In my most recent posts about Sri Lanka, and in an OpEd in Saturday’s StarTribune, I’ve been reflecting on how Christians, when we’re in the minority, seem to act better. Now, it was just one experience in one country, but it was striking.
Today, the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the U.S., is a good day to reflect on how we deal with those of other religions. Was 9/11 a religious attack? At least in part it was. Religious extremists, to be sure, but religious nonetheless. (And there are extremists in Christianity, too.)
On the occasion of this anniversary, there is a new book that I think will help many Christians think through how they maintain their Christian identity — even uniqueness — in an increasingly pluralistic world.
This is not a book about interfaith dialogue. This is a book about Christian identity. It’s Brian McLaren’s new book, Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?: Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World.
My endorsement of the books reads,
“Surely there is no problem more important — and more vexing — to people of various faiths than how we can all get along in this pluralistic, postmodern world. Can we, for instance, love our Muslim neighbor without fearing him? Can we work alongside our Jewish colleague without trying to convert her? Can we pray with a Hindu? Worship with a Buddhist? In Brian McLaren’s capable and gentle hands, these questions are answered, and a new way forward is offered. This is a book for Christians (and others) who want to maintain their religious distinctiveness but develop loving compassion for their neighbors of other religions.“
I highly recommend it.