Christianity at the Religious Roundtable: Evangelicalism in Conversation with Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam

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Christianity at the Religious Roundtable: Evangelicalism in Conversation with Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. By Timothy C. Tennent. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2002. Pp. 272. Paperback $19.99.

Tennent, who earned his Ph.D. at the University of Edinburgh, is presently associate professor of world missions at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, as well as visiting lecturer at the Luther W. New Jr. Theological College, in Uttaranchal, northern India. After introducing the concept of interreligious dialogue, the author exemplifies it in "fictional conversations" with Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. He then presents three case studies. There are also an epilogue, an excellent glossary and bibliography, and a too-brief subject index.

This book provides a wealth of background material that will help cross-cultural communicators better understand the followers of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. Tennent first deals with the question "Who is God?" in Hinduism (pp. 37-62), Buddhism (pp. 89-114), and Islam (pp. 141-68). Healso examines Hinduism's doctrine of creation (pp. 63-88), Buddhism's ethical system (pp. 115-40), and Islam's teaching about Jesus and the incarnation (pp. 169-98), topics that are similar to the corresponding biblical teaching.

The discussions in the first part of the book are very cerebral, almost devoid of feeling and heart language. The fictional participants present their ideas with conviction, but the fears, doubts, longings, and desires that Ue close to the surface of every human being are not touched. …