Now is not the time to pit faith against faith
Author Brian D. McLaren on how religions need to find common ground
- Duration 7:43
- Date Sep 28, 2012
Author Brian D. McLaren on how religions need to find common ground
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Christian author and speaker Brian McLaren has a new vision for world peace between the face his new book poses a quirky kind of question -- very serious issue the book is called.
Why did Jesus Moses the Buddha and Mohammed crossed the road.
And Brian joins me now from Los Angeles welcome.
Great -- thanks well Brian you know there's just not even that.
That question about what the first that question should be why did you call this book.
What you did.
Obviously in evoking the the old joke.
Trying to suggest that we we maybe need to lighten up a little bit when we approach this subject.
But also this image of Jesus -- -- the Buddha and Mohammed doing something together it and maybe gives us the possibility.
That we could follow their example rather than following the bad examples set by many people in our respective states.
But the problem is is that the Jesus and Moses and do that did not -- Mohammed did not live in the same centuries.
And to have the same it time for -- ministries.
So how can we actually project that.
I'm committed Christian I was a pastor were throwing for years and anyone knows anything about Jesus knows that.
He was he keen.
Judge of moral character when he met people who others came down he saw something of value -- them.
If you know anything about Mohammed he grew up -- highly pluralistic.
Society and his followers are often surprised by the respect -- show it to people other states.
And the same would be true of other religious leaders and so it I think there's a way for us to be more true to the example of our founders.
That -- resulted in us being more charitable benevolent toward one another.
And so what you write this book.
What was on your mind -- your -- when you wrote this book.
Well I like a lot of people after September 11 2001.
I realize that religious identity.
Could lead us to greater harmony but it also could lead us to greater hostility and I and I saw in in my own Christian communities.
-- Kind of rising tide of Islam phobia often.
And and I saw this kind of circling of the wagons mentality.
If it made me wonder.
We we know how to do two things very well already we know how to have a strong Christian identity that's hostile toward.
People of other faiths you know how to have a week Christian identity that's tolerant.
But what we haven't explored enough -- how to have a strong.
Christian identity that is deeply benevolent we're gonna face and that really was my quest and I think there are people Muslims Jews Hindus buddhists people of other -- Who are on -- very similar way.
So there's also -- sort of secular kind of danger of sort of think that making the fates just all -- this is a very.
Yeah popular sort of secular idea about all.
All faiths are equal they're not really different it's always to -- to -- of these states are actually the court tennis are actually quite different.
-- -- getting injured I didn't watering down them and then not being true to their their -- nature's.
That is exactly what my concern and writing this book.
-- that's what I mean by a week but tolerant -- And when we watered down our convictions.
As the only way to achieve peace I I can see why people would do that but I think it's a misguided strategy.
But you know Lauren my my actual discovery I think as I was working on this book.
Is that what really is causing us the greatest problem in our religious communities.
Is not our differences it's one thing that we all hold in common and that is we tend to build a stronger identity among us.
Who -- opposition toward them.
And if all of our religious communities are building strength of identity through -- position then of course we're going to have more and more hostility.
That's why I think we have to go back and look for ways of having a strong identity that are built on opposition hostility.
-- and so -- You don't want to things that I -- into all the time covering religion is when I tell people out in the world that I cover religion from one of the things it was a back to me oh you know I think religion as a cause -- the problems in the world.
It's because of religion and that there's less strife and so much.
That Hamas has so much violence and I -- you know -- kind of the red Herring you know what's what's common to all religions is people and they are.
Pretty much all simple kind of you know fallen creatures.
And do you do we missed the boat then when we try to actually.
Get into religion and kind of take the negatives and then try to like make that our religion instead of really looking -- -- the -- actually saying.
You know -- I've heard it said that there there really are two major religions in the world religions of the haves and the have nots.
So often are conflicts.
Are camouflaged as religious but underneath.
There are conflicts of of power and wealth and poverty and so on.
But I do think that.
That are religious beliefs send us into the world within attitude toward the other.
And that attitude can either be more fearful -- condemning.
But -- -- do you think that's a religious beliefs or misguided understanding of our religious police because you actually look at the gospel that's not what it's saying.
Yes I couldn't agree -- more but here's the problem what you're calling a misguided religious belief can be.
Can become popular they can even become predominant.
In some people's minds -- can even be considered orthodox.
As part and part of the research for the book I went back over Christian history and study for example.
The history of Christian anti semitism something we all want to have firmly behind us yet if we forget that.
Among many Christians including some very notable Christian leaders.
-- its statements were made it would be so shocking to us now we find them hard to believe storm that was considered normative so what's beautiful to me about that.
Is that our -- have the capacity.
To learn and grow and change and and I think that's one of the great challenges of the 21 century we might say.
The great challenge of the twentieth century was dealing with a racial difference and in the 21 century we have to deal.
-- multiple religious side and.
You know I just read a chapter one of our viewers from David Larsen he says as a nation.
We need to stand up for a faith sadly Christians have become so tolerant that we let others change our nation's history what do you think about that Bryant.
Here is word that it did this these kinds of statements come bring bring the issue of identity right to the four.
If we if my Christian identity calls me to move toward my neighbor whatever his or her religion would love and and a desire to serve.
I'm not watering down my Christian commitment to be loving toward my neighbor.
And and I think this is where we really have something to sort out I just was reading this morning that my friend Jim Wallace and this -- organization.
Has been -- to put up billboards near where mosques have been burned down.
Or where the C good to -- was.
-- that tragedy happened.
Putting up billboards that -- love your Muslim neighbors Canada and that's to me is -- -- of people being better Christians not not work.
Well Marion -- loved the book is called.
Quite in Jesus Moses Buddha and Mohammed cross the road Brian McLaren very interesting thank you so much for being -- Thanks so much -- and I think we have a.