“According to legend, the defeat of the Turkish threat to Vienna in 1683 is unwittingly commemorated millions of times daily when Europeans eat their croissants, which bakers designed as triumphant souvenirs of the great victory over the Muslim crescent.” (Phillip Jenkins, God’s Continent, pg. 104)
So, shall we all enjoy our croissants, or shall we be concerned about the more subtle Islamization of Europe which seems to be occurring today? In Jenkins book the author goes to great lengths to point out that while demographics are tilting the European population toward Islam, that tilt will be mitigated by the effects of secularization. One of Jenkins many points is that over time secularization will erode the impact of the Muslim faith in the same way it has eroded the impact of the Christian faith.
In reality the spiritual challenges of Europe are littered with much more than the challenge of Islam. It seems that Europe is in the grips of a variety of “isms” – man centered systems that ultimately are doomed to fail. Humanism, materialism, post-modernism, occultism, and a spectrum of political and economic “isms” provide apparently meaningful and comfortable perspectives, otherwise people would be running from them. But in the end, we know that they provide only false hope at best – ultimately bitter tastes compared to the sweet aroma of Christ.
So let’s work together to lift up the wonderfully attractive life of Jesus. Let’s speak of it without apology and let’s live it out practically.
May I suggest that the next time you enjoy a croissant you do more than remember past victories over Islam? May I suggest that you let it’s wonderful lightness and sweet taste remind you of the light of Jesus and the wonderful taste of life with Him. Then stop and pray and ask God to break through the “isms of Europe” to reveal His truth to those who are hearing his Words through the life and lips of true followers of Jesus.