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I think the tipping point is near ...

and it's about time.

Nearly eleven years have passed since September 11, 2001, and in that time, all of us have had to face - or avoid - the issue of religiously-inspired fear, hostility, and violence.

A growing number of books are grappling with the subject. I just finished Philip Jenkins' excellent new book, Laying Down the Sword, which deals with violent passages in the Bible and how they have been (ab)used through history. Samir Selmanovic's It's Really All About God explored this territory a few years back - with real intelligence and heart. My upcoming book (to be released September 11, 2012) will also engage in this conversation.

Meanwhile, reaction, retrenchment, and regression are easy to find too - discouraging, yes, but also signs that there is something to react to, retrench against, and regress from.

What I hope and pray for is this: that growing numbers of Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and others will - in this time of global religious reflection and reevaluation - all open themselves to repentance (rethinking). I hope that we will, in the words of Jesus, stop trying to take splinters out of one another's eyes, and instead, focus on the planks in our own eyes - Christians facing hostility in our communities, Muslims facing hostility in their communities, Jews in theirs, Hindus in theirs, and so on.

Reaction, retrenchment, regression ... or repentance, reflection, reevaluation? That's the fork in the road we all face. The former is broad, smooth, familiar, and popular ... and we know where it leads: the destruction of war, hate, prejudice, fear. The latter is rough, challenging, less familiar, and less travelled. But the choice will make all the difference.