Recently I have received several calls and emails asking about resources for churches seeking to learn about other religions in their area. Christianity emerged in an religiously plural environment and has existed in similar contexts throughout history. While Christians in North America are just now focusing on the issue of interfaith engagement many Christians around the world and in the corridors of history have undergone discipleship formation amidst religious diversity.
My preference in this area of discipleship is not to focus on helping learn about a religion in general but to help them engage their religious neighbors. We never meet Mormonism, Judaism or Islam in the abstract, but rather in the flesh and blood encounters with our Latter-day Saint, Jewish or Muslim neighbors. Books learning is helpful but needs to occur alongside of experiential learning.
Given this real life encounter of other religions it is also important to be aware of the cognitive, affective and behavioral dimensions of learning that need to take place in Christian discipleship. It is not enough for us to simply know a biblical theology of religions we must also be aware of our own fears and prejudices of other faiths and prepare ourselves with behaviors that embody the Christian faith with conviction and humility.
The following are some of my favorite resources on Christian engagement with other religions.
- Evangelical Interfaith Dialogue journal.
- Evangelical Chapter of the Foundation for Religious Diplomacy.
- Richard Mouw, “Convicted Civility and Interfaith Dialogue.”
- Doug McConnell, “Missional Principles and Guidelines for Interfaith Dialogue.”
- John Morehead, “Evangelical Credibility and Religious Pluralism.”
- Cory Willson, “Learning Proper Manners for the Religious Roundtable: Kuyper and Convicted Civility.”
- John Goldingay, “How Does the Old Testament Look at Other Religions?”
- Nijay Gupta, “Thinking with the New Testament About Other Religions.”
- John Azumah, “Challenging Radical Islam: An Explanation of Islam’s Relation to Terrorism and Violence.”
Stories and Practices
- Bill Heersink, “Storytelling with Refugees in Utah.”
- Paul Kortenhoven, “Interfaith Relations in Michigan.”
- Jim Mullins, “Dialogue at 21st Century Wells.”
- “Dinner Table Diplomacy.”
- “Peace Feast Leaders Guide.”
- “There’s No Place Like Home” (Homestays).
- Richard Mouw and Robert Millet, “A Dialogue Between a Mormon and Evangelical,” at Calvin’s January Series.
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Ted Talk “The Danger of a Single Story.”
- Evangelical Chapter for Religious Diplomacy, Video Resources.
- John Azumah, “A Christian Response to Islam.”
- Evelyne Reisacher, Urbana 2015.
- Richard Mouw, Uncommon Decency: Christian Civility in an Uncivil World (IVP, 2010).
- Evelyne Reisacher, Joyful Witness in the Muslim World: Sharing the Gospel in Everyday Encounters (to be released in September 2016 by Baker Books).
- Frances Adeney and Terry Muck, Christianity Encountering World Religions: The Practice of Mission in the Twenty-first Century (Baker, 2009).
- Terry Muck, Those Other Religions in the Neighborhood: Loving Your Neighbor When You Don’t Know How (Zondervan, 1992)
- Charles Farhadian, Introducing World Religions: A Christian Engagement (Baker, 2015).
- Harold Netland, Christianity and Religious Diversity: Clarifying Christian Commitments in a Globalizing Age (Baker, 2015).