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Understanding our religious neighbors is more important than ever—but also more challenging. In a world of deep religious strife and increasing pluralism it can seem safer to remain inside the "bubble" of our faith community. Christian college campuses in particular provide a strong social bubble that reinforces one's faith identity in distinction from the wider society. Many Christians worry that engaging in interfaith dialogue will require watering down their faith and accepting other religions as equally true.
In From Bubble to Bridge, Bethel University professors Marion Larson and Sara Shady not only make the case that we can love our religious neighbors without diluting our commitment, but also offer practical wisdom and ideas for turning our faith bubbles into bridges of religious inclusion and interfaith engagement. Drawing on the parables of Jesus, research on interreligious dialogue, and their own classroom experience, Larson and Shady provide readers with the tools they need to move beyond the bubble.
Interfaith dialogue is difficult, and From Bubble to Bridge is the timely guide we have been waiting for.
Number of Pages: 208
Vendor: IVP Academic
Publication Date: 2017
|Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.5 (inches)|
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"From Bubble to Bridge has arrived at the perfect time. The authors shed light rather than heat on the question of how evangelical Christian colleges ought to engage religious diversity. They manage to take evangelical theology, Christian education, and other religions seriously—no mean feat! . . . Larson and Shady show, in a manner that is both intellectually compelling and practically useful, that evangelical colleges can be leaders in interfaith bridge-building. It is impossible to overstate the importance of this work."
—From the foreword by Eboo Patel, founder and president, Interfaith Youth Core
"How Christians live with and respond to people of other faiths is one of the great questions of our day. From Bubble to Bridge is a tremendous resource to help move toward right answers."
—John Ortberg, senior pastor, Menlo Church, author of All the Places to Go
"We live in a divided world where difference often leads to hostility and violence. Many times religion is at the heart of these divisions. From Bubble to Bridge is a thoughtful, field-tested approach that moves students and faculty from distance and distrust to engagement and hospitality with religious neighbors. Rather than losing their faith and understanding, students can become more confident in their own commitments while engaging peers from other faith traditions. Professors Larson and Shady write out of their own conviction, passion, and experience. It is hard to imagine a more thoughtful, practical resource in addressing the challenging issues of today's multifaith world."
—Jay Barnes, president, Bethel University
"In this well-researched book, authors Larson and Shady articulate why Christians should foster life together across multiple faith traditions. Their ideas are a bridge from biblical teaching and foundational Christian convictions to effective interfaith practices. Their suggestions can aid faculty, staff, and students in fostering a healthy campus climate and productive community engagement. This book was written for such a time as this."
—Shirley J. Roels, director, Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education, Council of Independent Colleges
"From Bubble to Bridge arrives just in time. When fear and mistrust have grown in our national politics, we need to develop our understandings of each other in Christian love. Through these personal, thoughtful, and well-written essays, Larson and Shady have given us just what we need to grow our ethic of love across religious boundaries."
—Brian Howell, professor of anthropology, Wheaton College, author of Short Term Mission
"From Bubble to Bridge is an essential read for anyone interested in understanding the shaping potential interfaith engagement has on the development of an informed and inclusive Christian identity, especially within the context of a Christian institution. Grounded in Scripture, the authors extend theological considerations of inclusiveness as a means for equipping educators with the tools needed to engage students in productive dialogue concerning interfaith exchange without asking them to compromise their own religious beliefs and commitments. A difficult task to accomplish, the authors carefully and successfully negotiate the theological and the theoretical, the commitment within and the commitment toward, and the imagined and the practical. Quite simply, a must-read for anyone wanting to offer support in some of the many challenges facing today's college student."
—Matthew J. Mayhew, William Ray and Marie Adamson Flesher Professor of Educational Administration, The Ohio State University
"Interfaith dialogue has been happening for a long time, whether or not evangelicals have participated. So what might evangelicals bring to the table, other than a guilty conscience for coming rather late? From Bubble to Bridge offers an answer: their activism! These evangelical scholars ask, can dialogue help people of differing faiths get along better as neighbors? If that is not a cardinal aim, they insist, then dialogue seems rather sterile. So the authors set out a model of interfaith engagement. They endorse dialogue, yes, but beyond that, cooperation—out of mutual caring for the common good. Given the conflicts, tensions, and passions of our day, this book is very timely, very much needed."
—Joel Carpenter, Calvin College