read outside your window!

I don’t read that much fiction. But, being a fan of John Updike, I had to read his most recent, TERRORIST. I’d recommend it. It kept me turning the pages. It is the story of 18-year-old Ahmad, a Muslim American. As one critic writes, “Ahmad has decided to be purer than the Koran. He will be used by the Yemeni imam who insinuates him through the suras and by the Lebanese furniture salesmen who employ him to drive the truck of fertilizer and racing fuel intended to blow up the Lincoln Tunnel.” You can skim several reviews, from positive to negative, by by clicking on this site.

I read it also because I feel the church needs to understand things that are outside of its traditional worldview, such as Islam and the Muslim community. Although I don’t agree with all that Jack Good has to say in his book, THE DISHONEST CHURCH, I do agree with this:
“No longer is it true, however, that the non-Christian ‘pagans’ are strange people who live in distant cultures. For example, followers of Islam, whose faith, especially after the tragic attacks of September 11, 2001, has been stereotyped as hard and militant, may now live on the same block where I live. In the flesh, they are likely to be as gentle with their children and as caring for their neighbors as any Christian in the same neighborhood. Building stereotypes of Islam is more difficult when the faith is represented by a human face rather than a threatening idea” (p. 87).
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About David Hayward

David Hayward runs the blog nakedpastor as a graffiti artist on the walls of religion where he critiques religion… specifically Christianity and the church. He also runs the online community The Lasting Supper where people can help themselves discover, explore and live in spiritual freedom.

  • Jeff

    The reviews don’t look so good for that book. But if you REALLY want an alternate view, read The Laughing Jesus which talks about literalist/fundamentalist religion of all stripes versus the true spiritual elements of all of our religions.

  • Fred

    I keep hearing about that book. The title itself is intriguing.

  • Jeff

    Fred, I am afraid that the majority of believers would not be willing to read past the first chapter (or even the first page) because it deconstructs religion and can be very offensive to those with a closed mind.

    But if you can get past the first past of the book, “the Bathwater”, and get to the second part, “the Baby”, it presents some very interesting ideas that don’t necessarily conflict with christianity or any other “beliefs”. In fact, the spiritual elements that I and many others have experienced through christianity appear to be the central nugget of this book.