A clear, practical guide to the core issues and challenges facing churches and Christians in their engagement with those of other faiths
In this timely book, Richard Sudworth invites us all to think again about our attitudes to people of different faiths as, gently but firmly, he leads us through practical stories. Bible-based reflections and arguments, together with reasoned thinking and sound theological explanations underlie the challenging contemporary style. Richard is a CMS Mission Partner and Mission Consultant to Faith to Faith; he lives in a Muslim majority area of Birmingham, having previously lived in North Africa for several years. Drawing from his own life and dealings with people of other faiths, Richard provides many practical hints - for example:
- Be less concerned with who is ‘in’ and who is ‘out’ and more concerned about the question, “How does God want me to act towards this person or in this situation?”
- Be true to your beliefs, honest about your convictions and public about what Jesus means to you.
- Look at people and the world with expectancy and hope
Further on in the book he quotes some of Scripture Union worker Andrew Smith’s guidelines for dialogue events:
- We will listen to what everyone has to say
- We will be honest in what we say
- We will respect each other’s views, even if we disagree with them
As the title suggests, the author calls us to be ‘distinctly welcoming’, not just ‘welcoming,’ to our Hindu, Sikh or Muslim neighbour, whether in friendly conversation or involvement in community projects.Richard reminds us that “All people are made in the image of God and yet are broken and in need of God’s grace and wholeness.”This book is full of examples and ideas, as well as useful suggestions of projects, tasks and resource lists relevant to each chapter.In all, this is an excellent book – a must for all Christians wanting not just to reach out to our friends and neighbours of other faiths, but to build lasting relationships and to share our lives and faith.
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