2 Stars Out Of 5
Lots of courage but little faith.
January 25, 2013
Based on the description and the title for this book, I have to say I was pretty disappointed. I am a devout Christian, I have been given a new and eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ, and by that faith the Holy Spirit has and is changing my heart. I am utterly a slave to Christ (or attaining to be). My life is His and He is my Lord and Savior. This is the essence of Christianity, not just what I believe but what the Bible teaches.
My disappointment with this book is that I was seeking a guide as well as a book for our church book club for the true believer on how be respecting Christian in the face of other religions. I desired a means by which I could connect with those who didn't hold my steadfast conviction but could still share our commonality of humanness and strive to come together despite our differentness.
This book was deceiving though, because although it's titled, A Faith Club, A Muslim, A Jew and a Christian_, I don't believe at the core, any of these women could claim to be any of these titles, anymore than I am a chef because I occasionally make dinner. I felt particularly mislead by Suzanne who had so many comments in the book that were offensive to me as a Christian. And, when she explained the Christian faith at end of the book, she didn't even factor the most important premise of Christianity exemplified in Romans 10:9 "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." The practices, statistics, holidays, biblical format were included but there was very little about the work of Christ on the cross, forgiveness of sins, eternal life, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit available to believers.
It was as though she alluded to believing in a god but really never claimed to Jesus' supreme deity; she denounced original sin and more or less stated that all religions lead to God. This would really bother me if it hadn't sounded so much like me a lifetime ago. But through bible study, prayer, Christian fellowship, and the Holy Spirit, I have learned the truth that Christ is the center of Christianity and Lord of all.
I do appreciate the courage and passion these women had to create a "safe" environment where they could reach a common goal of dispelling cultural prejudices, share persecution experience, and share a desire to know and understand God through their combined faiths. But I do feel there was a greater issue that wasn't resolved that I was hoping for. What if you truly believe that your God is the true God - the only God? In my case, I believe in the teachings of the bible not just the Old Testament but the revelation of the Old Testament by the arrival of Christ in the New Testament. You see my response to the question posed by Suzanne's student (p. 260 who asked: "In order for you to believe in your religion, don't you have to believe that the others are wrong") is a resounding YES. I will not compromise my belief by believing that all faiths are true and that God speaks through all religions. Jesus did not say "I am "one of the ways" but THE WAY. This book is further proof that man (and women) seems determined to assemble a god out of pieces of other faiths, casting out and adding to create a god to their liking. But the result is that confidence in this made up god begins to falter, because although each of them carries a picture or an idea of who their god is, until they experience the real thing, faith has no substance. Jesus Christ is the substance; He is our foundation, the one true God. I believe a deeper religious persecution is experienced when you are bold enough to profess your faith as the indisputable ONLY way and further this by submitting your life to this faith. As Christ was persecuted so he calls all believers to expect the same. I now know that by choosing this book, I was looking for a worldly response to my question, rather than a biblical response. I trust that through prayer, studying the Word, and through fellowship with other Christians, I will gain insight and guidance into lovingly living along those who aren't.
I pray that each of these women can arrive at this place of assurance. If they claim to believe in the Old Testament God and in the character of Christ, maybe they will continue and delve into a rich bible study and truly learn the Scriptures and discover Christ our Lord in the process. What a faith club book that would make!