By Kristin Rudolph
Brian McLaren, prominent evangelical left writer and speaker is on tour promoting his new book, Why did Jesus, Moses, the Buddah, and Mohammed Cross the Road? On September 13, 2012 at Calvary Baptist Church in Washington, DC, McLaren discussed his view that Christians are too hostile toward those of other religions and must learn to embrace those with whom they disagree, while retaining their Christian identity. McLaren explained his view that Christians either “know how to have a strong identity that is hostile toward people of other faiths,” or on the other extreme, “[achieve] tolerance by reducing the strength of their Christian identity.”
Instead of these two options, McLaren argued for a “third way” that blends a strong Christian identity with a more tolerant disposition toward other religions. He asked: “Is there a way of building a strong identity that doesn’t involve … finding a common enemy?” He suggested perhaps “the real enemy is hostility itself.” If so, according to McLaren, people of different faiths could join together against “hostility” rather than oppose each other based on differing religious beliefs.
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