In his new book “Bold as Love; What Can Happen When We See People the Way God Does”, Texas megachurch pastor Bob Roberts, Jr. writes about diversity of religions and the possibility of seeing our neighbors in the same light God does. For Christians, the word ‘diversity’ has long been considered a four-letter word, a bit unnerving, and difficult to achieve at best. Roberts believes diversity it is possible for different religions to come together under the umbrella of God’s bold love. The genesis for this book was a challenge by Roberts’s friend, a Saudi prince and a Muslim to discuss the ways to bring about a greater understanding between Christians and Muslims. From there, Roberts organized an event at his church for the purpose of demonstrating God’s love between Christian, Jewish, and Muslims communities. After some initial pushback, his congregation his vision and the event was a great success.
Roberts spends a great deal of time, in different places throughout the book, talking about the differences between “multifaith” and “interfaith”. His goal in hosting these meetings is multifaith: people coming together who passionately believe in their own faith and want to know more about what their neighbors believe. Interfaith, he describes, is simply trying to melt all faiths into one. Roberts has found through these multifaith meetings, three questions are often asked. First, “Why do you believe in God?” Second, “Why do you believe in only one God?” Third, “Why are you a Christian?” He believes there must be solid answers from Christians to these questions if we are going to positively influence other religions. Roberts takes time to describe certain fears in the multifaith journey. He describes them as fear of physical harm, hostility from “enemies”, hostility from “friends”, losing your faith, and fear itself.
I am not sure where I land on this book. One of the chapters I had the most difficulty with was the chapter that dealt with multifaith worship. Maybe it is the pastor in me. Maybe I missed the something in the book. I don’t know. I like to believe I understand where Roberts is going when he talks about not bowing to other gods in his heart regardless of who he stands beside. I understand the need for bridge-building and the importance of relationships for the purpose of gospel presentation. I really do. Personally, there is one fundamental problem I have with what Roberts is proposing. I believe the foundational differences in Christianity and Islam’s viewpoint of Jesus Christ, God, and salvation are enough to make a multifaith worship hollow and void of any real meaning. Again, this is my observation and opinion. Otherwise, Roberts has written a good book filled with personal experiences that the majority of us would have never thought of. He writes with clarity, passion, and conviction. I appreciate that about the book.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Handlebar Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”