Acton Institute Powerblog

Olasky on World Religions

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In this interview for, Acton Institute senior fellow Marvin Olasky talks about his book, The Religions Next Door. Olasky says, in part, on the importance for Christians to learn about other religions,

Number one, as part of general knowledge, we should know about other religions if we want to understand something about American history, world history, and different cultures of the world. For the purpose of understanding the world and people, then sure we want to do that. Number two if we want to take practical policy actions in regard to say Islam as well as other religions then we have to understand how that works out. That’s going to heavily influence our judgment on what we can do in Iraq and lots of other places. Number three, there are evangelistic purposes that are significant and I think the approach of taking a bullhorn and shouting out Bible verses is not particularly effective. It’s much better to discuss something with a person, find out where that person’s coming from, and be able to deal with the real questions that person has.

Jordan J. Ballor Jordan J. Ballor (Dr. theol., University of Zurich; Ph.D., Calvin Theological Seminary) is a senior research fellow and director of publishing at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty, where he also serves as executive editor the Journal of Markets & Morality. He is author of Get Your Hands Dirty: Essays on Christian Social Thought (and Action) (Wipf & Stock, 2013), Covenant, Causality, and Law: A Study in the Theology of Wolfgang Musculus (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2012) and Ecumenical Babel: Confusing Economic Ideology and the Church's Social Witness (Christian's Library Press, 2010), as well as editor of numerous works, including Abraham Kuyper Collected Works in Public Theology. Jordan is also associate director of the Junius Institute for Digital Reformation Research at Calvin Theological Seminary. He has authored articles in academic publications such as The Journal of Religion, Scottish Journal of Theology, Reformation & Renaissance Review, and Journal of Scholarly Publishing, and has written popular pieces for newspapers including the Detroit News, Orange County Register, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In 2006, Jordan was profiled in the book, The Relevant Nation: 50 Activists, Artists And Innovators Who Are Changing The World Through Faith. Jordan's scholarly interests include Reformation studies, church-state relations, theological anthropology, social ethics, theology and economics, and research methodology. Jordan is a member of the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA), and he resides in Jenison, Michigan with his wife and three children.