Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? Paperback

Christian Identity in a Multi-faith World

by Brian D. McLaren;

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Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?

Full Product Description

Brian McLaren offers you an easy way in to this sensitive and vitally important subject... with a joke. But he quickly gets into the all important discussion about Christian Identity in our multi-faith world posing the question we all have to face sooner or later: just how should we interact with our changed and changing world?

Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, many other religions and atheists all make up the human race. With religious tension everywhere, and with some places on the knife’s edge of destruction, it’s hard to know how to interact. Do we fight, belittle and argue? Or accept, ignore and walk by? Or is there a better solution?

Emerging Church proponent and enthusiast, Brain McLaren, offers to shed some light on the issue in his book – ‘Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha and Mohammed Cross the Road?’. With his usual down-to-earth intelligence and conversational writing style, Brian expertly unpacks the issues and lays down a daring manifesto, both accepting and challenging, for the Church to follow.

Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? by Brian D. McLaren was published by Hodder & Stoughton in September 2012 and is our 17869th best seller. The ISBN for Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? is 9781444703672.

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Publisher's Description

Christians and Muslims together make up about 57% of the world's population today, and by the end of the century they will constitute about 66% of the world's population. More than any other single factor, the wellbeing of our children and grandchildren may depend on how well Christians learn to relate to Muslims - and Hindus, the next largest faith, not to mention Buddhists, Jews, people of indigenous faiths, and the nonreligious. We know how to have a strong Christian identity that is intolerant of or belligerent towards other faiths, and we know how to have a weak Christian identity that is tolerant and benevolent. But is there a third alternative? How do we discover, live, teach, and practise a Christian identity that is both strong and benevolent towards other faiths?

In this provocative and inspiring book, author Brian McLaren tackles some of the hardest questions around the issue of interfaith relations, and shares a hopeful vision of the reconciliation that Jesus offers to our multi-faith world.

PUBLISHER'S VIDEO TRANSCRIPT: Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?

Brian Mclaren: ‘My answer to the question ‘Why did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?’ is simply this: to get to the other. In other words, everything we know about Jesus, Moses, the Buddha and Mohammed tells us that if they were her today, they would be trying to lead us to an encounter with the other where instead of killing one another and hating one another, we would discover one another as all God’s children, as neighbours, maybe even as friends.

Maybe we could discover that our differences don’t need to divide us - they can become a reason to bring us together; that what really separates us is not our differences but actually something we all hold in common, namely this: that we all build our religious identity based on hostility toward the other - and that’s what I try to explore in this book: a way to think about Christian identity that instead of building hostility towards the other, actually builds benevolence and solidarity with the other.

I hope that you’ll join me in seeking a new way of being Christians, a new kind of Christianity where the stronger we hold our faith in Jesus Christ, the more committed we are to following Jesus Christ, the more understanding, loving and kind we’ll be toward all other human beings, whether they’re Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, Hindus, whatever. Why did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? Christian identity in a multi-faith world. I hope you’ll enjoy the book.’

In Brief: Eden Video Transcript

"This book is certain to ruffle feathers and change perspectives. Perhaps the most controversial book in Christian literature since Rob Bell's 'Love Wins', this book tackles a subject that is bound to divide opinion: interfaith relations."

"There's a massive spectrum of belief within Christianity on how Christians should approach their neighbours who follow other religions. This is an issue not to be avoided, and whether you agree wholeheartedly or disagree entirely with the perspective Brian McLaren brings, it's important for each person who would call themselves 'Christian' to ponder this issue."


“The thing I love about Brian is that he's kind and intelligent and funny and easy to talk to and in no time you're deep into conversation until it hits you: this man has a very, very radical message. He actually believes that Jesus and his followers can change the world. This book is no exception - he starts with a joke but quickly you realize just how serious he is about doing what Jesus teaches us to do. Helpful, timely, and really, really inspiring.” – Rob Bell, author of Velvet Elvis

"Brian has resisted the temptation to create an all-you-can-eat buffet of religions, where you can pick and choose what you want. Instead, he curiously explores what it looks like to be unashamedly Christian and still be nice to people who aren’t. As one who wants the world to know the love of Jesus, I am deeply troubled that one of the major obstacles to Christ is Christians . . . and I am deeply grateful for thinkers like Brian who are helping us discover a Christianity that looks like Jesus again." – Shane Claiborne, activist and author of The Irresistible Revolution

“An extraordinary book: a thought-provoking introduction to one of the biggest challenges confronting the church in our globalised world, and a profoundly biblical and brave beginning to a Christ-centred cultural revolution.” – Rev Steve Chalke MBE, founder of Oasis Global & Stop The Traffik

“Brian McLaren is a genius in provoking - in a constructive way. You won't see relations among religions in the same way after you read this book.” – Miroslav Volf, Professor of Theology, Yale University

“I think Brian McLaren is a spiritual genius! Not only does he have the courage to say what must and can be said, but he says it with a deep knowledge of both Scriptures and Tradition, and then says it very well besides - in ways that both the ordinary layperson and the scholar can respect and understand. You can't get any better than that, which is why I call him a genius!” – Richard Rohr, O.F.M, Center for Action and Contemplation

“In its relationship to those who believe differently, Christian formation all too often takes shape with hostile reaction, or collapses into some washed out common denominator. Brian helps us recover, and explore a vital and exciting alternative. Of how learning from "others" of all persuasions, is possible and intrinsic to vibrant Christian identity.” – Jason Clark, Deep Church

"This is a major work in every sense of the word – so major, in fact, that it would be impossible to exaggerate either its importance or its worth to the current conversation about religion and religions. Mapping the space between Christian exclusivism and inert universalism, McLaren brilliantly reclaims the ancient Christian imperative to abandon the accommodations of static religion and pursue instead the principles of Kingdom-living." – Phyllis Tickle, author of Emergence Christianity

"Genuine dialogue with difference has often been avoided by the Christian community because of a fear that it will undermine, weaken or erode the faith. Here McLaren shows us that far from being something that is acidic to Christian identity, such engagement is part of its deepest expression." – Peter Rollins, author of Insurrection

"Brian McLaren is a master of pointing us to the right question, and he has done it again by asking Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? This is a dangerous question. Dangerous in that it will not leave you alone once you invite it in . . . Brian reminds us that this question is not new, but that it is ours. I, for one, am grateful to Brian for the intro- duction to this immensely important book and question." – Doug Pagitt, pastor and author

"Brian McLaren is the most creative Christian theologian and spiritual teacher writing and preaching today in the U.S., yet his universal message is as relevant to people of all faiths and none. A champion of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness – and rooting these in the Biblical texts – McLaren helps heal CRIS – Conflicted Religious Identity Syndrome. As a Jewish theologian, I welcome this important contribution to showing the path through which all religions can become an emancipa- tory force for human liberation." – Rabbi Michael Lerner, Editor, Tikkun, Chair of the Interfaith Network of Spiritual Progressives

"Surely there is no problem more important – and more vexing – to people of various faiths than how we can all get along in this pluralistic, post- modern world. In Brian McLaren’s capable and gentle hands, these ques- tions are answered, and a new way forward is offered. This is a book for Christians (and others) who want to maintain their religious distinctive- ness but develop loving compassion for their neighbors of other religions." —Tony Jones, author of The New Christians

Back Cover Text

Faith inspires, guides and gives meaning to the lives of many people in our world. But why does it so often make people less peaceful, less kind and less understanding towards people of other faiths?

Bestselling author Brian McLaren argues that Christians know how to build a strong identity that is intolerant of or hostile towards other faiths; and they know how to have a weak identity that is tolerant and benign. But is there a third alternative? How do we discover, live, teach, and practice a Christian identity that is both strong and benevolent towards other faiths?

In this provocative and inspiring books, Brian McLaren tackles some of the hardest questions about living faithfully in a multi-faith world, and shares a hopeful vision of reconciliation and collaboration that is rooted in Jesus - his message, and his way.

EDEN ARTICLE: Book Profile

In ‘Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha and Mohammed Cross the Road?’ Brian Mclaren seeks to address a truly profound problem and question that is often avoided: how should Christians interact with people of other faiths? I’ll be honest, this problem intrigues me - how can I fully love and respect someone who doesn’t ‘get’ the gospel? I have no problem appreciating their value as a person, but is it possible for me to rate their views as having any credibility if they do not come from a faith in Jesus?

In 288 pages of thoughtful prose, Brian argues for a Christian position of ‘strong-benevolence’ - one where Christians hold true to their identity in Christ, yet display genuine love and respect for the ‘other’. It must be noted here that the book is laced in controversy, but really it is up to you to decide whether Brian’s ideas are radical truth or hopeful heresy. What is clear in the text is that the author earnestly seeks the ending of hostility between religions and a great cohesion amongst people based on their common humanity, not division over differences in beliefs. It’s a noble aim.

Presented in four parts - The Crisis of Christian Identity, The Doctrinal Challenge, The Liturgical Challenge and The Missional Challenge - Brian Mclaren recounts personal experiences of interaction with people of other faiths to display the relevance and pragmatism of the ideas he presents. I thoroughly recommend that you read this book - it is imperative that Christians reconsider how we interact with those of over faiths (or no faith) - and this will provide much food for thought. - Pete Harrison

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Details for Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?

Page last updated 7th April 2016
Author / Artist
Book FormatPaperback
PublisherHodder & Stoughton (September 2012)
Number of Pages336
Thickness234 mm
Height24 mm
Width154 mm
Product Code4030112
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