Saturday, December 24, 2016
Monday, December 19, 2016
As an American attempting to understand Islam, the series has helped me to understand a side of Islam that is often overlooked: Muslims are people just like me, trying to raise their families, pay their bills, and worship according to their beliefs. A Way Out of Hell shows that radical Islamic groups like ISIS are as much a threat to Muslim society as they are to Christians and Jews.
Can Christians and Muslims live side by side, respect each others' beliefs, share each others' hopes, and even pray together? Philippians 4:13 says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
In a world where there is so little love, so little hope, and so little tolerance, maybe this series offers a glimpse of what is possible. I have many personal questions after reading the first two books. For example, can I love that much?
In my heart, I want to show Muslims the love of Christ. Jesus Christ died for them too, but before we can expect Muslims to listen to us, or to me, we must love them first. Earn their friendship. I remind myself, Jesus loves Muslims more than I ever could because He loves perfectly.
Our best ability to love will never be like Jesus Christ, but if we commit our minds and hearts to trying, will that not please our heavenly Father? John 13:35 says: By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."
The Peace Trilogy Series has shown me some things that aren't always obvious at first. Perhaps one reason why Jesus Christ taught using parables is because stories teach us things we can't learn any other way. When we read stories, we develop an intimacy with the characters. We feel their emotions.
The scholarship of a nonfiction book remains in the intellect. Stories reach the heart. Love, hate, hopelessness, and redemption, I felt all those emotions in the Peace Trilogy Series. I even felt pity for the antagonists who had become radicalized. They were misled, perhaps demonically possessed in one instance, but they still had souls. They weren't beyond redemption.
It only takes one person to make a difference, to bring peace to a village, a community, a school, or a country, and the Peace Trilogy Series provides an example of how reconciliation is possible. I look forward to reading the third and final book in the series, A Violent Light.