Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Review: Journey to Jesus: Building Christ-Centered Relationships with Muslims

Journey to Jesus: Building Christ-Centered Friendships with Muslims is a 2 -DVD, 6-session study on building relationships. But relationships is not the end goal. Within the context of those friendships or chilly relationships, Christians have the opportunity to share their faith. Because people from many different backgrounds are migrating to the US, many of us have opportunities like never before to share our faith with people of a different faith.
With a 'slide show' that covers several things for the viewer to watch out for, short videos of how the relationships might develop, and downloadable materials for each session, this is a great study for small groups or individuals interested in sharing their faith with adherents of Islam. 
Christians are individuals and so are Muslims, and it's foolish to think that every Muslim we meet has the same background, or will respond equally to the same approach. This series shows 3 different types of relationship, one based on 2 moms who meet while their children are playing at a local park, another based on a work relationship, and the third based on an assignment given to college students. Each plays out in a different way, and this course does not really address some of the more hostile elements of the Islamic faith that are so much in the news these days.
The downloadable materials include background information, leader's preparation guide and participant handouts for each session.
For a basic introduction to building those bridges with Muslim friends and neighbors, this is an excellent beginning. For anyone thinking that this will equip them to deal with any and all situations, it will fall short.
I finished the videos wanting to know how the stories eventually played out: Were there any conversions to Christianity, did the friendships continue, or were the differences so great that the friendships dissolved because of the tension created by faith difference? I would have liked  a final scene with a "five years later" statement, but perhaps that was beyond the scope of this project. Relationships are ongoing and progressive, and the lack of finality is a reminder that we are called to plant seeds, and that we may not see results for some time.
I hope to use this study in our midweek bible study. Hopefully this will be part of a series dealing with how to build bridges with members of other faith groups: Hindu, Buddhist, etc.
In compliance with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, I am required to mention  that Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this DVD.


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