The Face of God

Publisher
Zondervan

Author
Bill Myers, award winning author and film producer.

Central Theme
Religion and legalism are destructive, but to be in a relationship with God and to be called his friend is the source of real life.

Overview
Daniel Lawson is a mega-church pastor who, in getting caught up in the machinery of the institution and the rule keeping of his religion, has lost his first love. A trip to Istanbul, the inheritance of an ancient stone with biblical significance, and the loss of his wife at the hands of Islamic terrorists eager to get that stone, send him on a personal and archaeological adventure. He is teamed with: his son Tyler who is embittered by the hypocrisies he sees in the church and in his father, Helen Zimmerman a Jewish archaeologist with very mixed motives for joining the venture, and with Nayra, a devout, smart, warm hearted, honorable Muslim girl.

His adversary is Ibrahim el-Magd, a sincere but misguided radical Muslim, who believes the only way to truly please Allah is through destroying the infidels. He also thinks possession of the ancient stones from the Hebrew breastplate, combined with the ancient Urim and Thummim stones, will allow him to hear God’s voice and assure him victory in his endeavors.

The archeological search provides an entertaining vehicle for an exploration of the deeper questions of religion, legalism and holiness in today’s world. Written prior to 911 the book offers a fictional insight into Islamic and Christian legalism, which seek holiness, but quench the spirit and replace personal relationship with God. The preface to the book also advises Christians to avoid hate and bigotry towards ‘our Islamic friends and neighbors–even towards terrorists,’ a welcome and altogether Christian perspective often not heard in today’s shrill rhetoric about Islam.

Beliefs num
–Legalism seems like a path to holiness, but always degenerates into hypocrisy and coldness of heart,
–A personal relationship with God connects us to the source of life, which like a tree, bears good fruit.
–God loves us and wants to be our friend.
–Most Muslims don’t seek to do Christians harm, as a matter of fact there is a long Koranic tradition of respecting ¢â‚¬Ëœpeople of the book.’
–There is within Islam a radical element that believes submission to and pleasing God requires the destruction of the infidels.
–These radical Muslims are driven by a legalism.
–Christian legalism does not generally do physical harm, but it is every bit as destructive as fundamentalism in Islam or other religious traditions.
–Muslims and Christians have a very different view of Jesus, which is both a source of conflict, but is also the ultimate path to reconciliation.

Questions Worth Discussing num
–Is Islam a religion of hate or love?
–Have you observed or experienced Christian legalism? Why do people embrace it?
–Do you believe God wants to be your friend? How do you secure that kind of relationship with God?
–For those who have read the book, who is your favorite character and why?

Provocative Quotes byline
–You’re not the one who killed her! Your religion did it. Just like it killed Jesus, just like it’s killed millions your religion, that’s what killed Mom.
==Tyler, to his father, Daniel
–How could he urge his congregation towards holiness without becoming legalistic? There had to be a difference.
==Daniel, beginning to wrestle with his legalism
–You cannot use lack of evidence to prove lack of existence.
==Devout Muslim Nayra to skeptical Jew Helen
–We live and practice our faith whereas Jews and Christians do not.
==Nayra’s perception of Islam as differentiated from other religions (and a common view among Muslims)
–What you saw back there, that’s not the Islamic way.
==Nayra, distressed at the brutal treatment of Christians by Sudanese Muslims

Posted in Books, Staublog in July 1, 2002 by | No Comments »

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