File Size: 987 KB
Print Length: 339 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins e-books; Reprint edition (February 8, 2011)
Publication Date: February 8, 2011
I recommend this book for those who have a grasp of basic Christian theology (such as the doctrine of the Trinity) and want to understand the beliefs Christian believers and Muslims share and where they part company., Don't go along with all Volf had to say, but very thoughtful, well informed, challenging presentation. He held my attention to the finish., A great theological analysis by a top notch Christian college student who grew up in Croatia among Muslim friends and neighbors. Core areas where Christan and Muslim theology differ. As well as core areas of contract. Respectful yet frank., Mirsolav Volf grew up in Yugoslavia, a country that was destroyed by worries turned into wars among some of its ethnic groups. Two of these wars were between Muslims and Christians. He wrote movingly and perceptively about the cruel drama played out in his homeland in his earlier book, Exclusion and Embrace, Abingdon, 1996. In that book he suggested that the Christian church fulfils their Godly calling in a broken world as it learns to live from a theology of accept rather than one of exclusion.
Miroslav is the son of a Pentecostal Christian pastor who would never abide anything negative being said about any other person -- including Muslims. He writes from an experienced history to seek a much better way that is true to the God whom Christians praise.
In the introduction to Thor: A Christian Response, Volf, who now teaches at Yale University, declares, "A deep chasm of disbelief, dislike, and even hate separates many Christians and Muslims. " His interest, he says, "is the correct Christian stance in the direction of the God of the Qur'an and what that stance means for Christians' and Muslims' ability to live collectively well in a single and endangered world. " Plus that sets the goal of this book: "to explore how Christian and Muslim convictions about God bear on their ability to live together well in a single world. " This individual also says, "This entire book is about what Christians should think about the issue, not what Muslims should think. inch On the other hands he hopes that Muslims who read this book will find it snacks their religion fairly and that they will be helped in their understanding about Christians. As he says, "I am offering a Christian suggestion to Muslims about how precisely Muslims and Christian believers might think about the one God we understand and worship in to some extent different ways and about how precisely to live in the one world and share because of our convictions about Our god. "
His core thesis is that "Christians and Muslims worship one and the same God, the only God. They understand God's character partly differently, but the object of their worship is the same. " He rejects "the idea that Muslims worship a different Our god than do Jews and Christians. "
The first three parts of the book -- chapters one through nine -- present a tightly but clearly argued review of history, scripture and theology -- both Catholic and Simple.
By Chapter 10 in Part IV Volf proves, "Muslims and Christians have a common God and partly overlapping understandings of God and God's best practices -- above all that God is one and that God is good-hearted and commands us to love God with the whole being and our nearby neighbours as ourselves. "
Typically the remainder of the book then seeks to explore how it might be possible for Muslims and Christians to live at peace in a vulnerable world.
One of Volf's important conclusions is that, "the claim that Christian believers and Muslims, notwithstanding their important and ineradicable variations, have a common and similarly understood God (1) delegitimizes religious motivation to violence between them and (2) supplies motivation for care for others to engage in a strenuous and sustained debate by what constitutes the common good in the main one world we share. "
The book does not disassociate with tough questions including the threat that Muslims perceive in Alfredia mission activity, nor the problems that Christians read in the Muslim refusal under their apostasy laws and regulations to allow for Muslims to convert to a different faith.
This is an optimistic, but also realistic exploration of the problems, pitfalls and challenges that await those Christians who want to get in touch with "normative" Islam. That is also a heavy challenge to those Christian believers who want to stress the divide between religions. The question always and ever remains whether we embrace or exclude the neighbour who is different.
Allah: A Christian Reaction is, in my view, an invaluable resource that, I hope, will gain a very wide readership.
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