We are alive at a time when God has allowed us to live near all kinds of people who need to know the love of Jesus. We no longer need to travel thousands of miles to minister to Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, or those of other religions. They probably live on our street, Roberts reminds us.
He believes these immigrants hold the keys to our future. These neighbors enable us to connect to the rest of the world. Loving and building relationships with these people allow us possibilities not before seen.
But are Christians prepared? It is not easy to learn a new way of relating to people of other faiths. Loving others doesn't mean we will agree with them. It may mean clearing up misconceptions about each other.
Roberts writes, “This book is about what our congregation has experienced while becoming missionaries in a multifaith world, and how it has deepened our love for Jesus and enhanced our witness for him.” (27)
He addresses fears to overcome and describes congregations meeting together. He shares many of his own experiences and explains how to connect with Muslims.
He explores existing in multifaith communities. He says the concept is perfect for religious conservatives, is for the common good, is honest, creates lasting relationships, and deepens our faith.
Roberts ends the book with suggestions for challenging your own tribe. He adds three things pastors must do if they want to be a force for peace in their communities and the world.
He concludes: “Where is Jesus? He is where we take him. Where are we taking him? He didn't enter us to stay cooped up, but to be bold as love.” (182)
You can find out more about the multifaith work of Roberts and his congregation at www.globalfaithforum.org.
This is certainly a challenging book. Roberts has developed a good relationship with an imam, a rabbi, and their congregations in the DFW area. He has been welcomed in Middle East countries.
I am troubled, however, when I compare his experiences to those of Christians in Muslim dominated cultures.
Bob Roberts, Jr., is the founding pastor of Northwood Church in Keller, Texas. He has authored several books and has written for faith-based publications as well as various diplomatic and global foreign affairs journals. He and his wife have two grown children. You can read his blog at www.glocal.net.
Thomas Nelson Publishers, 193 pages.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from a publicist for the purpose of this review.