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Connecting Christ: How to Discuss Jesus in a World of Diverse Paths by Paul Louis Metzger
Connecting Christ: How to Discuss Jesus in a World of Diverse Paths

johnwmorehead, June 19, 2012

Evangelicals have produced a number of volumes on new religious movements (often referred to as "cults") and world religions within the context of evangelism. As an evangelical academic and missions practitioner I find many of these volumes of little help. Many are little more than brief descriptions of a given religion, many times inaccurate, followed by general suggestions on evangelism. Add to this mix a general illiteracy of basic religious knowledge on the part of many evangelicals according to surveys, and a confrontational stance toward the religions, and we have a troubling situation and a credibility problem for evangelicals.

Given the post-Christendom and pluralistic nature of Western culture something different is needed. Paul Metzger has made a valuable contribution to the discussion of religion and evangelism through this helpful work. It includes not only a description of the praxis and beliefs of a variety of religious groups written in such a way as the adherent would recognize themselves in the description, but it also includes the responses of these adherents so that they too may share their views with evangelical readers. This desire for accuracy in representation, coupled with a dialogical approach to engaging those in other religions is much needed. Dr. Metzger has provided a model for evangelicals in engaging other religions in ways that involve civility and no hint of compromise. This work is a credit to the author and his organizational affiliations, including New Wine, New Wineskins, Multnomah University, and the Evangelical Chapter of the Foundation for Religious Diplomacy.
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