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Muslim, Christian and Jew: Finding a Path to Peace Our Faiths Can Share [Paperback]

Dr. David Liepert

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Book Description

June 1 2010
Faith-based conflict and religious violence threaten our world. This timely and provocative work challenges the stereotypes and misconceptions that fuel these conflicts to answer the question that lies at the nexus of faith, religion, politics, history, and current events: f Can those of different faiths live together in peace? Drawing on personal experience, history, and scripture, this carefully researched book exposes both the differences and similarities between Christianity, Judaism, and Islam and reveals the surprising truth about what they really teach at their core. Dr. David Liepert recounts his own journey from Christianity to become a convert of Islam and what he learned in the process. Liepert, a prominent North American Muslim, also candidly explores how and why Islam has gone from being a religion that sustained a vibrant multicultural and multireligious civilization to the one we have today. In the end, he concludes that all three faiths, as originally intended, are designed to live and work together. The happy ending we all crave, he says, might be closer than we think. This important book is a call to peace-not just for Muslims, Christians, and Jews but for all of us.

"Religion is arguably the most controversial topic in history. There is no other subject that is more hotly debated-or more carefully avoided. . . . What it takes is someone who is actually willing to confront the situation by asking the right-albeit uncomfortable-questions. In his book entitled Muslim, Christian and Jew: Find a Path to Peace our Faiths can Share, Liepert distinguishes himself by doing just that. He dives headfirst into his piece by asking the complex question of why there is so much conflict between the world's three most popular religions of Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Using impeccably researched excerpts from a variety of religious scriptures such as the Bible, the Torah and the Koran, Liepert argues what many other authors would be hesitant to admit: that all three faiths essentially preach the same lessons and values. He emphasizes his key points in the form of bullet points at the end of each chapter, a clever structural mechanism for readers who, like myself, get lost when deciphering even the most lucid of religious texts. Despite the content's educational qualities, it is not to be confused with anything textbook. Liepert's tone is as anecdotal as it is matter-of-fact, keeping the reader hooked through tales of his journey from questioning Christianity as a child to finding himself as a Muslim in adulthood. He effortlessly draws his personal experiences with religion into the book's overall message-that it is possible to find yourself through one faith while also supporting others. In today's religious climate, this straightforward and open-minded approach to the matter is more than stimulating; it is vital." -- Good Books in Bad Times (HarperOne blog)

"The Abrahamic religions of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism have a great deal in common with respect to their advocacy of peace, justice, the brotherhood of man, compassion, generosity to the less fortunate, honesty, and the honoring of the family. Yet down through the centuries there is a long history of violence between all three of these communities that continues to be manifest today in acts of terrorism, war, and discrimination. Must it always be so? That is the question addressed in the pages of Muslim, Christian, and Jew: Finding a Path to Peace Our Faiths Can Share by Canadian author David Liepert, who draws upon scripture, history, his many years of experience and expertise with respect to interfaith relations, and his own personal journey from being a Christian to converting to Islam. Peace is not only possible, but ultimately inevitable-if we are willing to work at it and practice the tenets that are the foundation of all three faiths. Highly recommended for community library 'Religion/Spirituality' collections, Muslim, Christian, and Jew: Finding a Path to Peace Our Faiths Can Share is especially recommended reading for anyone concerned with the continuing parochial animosities that have caused so much misery in the name of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam." -- Midwest Book Review

"Dr. David Liepert is a brilliant new North American Muslim voice. He has put much work into his tireless efforts, building bridges between our faiths and civilizations. I know his commitment to dialogue, respect, and understanding among different faiths, and I hope this work will be another step towards that vision." -- Dr. Imam Hamid Slimi, Chairman of the Canadian Council of Imams

"One danger of interfaith dialogue is that differences in theology or dogma can be so smoothed over or diluted that the integrity of each religion is sacrificed for the sake of an ecumenical consensus. Dr. David Liepert's Muslim, Christian, and Jew takes a very different path. As much a fascinating spiritual autobiography as a plea for interfaith understanding, Liepert (who has been engaged in interfaith dialogue for many years) confronts rather than waters down differences in a textual criticism of the three Abrahamic religions. This often takes the form of an internal dialogue, particularly when dealing with his own conversion from an evangelical Christianity to what might be described as an evangelical Islam. The binding thread to this book is a recurrent and impassioned plea for the practitioners of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism to transcend their undeniable differences and relatively recent past histories on the basis of that 'Common Word' shared by all three religions-love of God and love of neighbor-and to apply this core conviction existentially and not just affirm it." -- S. Abdallah Schleifer, Reviewer for the Oxford Journal of Islamic Studies, Distinguished Professor of Journalism at the American University in Cairo, former Cairo bureau chief for NBC News


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Faith of Life Publishing (June 1 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0981388205
  • ISBN-13: 978-0981388205
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #468,180 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Active in multifaith relations for many years, Dr. Liepert is a member of the Tony Blair Faith Acts Foundation, spokesperson for the Muslim Council of Calgary and Toronto's Sayeda Khadija Mosque and Community Center, and vice-president of the Faith of Life Network -- an internationally recognized Muslim organization dedicated to helping diverse communities live together. A specialist in Anesthesia, Dr. Liepert holds degrees and fellowships from the Universities of Saskatchewan and British Columbia, and Stanford University. David Liepert currently lives with his wife and children in Calgary.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Virtually every other religious book portrays the act of believing-the decision a believer makes to accept that his or her own religion's particular assumptions and explanations are true-as if it is a good thing. Frankly, I think believing is dangerous. . . . The thrust of my argument is simple: All of us think that our religion is "good" and that those in apparent (and often politically motivated) opposition to it are "bad." But the real truth is that all of our religions are equally guilty of being used to promote violence, and-thanks to centuries of political manipulation that have distorted the way we read our holy books-all of us are equally guilty of not following what our religions really say. . . . That's the challenge I confront in Part I, "The Problem with Religion." . . . Do our different faiths only doom us to fighting with each other, or are they meant for something more? To find the right answers, you have to ask the right questions. Part II, "Beginning with Christianity," charts my journey of questioning from the very start. As I probed the history of the differences between Islam, Christianity and Judaism-from cultural shifts to scriptural revisionism-I came to understand the pressures that had forced these faiths so far apart, and I began to hope that they could find their way back together.In Part III, "Into Islam," I explore how Islam has gone from being a religion capable of sustaining a vibrant multicultural and multireligious civilization to the source of intolerance and conflict we have today. Part IV, "Working with Judaism," takes a close look at the path this faith has followed, from the first days of the Covenant to the conflict in the Middle East-driven by forces less religious than political-and posits a solution: If we made politics, and we believe that God made us, shouldn't our faith lead our politics instead of the other way around? Part V, "Faith: The Solution," explores belief and human nature in a new light to explain how Freud's theories of the subconscious and quantum physics' model of the subatomic universe offer some of the best proof we have that God exists; show us a way to restore religion to its rightful role in our lives and our world; and conclude that we're all a lot closer to where we should be than we think.

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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended for community library "Religion/Spirituality" collections June 10 2010
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The Abramhamic religions of Islam, Christianity and Judaism are a great deal in common with respect to their advocacy of peace, justice, the brotherhood of man, compassion, generosity to the less fortunate, honesty, and the honoring of the family. Yet down through the centuries there is a long history of violence between all three of these communities that continues to be manifest today in acts of terrorism, war, and discrimination. Must it always be so? That is the question addressed in the pages of "Muslim, Christian, and Jew: Finding a Path to Peace Our Faiths Can Share" by Canadian author David Liepert, who draws upon scripture, history, his many years of experience and expertise with respect to interfaith relations, and his own personal journey from being a Christian to converting to Islam. Peace is not only possible, but ultimately inevitable -- if we are willing to work at it and practice the tenants that are the foundation of all three faiths. Highly recommended for community library "Religion/Spirituality" collections, "Muslim, Christian, and Jew: Finding a Path to Peace Our Faiths Can Share" is especially recommended reading for anyone concerned with the continuing parochial animosities that have caused so much misery in the name of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome voice for dialogue Sept. 19 2010
By Chris Siebrasse - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is a welcome invitation to dialogue. As a Christian, it was interesting for me to read of a former Christian, now Muslim, explain how all three Abrahamic religions, in his eyes, are aiming at the same goal. It served to shed a little light while attenuating the heat that usually accompanies discussion of religion nowadays.

I think Liepert realizes that most of his readers will be Christian and so he devotes the greatest amount of space to this religion compared to the other two. I would recommend this book to Christians as it does help to see his issues. While a Christian, he originally studied Islam to point out where his Muslim brothers got it wrong. His faith journey proves to be fascinating.

On the downside, while he comes across as very learned, he sorely needed an editor. On some subjects, he begins to meander and it can prove a distraction from his main points.

On the whole, this proved well worth the time to read. I wish the vociferous voices protesting Islam in this country would sit down and read this book.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Beginning to Help Us Understand and Accept June 10 2011
By Cheryl A. Chatfield - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Dr. Liepert, a Christian, hoped to convince his Muslim friends that his religion was the correct one by finding passages in the Bible to prove that Jesus was God, the main area in which the two religions disagree. In the process, he became a Muslim, as he found that the Bible did not substantiate his original belief. "I learned how the Word of God in the Bible had been made to serve Christian doctrine rather than the Church serving Jesus' message as it should have."

He also discovered, however, how similar the Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths viewed the world through their holy books, the Torah, Bible and Quran. He provides many examples of similarities. As his title explains, he is searching for a path to peace. His main question is "If our religions are really helping us be better people. Shouldn't they be making us do good things for each other instead?"

The Jews don't believe Jesus is the Messiah or that Muhammad is a Prophet;
the Christians believe that Jesus is the Messiah and God;
and the Muslims believe that God is God, Jesus is the Jewish Messiah and Muhammad is the last Prophet to be given revelations.

Dr. Liepert wonders why, since all share the same Creator, it is necessary that each believes the other two are misguided or evil. He hopes we can begin to correct that.

Dr. Liepert's research strengthened his belief in the Bible, yet he observes that despite his belief that the Bible does not show Jesus as God, Christ is a major figure and it is "unlikely that he will be removed from the role of founder and guiding light of Christianity." In Islam, Jesus has always been considered one of three greatest Prophets, along with Moses and Muhammad. The differences are not insurmountable, "Jesus wanted people to believe in God, not in him." On that, all three agree.

The Quran does not condemn Jews or Judaism, despite some of the extreme Islamic statements, and Dr. Liepert is critical of Muslims that interpret the Quran incorrectly. Neither the Quran nor Dr. Liepert support the Muslim treatment of women. As he states, "We're all learned to use religions to control everyone else."

He is critical of the extreme Jews who believe it is God's fault that there are problems in Israel. He claims that the Christians are confused because some believe the turmoil in Israel is necessary before Jesus will return. He sees all three religions working against peace and love. He believes, from his reading of the Torah, Bible and Quran, that God wants us all to get along, even if we don't agree. His is one more voice rising to force us to look at our similarities while pointing out the differences.

What if people simply worked within each religion to improve the future and agree to understand and accept the discrepancies? Wouldn't that begin a lessening of the violence in the world? Dr. Liepert is making an attempt to find "a path to peace our faiths can share." This is a good place to start. We need people such as him to begin the process, and each of us to help carry it forward.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book will help you gain much-needed perspective March 26 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book offers a unique perspective and voice that needs to be heard--for all our sakes. In a world so intricately interconnected (what happens on one side of the world affects us all), we must reach out and understand each other. David Liepert is unusually poised to help us do that as a Christian who converted to the Muslim faith 16 years ago and who has been very active in multifaith relations. "God wants us to learn to get along," he says. "Our religions are all trying to tell us how." This book takes a candid look at what all three traditions really teach, and the author's use of source material that goes to the original intent of the founders is eye-opening and helpful. Perhaps most importantly, his book shows another side of Islam that gets eclipsed by world events. The world will be changed one by one by one. "Muslim, Christian, and Jew" makes an important contribution to that needed change. Reading this book will help you make your contribution too. --Patricia Spadaro, author of Honor Yourself: The Inner Art of Giving and Receiving
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly tackles a thorny problem March 26 2011
By Nigel J. Yorwerth - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Make a difference for world peace now-buy this book and give it to your family and friends, whatever their faith. Dr. David Liepert tackles a thorny problem that has challenged the earth since the beginning of recorded history--how can those of different faiths learn to love and respect each other and to live together in peace. In "Muslim, Christian & Jew" the author shows that it is not the religions that are the problem but how the adherents and proponents of these religions put their beliefs into practice. Liepert has studied the Muslim, Christian, and Jewish texts and shows that, in essence, they do agree with each other and teach essentially the same thing. It is when these teachings are politicized that we start to have conflict. This is an extremely important book for our time as we see the Middle East convulsing into turmoil before our eyes. The world needs more books like this to bring us together, otherwise there is no telling where our world will be headed.

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