I read the Muslim posts from time to time but find them tedious. In my experience, their intellectual engagement of Christianity is limited to criticisms of alleged contradictions in our Scriptures. These threads rarely explore the implications of our common heritage, tend to exhibit little capacity for self-criticism, and fend off (rather than honestly engage) Christian concerns. It’s disappointing, and ultimately, repelling.
Of course, we Catholics rarely critique Islam to any depth. We usually just find ourselves rolling our eyes at the latest proselytic Muslim post or news story involving Islam (an embarassing fact). Then again, most of us would never jump on a Muslim forum and criticize their “sacred text” (it strikes many of us as uncharitable, and opposed to the respect proper to interfaith dialogue). I would willingly invite a Muslim to explore my faith, and reexamine his faith in that light, but I couldn’t approach a Muslim with a pocket full of pre-packaged criticisms of his faith. “Do unto others…”?
Besides, Christian theology is complex and reflects an array of historical concerns; Islam’s polemic appears superficial beside it. We don’t consider a “prophecy” delivered six hundred years after Christ (about a thousand miles away) a more authoritative source of His teachings than the texts written a few years or decades after His death by those who learned at His feet. Groundless mention of a lost or corrupted “Injil” can only strike us as absurd and ahistorical, given the wealth of textual-critical evidence supporting apostolicity of New Testament theology. We Christians want to be taken seriously.
But we have our faults. Both sides need to establish a new depth of conversation.