman retreats, taken local clerics on hunting trips, and built relationships with Saudi royalty, even in the face of opposition in his own community.
“Sadly, one evangelical pastor gets up in the pulpit—he has a pretty big audience—and yells ‘Muhammed was a pedophile,’” said Roberts. “Boy, that’s really going to make Muslims want to follow Jesus. … It may be good for his politics, but it’s lousy for someone who wants people to be open about the Jesus of the New Testament.”
Roberts has never been quiet about his faith. He has shared about Jesus on stage an annual gathering on Islam before thousands of young people, or what he jokingly calls the “Muslim Passion Conference,” and discussed it during iftar gatherings during Ramadan. He also asks Muslims plenty of questions about their own faith.
“Sometimes we have to understand that witnessing is listening as much as it is talking,” said Roberts.
Roberts joined assistant editor Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss what it looks like for evangelicals to love their Muslim neighbors well, how Americans can better educate themselves about Islam, and the opportunity of Ramadan.