Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?: Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World
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Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?: Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  435 ratings  ·  92 reviews
When four religious leaders walk across the road, it's not the beginning of a joke. It's the start of one of the most important conversations in today's world.

Can you be a committed Christian without having to condemn or convert people of other faiths? Is it possible to affirm other religious traditions without watering down your own?

In his most important book yet, widel...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published September 11th 2012 by Jericho Books (first published September 1st 2012)
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David A.
I once read about a time that Allen Ginsberg was crossing the quad of a college somewhere, and a student called out to him, "Hey Ginsberg, what do you think of so-and-so's latest book?" Ginsberg didn't know the book, but he knew the author, and he gathered from the student's tone that the student was looking for a little trouble. So Ginsberg responded, "Whatever he's doing, I'm for him."

I think Ginsberg sounded a little like Jesus when he said that--not necessarily (though not unnecessarily) in...more
Charles Dean
I frequently tell people that the mark of a good book isn't that you agree with everything the author says, or that you "buy" all the author's arguments, or even that you were convinced to change your view on something. No, the mark of a great book, in my opinion,is it causes you to THINK. This is what I love most about Brian McLaren - he graciously challenges me to rethink my faith and the world. This book is challenging, but oh-so-timely and relevant. It's an important conversation that is hap...more
Dave McNeely
Honestly, when I picked up this book, I can't say I had much interest in it (world religions as a topic has generally not piqued my interest much). But after reading the first few pages, I was hooked and could hardly put it down. What McLaren offers in this beautifully benevolent and insightful groundbreaking work is a re-examination of Christian faith in light of a religiously diverse world, asking whether or not Christianity is meant to have a hostile or benevolent posture toward other faiths...more
Lee Harmon

We have just enough religion to make us hate but not enough to make us love one another. --Jonathan Swift

What does it mean to be a Christian in a multi-faith world? In a world that keeps shrinking, McLaren draws us back to Christian neighborly principles, encouraging respect and interfaith understanding, but without sacrificing our allegiance to Christ. While it may be true that fostering an us-versus-them atmosphere strengthens the walls and adds purpose to our lives, this does not mean it's th...more
Brian
I liked this book. McLaren gives many examples, ideas, stories, and challenges on how we can share Jesus with the world. The book is much needed. We Christians need to realize that we don't have a monopoly on Christ, that others has truths, that we have falsehoods, and that we need to take a journey with others...not just take others on a journey but to be taken on a journey ourselves. We're here to share life with people, not to conquer them.

For many this book will be too radical, too open, to...more
MGMaudlin
I loved the big idea at the heart of the book--that we should question our tribal and oppositional Christian identities and reinterpret them in nontribal ways. Amen and amen. Still, I thought Brian was a little too heady/abstract at times and went down too many rabbit trails, which prolonged the book. I also wish he was more careful in how he constructed the book since some may interpret him as being arrogant (since he is the hero/ideal/solution to all the problems), but he certainly is not arro...more
Andrew Marr
Very clear an easy-to-read introduction to Christian dialog with other religions. A valuable book on an important topic for our time. McLaren does much to build empathy for other points of view & traditions without losing focus as a follower of Christ. Extensive use is made of René Girard's thought, helping to pave the way for using Girard's theory constructively in inter-religious dialogue.
Wendy
Well it is no big secret that I love this book. I loved it from the day the proposal hit my desk and I am delighted with the final result. I am a McLaren reader and I have the utmost respect for the man. This, in my humble opinion, is the best thing that Brian has ever written. So far...
Malin Friess
Brian McLaren was an unknown pastor until 2005 when Time listed him as one of the top 50 most influential Christian Leaders. He was at a evangelical pastors gathering and asked to declare his position on homosexuality. He responded by saying: "The thing that breaks my heart is that there is no way to answer that question without hurting someone else on the other side." This "tension" branded him the label from Time as a "kinder and gentler brand of religion."

McLaren at the time was a leader or t...more
Bill
Jul 05, 2012 Bill rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Bill by: Requested From Author
See my review at http://www.billdahl.net/articles/bria....

It is a pre- pub review. A PHENOMENAL read!!! PRE-order now!!! Available September 11, 2012... Buy a few to give away to others.

I had the privilege to read an Advance Uncorrected Proof of Brian Mclaren‘s new book: “Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? (Published by Jericho Books – Hachette Book Group – Available September 11, 2012). Here’s my review. I call it, “A Call to Prayer With Your Feet:”

Subversive friend...more
Bishop Bergland
This book may well be an adequate primer for evangelicals who have never considered cooperation with people from other traditions in a meaningful way, but if you have thought about such things for more than five minutes this book is a waste of time and you will see it as simplistic and unrealistic.

My biggest complaint is that for a book purporting to be about Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith world, it spends the vast majority of its pages attempting to re-define conventional, conservative, ev...more
David
Growing up in a Christian home I eventually, like most kids, began to question the faith I had been taught. Some stories of questioning begin with taking a biology class and learning about evolution. This was never a problem for me. I always figured that the truth of falsity of evolution had little to do with the central claims of Christian faith. For me the questions always revolved around other religions.

If I believe Jesus is the savior of the world, is unique, what does this say about other w...more
Jo
Interesting, thought-provoking, hopeful book for our time. McClaren makes an argument that God wishes Christians to love our neighbors, to live responsibly in a pluralistic society, yet not lose our Christian identity in the process. He begins the book by exploring the hostility and violence we see around us. He then moves into practical suggestions on how to build a strong faith identity with a benevolent posture, rather than hostility, toward other faiths, and how NOT to weaken your faith iden...more
Scott Brazil
As you can expect from anything written by Brian McLaren, the reader will be both challenged and inspired by what you find in the book. I was particularly intrigued by his argument that Constanstine's "conversion" laid the seeds for later hostitlities between Islam and Christianity. Also, I should add that this book got me to think not so much about interreligious relations but, more specifically, the "other" that seems to get my blood boiling in my own religious tradition and how I need to resp...more
Casie
So this is theological, and I don't have a shelf for that yet. But the premise is how would each of these religious leaders interact if confronted with each other. The conclusion that McLaren proposes is that they would cross the street (from their various corners) and find common ground. And yet, Bill O'Reilly is selling more books. I don't get it.
Anne Jordan-Baker
Thank god for Brian McLaren's Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? Having just had a brush (in another book) with the Bad-Jesus-Who-Is-the-President-of-the-Universe-Whether-You-Like-It-Or-Not, I needed something...else.

McLaren's book ushered into my life the holy spirit, who descended upon my head in the form of a dove (or a parrot) and said, "Oh, forget about that. I'm a bird, and I'm on your head! Isn't that funny?!"

"Yes," I would say, "that is funny indeed. And it'...more
Chantal
If the premise of a good book is that it makes you think and question, then this is a great book.

Thought-provoking, spiritually motivating,and a thinking mans/woman's book, told in simple language, with a regular dose of humour. The footnotes, will have me finding additional books to read, for many months to come.
Heather
One of the best and most thought-provoking books I have read. Wow!
Now, I do not agree with everything he says, but what a presentation of how people of faith should be acting. Can pretty much be summed up in the "old" WWJD movement.
Jay Hershberger
Just into the beginning of this book, but McLaren does not disappoint. In fact, this may be one of the most important books to come from this provocative and challenging author. Worth the time.
Sueek20
Heard him speak in D.C. last week. Very intriguing viewpoint on religious tolerance post 9/11.
Christy
This started out great, but I got bored quickly by the repetition and didn't finish.
Keith Madsen
Brian McLaren, along with Rob Bell (author of LOVE WINS), is one of the premier popular Christian voices in calling for a more compassionate and inclusive Christian faith. In a world where so many lesser Christian voices are escalating hostilities by picketing military funerals and burning the holy books of other faiths, or throwing gasoline on the flames of Middle East tensions between Muslim and Jew; such a voice is vitally needed. McLaren is not one to advocate an innocuous blending of all re...more
Randy Baxter
Very thought provoking. How do we as Christians articulate our faith in a pluralistic culture and a multi-faith world. A couple of my favorite quotes from the book came near the end. The first opens chapter 29:
"Rob Bell stirred things up a while back with a book called 'Love Wins'. You wouldn't think that would be such a controversial proposition for Christians, but Rob suggested something daring: if love has the final word, hell and damnation can't. The book raised questions similar to the ones...more
Marty Solomon
A fantastic read from McLaren.
It should be noted right off the bat that this book is not at all what I anticipated from hearing the title.

McLaren opens the book with a powerful reflection. Why is it that there seem to be two polarized options when it comes to interacting with the "others" in our world? It seems as though there are the rigid believers that stand for truth and therefore, because of their commitment to their Christian identity, must identity the "other" and act from a place of hos...more
LB
Concisely and with reference to many other authors, activists, and theologians, Mclaren writes how Christians can become more Christ-like in character and behavior. He says Christians can be open to and appreciative of what other religions have to offer in their encounters with the Holy Spirit without diminishing their own Christian faith as they invite people into conversation and mutual exchange across boundaries. Essentially, one can learn how various religions compliment each other, rather t...more
David
McLaren seeks to answer the question how do we maintain Christian identity without compromising in a pluralistic world. Perhaps the deeper journey is how do we do this that is still gospel for those that aren't Christian. Most answers have been to either diminish Christ or to flatline all paths or to make the Christian journey a game of us versus them. In all three of the above systems, it leaves the gospel neutered and for the most part doesn't represent the gospel at all for those that are out...more
Henk Huinink
A well written book that discusses an extremely relevant theme: how christians should position themselves in a multi-cultural and multi-faith world. Especially since tensions between followers of different dominating religions are leading to conflicts all over the globe. Brian McLaren is searching for a benevolent and generous orthodoxy. The value of the book is that it is provoking. Whether or not you agree with what he writes, it will stir your mind. Precisely, the reason why I consider it to...more
James Titterton
As with McLaren's previous books, I felt like I wasn't really his target audience. McLaren seems to be writing for people raised and living in backgrounds similar to his own: conservative, evangelical Middle-America, where 'liberal' is a dirty word and 'Muslim' is synonymous with 'demon'.

McLaren's central idea is that Christians (and other religious people) have been very good at constructing what he calls 'strong-hostile' identities, that derive their strength and cohesion from hostility to 't...more
Dave Minor
This book would be a challenge for many who are locked down in their certitude; who see any other perspective as a threat that needs to be destroyed. Yet for those whose hearts are already stirring, McLaren words are a fresh breeze bearing a scent of new hope for the often lonely traveler like me. Like many others, and ever so eloquently, he shows us a Jesus and a kingdom (or commonwealth) that is for the whole world because that is the way God is. There are no enemies of God that are beyond His...more
Pearl
The title is kind of catchy even if it's an old joke that's a bit trite, and often not that funny. But I'll bite - what's the answer?

McLaren asks us to imagine what would happen if four of the world's greatest religious leaders met on a road. Since his book is addressed to the Christian world, he asks if Christians think Jesus would push Moses aside, telling him that his religion and laws have been superceded; or would he trade insults with Mohammed, claiming that Christian crusaders could whip...more
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Brian D. McLaren is an internationally known speaker and the author of over ten highly acclaimed books on contemporary Christianity, including A New Kind of Christian, A Generous Orthodoxy, and The Secret Message of Jesus.
More about Brian D. McLaren...
A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I Am a Missional, Evangelical, Post/Protestant, Liberal/Conservative, Mystical/Poetic, Biblical, Charismatic/Contemplative, Fundamentalist/Calvinist, Anabaptist/Anglican, Metho A New Kind of Christian: A Tale of Two Friends on a Spiritual Journey A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith The Secret Message of Jesus: Uncovering the Truth That Could Change Everything Everything Must Change

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