Why I’m no longer a Christian?
Dr Jerald Dirks is our guest on today’s show, Dr. Dirks received his Bachelor of Arts (philosophy) from Harvard College in 1971, his Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School in 1974, his Master of Arts (clinical child psychology) from the University of Denver in 1976, his Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) degree in clinical psychology from the University of Denver in 1978, and his sessions program certificate in Islamic studies from Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University in 1998.
In 1969, he obtained his License to Preach from the United Methodist Church and was ordained into the Christian ministry (deaconate) by the United Methodist Church in 1972.
He converted to Islam in 1993 and completed the ‘Umrah and Hajj in 1999.
His vocational history includes over five years teaching in American colleges and universities and over 20 years spent in the private practice of psychotherapy. In addition, he has taught at the middle school level at two different private Islamic schools and has served as the psychoeducational consultant at one private Islamic school.
Dr. Dirks is the author or co-author of over 60 published articles in the behavioral sciences (primarily in psychosomatic medicine), over 140 published articles on the Arabian horse and its history, and over 220 published articles or formal presentations on Islam, comparative religion, and private Islamic education in America.
He has lectured widely on Islam at American universities (Tabor College, University of Kansas, University of Denver, Oklahoma State University, Missouri State University, Wayne State University, University of Michigan, University of Pittsburgh, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Georgetown University), in American mosques (in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia), and at regional and national conventions of the major Islamic organizations (ISNA, ICNA, and MAS).
In addition, he has been interviewed about Islam by newspapers in California, Colorado, Missouri, and Saudi Arabia and by television stations in Kansas, New York, Texas, Utah, Canada, and the United Arab Emirates. He is the author of four books that explore the commonalities and differences among the three Abrahamic religions (Islam, Christianity, and Judaism): The Cross and the Crescent, now in its second printing; Abraham, The Friend of God; Understanding Islam–A Guide for the Judaeo-Christian Reader; and The Abrahamic Faiths–Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
His fifth book, Muslims in American History–A Forgotten Legacy was published in 2006 and celebrates the centuries-old history of Muslims in America. His sixth book, Letters to My Elders in Islam, was published in 2008. Dr. Dirks has also proofread and/or edited several books for other authors.
The Topic: A Christian Minister’s Conversion to Islam
Dr. Dirks is a former minister (deacon) of the United Methodist Church. He holds a Master’s degree in Divinity from Harvard University and a Doctorate in Psychology from the University of Denver. Author of “The Cross and the Crescent: An Interfaith Dialogue between Christianity and Islam” (2001), and “Abraham: The Friend of God” (2002). He has published over 60 articles in the field of clinical psychology, and over 150 articles on Arabian horses.
“There is some irony in the fact that the supposedly best, brightest, and most idealistic of ministers-to-be are selected for the very best of seminary education, e.g. that offered at that time at the Harvard Divinity School. The irony is that, given such an education, the seminarian is exposed to … much … historical truth. .. As such, it is no real wonder that almost a majority of such seminary graduates leave seminary, not to “fill pulpits”, where they would be asked to preach that which they know is not true, but to enter the various counseling professions. Such was also the case for me, as I went on to earn a master’s and doctorate in clinical psychology.”