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A recent book on Muslim Christian relations is Reaching Muslims: A one-step guide for Christians gives a perspective, albeit from a Protestant perspective, is worth noting. Much of what is said therein would recall for interested readers the kinds of things Pope Benedict XVI has already said. The author is reasonably positive when he speaks about Muslim culture being “culturally rich and often wonderfully passionate
about life and faith.” There is a lot of useful information given here: he covers lots of ground: politics, sociology, belief, justice matters, history and demographics.

This book attempts to help the read to bridge the gap of divisions, real or fictional, between Christians and Muslims. Fear of the other keeps us from speaking the truth in love and in peace with someone who does not think or act like we do. Chatrath holds up the role of friendship in knowing the other. Friendship bears the heat of the day!

In several places the author is bold in his thinking and this is seen in his final chapter in dealing with the oft-asked question, one that I in fact got today: Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God? 

Chatrah says: “Few people claim that the Christian God and the Muslim God are exactly the same. It may be that one sheds light on the other, but what we must avoid is a logically absurd situation where incompatible claims are held as compatible. Let me explain by taking as an example God’s method of salvation, specifically how one gets to heaven or paradise. For Christians, this happens through repentance and faith in Jesus. For Muslims, the main way this happens is when on the day of judgment God judges your good deeds to have outweighed your bad deeds. These are different and, I would suggest, mutually exclusive methods of salvation … While as Christians we can affirm the monotheism of Muslims, we cannot affirm their view of God in totality.”

So, why is Jesus good news?