Steve Bell – Mountains Move: Achieving Social Cohesion in a Multicultural Society
Paternoster ISBN 978 1 78893 218 0
This well-research book is a fascinating exploration of how Christians have in the past related to people of other cultures, particularly those in the Muslim world.
Steve Bell seeks to adjust Christian thinking doing three things:
- Challenging the unhelpful ways that Christians in the West have viewed people who are different. This includes making the reader think about the impact of colonialism on the attitudes of people in the West and on the attitudes of many to those in the West. The author sees these attitudes as a mountain range of obstacles to loving our neighbour, which make effective gospel communication more difficult. I was interested to see that one of these mountains was Mount Mission. Yes, even mission can adopt such a confrontational tone that proves to be counterproductive.
- Providing a nuanced analysis of the composition of Islam, in which the author challenges the idea that it is a monolithic bloc of radical believers. This includes an exploration of trends like Ex-Muslim Christian movements throughout the world.
- Pointing the way to how Christians can do a better job of engaging with people who are different. I like the idea of the “Grace Pass,” that allows Christians to navigate the delicate journey of understanding, loving and reaching out to our neighbours from other cultures.
This would be a useful book for anyone to read. It would be especially helpful for those living in areas where there is a large Muslim presence.
John Woods is a writer and Bible teacher based in West Sussex. He is Director of Training at the School of Preachers in Riga, Latvia.