Sharing the Salt
This simple and very helpful introduction on how to share our faith with people of other faiths, especially those with an Asian background, assumes that relational evangelism is the way forward and presents the case for this approach convincingly. We may well find that witnessing to those who have strong religious beliefs already is easier than trying to talk to pagan westerners. This should encourage us to take the initiative.
But how to make friends, and what are the pitfalls? First, there are important differences to appreciate between western and Asian cultures. These centre mainly on the home and family, male-female relationships, what is expected in terms of hospitality and what may be expected from those regarded as friends. Brief stories of the experiences of those who have succeeded, and some who have failed in their early attempts, illuminate some of these issues. Mistakes may occur when it is not clear which cultural norms are being followed, usually because those we relate to will have been thoroughly westernised. It may be that Christians can help those who suffer in the generation clash that frequently occurs in Asian homes.
The book includes biblical material on how Asians may feel in our alien culture by working through the experience of Ruth, while the numerous occasions when Jesus ate with his disciples and with 'sinners' are noted.
There is a challenge in this book that no reader can escape: what am I doing personally to make friends with those who are living among us from other faiths? There are always side benefits, and one will be that I am made to think more deeply about my own faith, while if it leads to my having fellowship with Asian Christians that will enrich my Christian life enormously.
If you share the concern of some about the apparent direction of inter-faith issues in the Methodist Church, it is important that we are able to speak from our own experience of conversation and relationships with people of other faiths, and not only from our study of the Bible. This book will help us to do that