At the beginning of the third millennium and an age of global diversity, Darrell J. Fasching argues that it is time for Christians to reject this view of their mission, along with the trail of prejudice and violence it has created, and replace militaristic metaphors of conquest with the biblical message of hospitality to the stranger. When we welcome the stranger, according to biblical teachings, we welcome God (Genesis 18:1-5), the Messiah (Matthew 25:35), or an angel of God (Hebrews 13:2).
Fasching takes us on a journey through the stories of the Bible to show that diversity is God's covenant intention for humanity. Consequently, the mission of Christians must not be to convert or eliminate non-Christians but rather to welcome them as strangers, for a world without strangers is a world without God.
The author confronts directly the dominant narrative of our technological civilization: the Janus-faced myths of “Apocalypse or Utopia.” Through this myth, we view technology ambivalently, as both the object of our dread and the source of our hope. The myth thus renders us ethically impotent: the very strength of our literal utopian euphoria sends us careening toward some literal apocalyptic “final solution.” The demonic narrative that dominated Auschwitz (“killing in order to heal”) is part of this Janus-faced technological mythos that emerged out of Hiroshima. And it is this mythic narrative which underlies and structures much of public policy in our nuclear age.
This book proposes a coalition of members of holy communities and secular groups, organized to prevent any future eruptions of the demonic. Its goal is to construct a bridge not only over the abyss between religions, East and West, but also between religious and secular ethics.