Book Review The IntraFaith Conversation

The INTRAfaith Conversation: “How Do Christians Talk Among Ourselves About INTERfaith Matters? By Susan Strouse

Strouse presents a discussion of conversation between various faith traditions, centered in the Bay Area. Growing up in the South the only conversation, and conflicts we had were between various denominations–I was saved several times in the Baptist faith because I was interested in a Baptist girl.  In my years of ministry in the Midwest it was the same, largely disagreements over doctrinal issues between the liberal United Methodists and the Baptists and other conservative traditions.Pluralism was seen as a “sin” and you were a heretic. There was only one faith–belief in Christ. And for the most part it remains the same various swaths of our country.

We are so divided around religious views, which leads us to political division. Strouse describes various techniques in working with various groups of people, and pastoral approaches.

The one point that needs to be heard is that she talks about is that God has many faces. For example the Christian theological point of view is communicated through Jewish eyes, and interpretations of Scripture is through the eyes of writers who are seeking to communicate to one part of the world, as are all other religious points of view. Where we have missed out is that every major religion communicates on central teaching: Loving God and loving neighbor. God comes to various groups of people in different ways and forms.

Strouse is the author a great book, and she has difficulty in the Bay Area, which  should  tell us how difficult it is elsewhere.  All we need is to stand back and see the God of many faces and in doing so to see all of us as one family.

Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164

www. temenos.org

415-305-2124

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