Book review: Faith Intersections, edited by Matt Zimmer

“Faith Intersections” is a book about listening to people who have different belief systems than our own. In each chapter a Christian interviewer listens as an individual talks about what they believe and why. We hear from them what they consider to be the purpose of life and their view of the afterlife. In some cases, we listen as they talk about us.

Some chapters are almost painful to read. Right off I find myself listening as a former Christian dismantles modern Christianity. This man knows us well and many of his observations are, I fear, painfully accurate. The conversation with the Mormon leaves me feeling frustrated as I hear the “party line” stated with such conviction. The chapter on Scientology leaves me deeply saddened. It’s the only chapter without an interview. The reason? The knowledgeable writer has years of experience trying to dialogue with adherents and knows it can’t be done in the spirit of this book.

Let me add that there’s some positive material in this book, some encouraging and some instructive. The whole idea is to model for the reader how to listen, valuing the speaker’s point of view without having to debate them. In fact, in some instances, the genuine friendships have had wonderful results. It’s encouraging to hear people who aren’t Christians speak positively of Jesus even if some are rather critical of his followers. Sometimes I’m critical of our crowd myself. The “atheist” chapter has a great story in it that will bless your heart.

I appreciate the opportunity to do an early read of this thought provoking book.

Here’s a link to the book at NPH

2 responses to “Book review: Faith Intersections, edited by Matt Zimmer

  1. Interesting book Scott. Sadly, many Christians have the opinion that we should be heard while not taking the time to earn that expectation by listening to the other viewpoint. That doesn’t seem to follow the model of either Christ or Paul. Jesus was first a good listener and if anyone could claim he didn’t need to hear the other person, it would have been Christ. Paul also seemed to learn the other’s world view so as to best present the gospel.

    So this was an advanced read? Any idea when it will publish.

    • Billie, thanks for the comments – I just edited the post to include a link to the book at Nazarene Publishing House.

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