What does Christian witness look like in an increasingly multifaith society? While it is more important than ever to preach the Word of God, as Scripture exhorts us, it is also important that we dialogue with people from diverse perspectives....
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What does Christian witness look like in an increasingly multifaith society?
While it is more important than ever to preach the Word of God, as Scripture exhorts us, it is also important that we dialogue with people from diverse perspectives. Unfortunately, too often the evangelical movement has been guilty of monologue in its engagement (or, more often, its disengagement) of people from other religious traditions and worldviews.
This book is designed to help evangelical Christ-followers remain orthodox while entering into meaningful discussions with people from other faith walks. We live in an age of extremes, where people tend toward monologue or dialogue: a cold turkey, drive-by-shooting evangelistic approach or a lifestyle, relational approach that avoids verbal witness.
This book promotes evangelism "and" dialogue, not one to the exclusion of the other. And as such it also promotes the need for thoughtful, sensitive communication during a time when our nation is reeling from the onslaught of the culture wars. The problem has not been our God or the Bible, but our approach to God and the Bible. As a result of our inauthentic witness, our God has looked all too common rather than as the uncommon God revealed as Jesus Christ. In light of this spiritual and biblical gut check, our witness in the twenty-first century will likely look very different.
As Metzger says, "I want Jesus to be the stumbling block to faith, not me."
"Metzger's (theology, Multnomah Univ.; Consuming Jesus) latest fills a critical gap on many bookshelves. Himself an evangelical Christian and noted scholar, Metzger explores how the faithful and conservative Christian can engage in open and respectful dialog with those of other faiths without losing sight of the obligation to witness. His work includes brief comments from leaders in other faith traditions. VERDICT: Anything that can promote courtesy, across faiths or other lines, is welcome; Metzger's book should be required reading for evangelical pastors and preachers." -- Library Journal
We live in a multifaith society: an ever-growing, diverse cultural climate, where no religion is viewed as having a monopoly on truth. It is important then that Christ-followers not only share the Word of God but also listen and learn how to interact meaningfully with those of diverse perspectives as we engage in life's most important conversations.
Connecting Christ encourages believers to be not only better communicators and witnesses but also listeners to people of other worldviews and traditions--skills that are crucial in defending against today's negative connotations and ineffective approaches associated with Christian evangelism.
With extensive commentary from leaders of various walks of faith and life - from Judaism to Islam and Buddhism to atheism - theologian and author Dr. Paul Louis Metzger offers a spiritual compass to help navigate the intimidating yet critical dialogue of conveying our faith in Christ. Filled with practical guidance and insight into controversial topics, such as hell, facism, and homosexuality, Connecting Christ reveals there is a way of evangelizing that is neither disengaging monologue nor silent, lifestyle ministry, but is, instead, an approach for evangelism and dialogue to go hand-in-hand.
We must remove ourselves as the stumbling block to salvation for others and embrace a way to proclaim the uncommon, compassionate God revealed in Jesus Christ--the Savior this world is dying to know.
Paul Louis Metzger (Ph.D., King's College, London) is professor of Christian theology and theology of culture at Multnomah Biblical Seminary and director of its Institute for the Theology of Culture: New Wine, New Wineskins. He is the editor of the journal Cultural Encounters
He is the author of the award-winning book Consuming Jesus: Beyond Race and Class Divisions in a Consumer Church;The Word of Christ and the World of Culture: Sacred and Secular Through the Theology of Karl Barth; Exploring Ecclesiology: An Evangelical and Ecumenical Introduction with Brad Harper, and The Gospel of John (Resonate Series; Intervarsity Press, 2010)
Koorong -Editorial Review.