“Love is the start and finish of everything we do”
When we first arrived in Fiji my wife was trying to enrol my son in Scouts. The local Scout-master asked what we were doing in Fiji – and my wife explained we were missionaries sent from Australia at the invitation of the local university student ministry – to help students reach students for Christ. The Scout-master responded “But, why bother, everyone here is a Christian!”
My wife thought to herself – "Not everyone here is a Christian - I passed both a Hindu temple and a Muslim mosque on my way here!"
Sometimes we cannot see the very things in front of our faces, but when it comes to people, and their eternal destiny, Christians cannot afford to be so blind.
That’s why the book Engaging with Hindus is so very helpful. In a clear, simple and warm way Robin Thomson helps Christians see the need and opportunity that exists to engage with the many Hindus who we live, study, work and play alongside. The first half of the book focusses on understanding Hindus – and while it is no means exhaustive (that would be the work of a far weighty tome than this) – it gives a great outline for those who know very little about Hindu beliefs and practices. The effect is that the reader's confidence should be boosted as they seek to speak with Hindus they know about what they actually believe and practice (just like with Christians - there can be a wide variety!). The second half is a practical guide to engaging with Hindus – that is speaking and befriending those of a very different world-view to that of Christians.
In terms of Thompson’s approach and encouragement to the reader he lists four basic principles:
(ii) Listen and learn
(iii) Present Christ positively
I think there can be no better endorsement of this book than Thomson’s own words when he writes of the first principle: love is the start and finish of everything that we do. Love means being friends – genuine, unjudging friends – with Hindus. This is not a strategy or a means to an end. Love is the end.
Our blindness to those around us is really a lack of love. Why not read this book and follow its encouragement to love, not simply Hindus in general, but a Hindu that you know