Rubruck and the Khan

Late in the year of 1253, William of Rubruck (a Franciscan monk), arrived at the court of Mongke Khan, the grandson of Genghis Khan and ruler of the largest empire on earth. After spending more than a year at court and enjoying the opportunity to have perhaps the first true scholarly debate with Muslim and Buddhist clerics he was brought before the Khan to be given a message and sent back to the king of France. Amazingly tolerant of world religions, the Mongol ruler had this to say in his closing remarks about Christianity:

To you God has given the Scriptures and you Christians do not observe them.


Rubruck was an educated man, well-learned, well-traveled and well-versed in the worldviews of his day… and none of that mattered. What mattered was the consistency with which the followers of Jesus lived out their claims to faith, and there we failed. How much has changed in750 years?

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. James 1:22

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