Q & R: Upcoming Book title?

Here’s the Q:

I’m looking forward to reading your forthcoming book, “Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Walk into a Bar”. And I am hoping to find a group in Grand Rapids, MI to participate in your book tour. But I am wondering about the title, particularly because you hope to promote Christian hospitality toward people of different faiths. Don’t you worry that having a title that has Mohammed walking into a bar will be offensive to many Muslims and create more barriers to interfaith dialogue? I’m quite perplexed by your (or your publishers) choice of a title. Just wondering, thanks for the good work you do.

Here’s the R:

Thanks for this question. You’re right: the title is provocative … but I’m confident that the first chapter will quickly turn potential offense into insight for anyone with an open mind and heart. The book is primarily written for Christians, and of course, many Christians will also be concerned about the image of Jesus walking into a bar. But again, the discomfort of the image might help us imagine why people in Jesus’ day were scandalized that he would “eat and drink with sinners.” My hope is that the book will help people see the wild and daring strategy of incarnation that we celebrate this month … and that it will help us imagine a new identity for ourselves as followers of Jesus in today’s multi-faith world.
UPDATE: Based on input from a number of Muslim readers, we’ve decided that this title is too provocative. The new title is “Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?”