Is it possible that in 50 years Christianity will have adopted elements of Islam? Historically, it’s a possibility:
Ashur was the “city god of Ashur and national god of Assyria.” “Under Sargon’s successor Sennacherib, deliberate and thorough attempts were made to transfer to Ashur the primeval achievements of Marduk [a Babylonian god], as well as the whole ritual of the New Year festival of Babylon—attempts that clearly have their background in the political struggle going on at that time between Babylonia and Assyria. As a consequence, the image of Ashur seems to lack all real distinctiveness and contains little that is not implied in his position as the city god of a vigorous and warlike city that became the capital of an empire (EB).”
What caught my eye was the fact that a political struggle between two rival powers led to changes in religious beliefs.
It’s easy to extrapolate the current struggle between the West and Islam into a syncretism whereby Christianity adopts forms, rituals or beliefs of Islam.
Why Islam? Because it’s the only world religion with enough adherents and energy to force the change.
Why would Christianity adapt to Islam and not the other way around? Because Christianity, far more than Islam, has already shown a willingness to abandon fundamental doctrines on the Trinity, sin and salvation, to cite a few examples. Christianity regularly concedes to every scientific and sociological fad du jour. Broadly, the obvious trend is for Western culture to yield rather than to fight. (See Mark Steyn’s essays on the irony of “Je Suis Charlie!” free speech marches followed immediately by arrests–of writers who criticize Islam.) (e.g., http://www.steynonline.com/6799/the-sound-of-silence)
Perhaps I’m guilty of my own faddism: extrapolating too much from today’s newspaper headlines. Perhaps I’m reading far too much into a brief note about an ancient culture. I hope I’m wrong. Even atheists and agnostics should be sorry to see the source of Western civilization weakened.
Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ashur_god.jpg