Q & R: Are we ready for it?

Here’s the Q:

I just finished reading Why did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road, and am interested in doing this book as a small group study at a Methodist congregration. The study group has been ongoing for about 18 months, and each attendee seems pretty secure in their faith. The studies we have done in the past were more simplistic, and the questions didn’t help us dig deeper. Basically, we looked up a question with a scripture reference in the Bible, and the answer was a direct quote from the scripture. It drove me crazy. But it turns out, everyone in the group desires a study that makes us think more, and dig deeper- which your book certainly does. I really want to help the Christian community have the conversations you propose in your book. Before reading your book, I struggled/ wrestled with each of the items you bring up in my own faith journey, and my family is interfaith- my brother and sister in law are Muslim. Ultimately, I reached many of the same conclusions after examining the very things you discuss in the book. I want to help Christians see the “others” in their lives- whether they are a different religion or not. I’m just not sure my small group is ready for your book yet or not. I’m afraid they may find it too shocking, or be turned off too early, and I’m a little nervous to stick my neck out. I would appreciate any suggestions for a small group, or if you have recommendations for other book titles to do instead that still discuss many of the doctrinal, liturgical, and missional questions.
Thank you for your time, and your commitment to interfaith dialogue.

Here’s the R:
I’m so glad you enjoyed the book. Here’s a thought. Why don’t you explain the book – which would involve sticking your neck out. Tell them that you enjoyed it, and why, and then tell them you’re worried that it might be too controversial for the group. You could then let them decide if they’re ready for it. Maybe they are?
Another option would be to do some background work on how people read the Bible. Two options would be my new book – We Make the Road by Walking, or an older book, A New Kind of Christianity. The latter addresses the question of how we read the Bible very directly … and the former simply introduces people to a better way of reading the Bible than proof-texting (which I blogged about recently.)