The greatest conflict of the past century has not been between Communism and Democracy. It has not been between Liberalism and Conservatism. It has not been between Socialism and Capitalism. It has not been between Rich and Poor, Proletariat and Bourgeoisie, Industrialism and Agrarianism, Nationalism and Colonialism, Management and Labor, First World and Third World, East and West, North and South, Allied and Axis, or NATO and Soviet. All of these conflicts have been important, of course. All of them helped to define the modern era significantly. None of them should be in any way underestimated.
But while every one of these conflicts has pitted ardent foes against one another and as a result, has actually altered the course and character of recent history, none of them could be characterized as the most convulsive conflict of the past century. The most convulsive conflict of past century--and indeed, the most convulsive conflict of the past millennia--has undoubtedly been between Islam and Civilization; it has been between Islam and Freedom; it has been between Islam and Order; it has been between Islam and Progress; it has been between Islam and Hope. While every other conflict pitting men and nations against one another has inevitably waxed and waned, this furious struggle has remained all too constant. The tension between Islam and every aspiration and yearning of man intrudes on every issue, every discipline, every epoch, and every locale--a fact that is more evident today than perhaps ever before.
The recent hubbub over the Pope's much-maligned comments served only to underscore this reality once again.
Despite all this, most people today actually know very little about Islam. Certainly, most Christians know only the most rudimentary facts about this extraordinarily potent adversary, this extreme cultural threat to everything they hold to be good and right and true. The conflict between Islam and the rest of the world may dominate the headlines, define our foreign policy, and give new urgency to the day-to-day mission of our churches, but why that is the case is still not very well understood.
It is for that reason that my good friends at Vision Forum asked me to spend some time developing a Christian Worldview perspective of the conflict at their recent History of the World Mega-Conference. To purchase my Islam and the Modern World lecture--as well as the other audio recordings from the conference just visit the Vision Forum webiste.