If we think Papa, Jesus & Sarayu are a more-or-less accurate depiction of the character of the real God of the Bible (and I do), then sooner or later we have to start finding fresh ways to relate to people of non-Jesus-y religions.
The good news of Jesus is often presented not as news, but as a sales pitch about a religious product–postmortem real estate in a good neighborhood (a.k.a., ‘heaven’), which can be obtained by following a certain religious technique (Obeying the 10 commandments, going to church, praying a particular set of words, adopting a certain belief system, etc). When we buy into this, our relationships with those who follow a different technique (the one taught them by Buddha, for example) get awkward, and we start feeling like we ought to become salespeople to them, because just being their friend is not enough.
Methinks some rethinking is needed.
One who has done some good thinking on this subject is Brian McLaren. His previous books have always been great for me, and I am looking forward to reading his new book–Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World.
If you found The Shack thought-provoking in a good way, I bet Brian’s book would provoke your thoughts even more, and in a similar direction.
NOTE: I am ShackBibleGuy, and I approved this message.
Nobody asked me or paid me to promote this book.
I just think it looks cool and wanted to share.