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Introduction

Chapter 1

Abraham - Messenger to the 21st Century


Judaism, Islam and Christianity are the three major religions in the spotlight today.

 

They all claim common roots in the man known as Father Abraham, and as such may be looked on as family, but what a dysfunctional lot we are! Talk of Peace? There is no war like a family brawl! What a sorry example religion has become to the rest of the human race! What's gone wrong? What can be done about it?

September 11 in the year 2001 triggered a paradigm shift in the political, economic, social and religious views of the human race. Our world has become larger, and at the same time, much more confining. Nations find themselves nose to nose with neighbors they never knew. Who are they? Or rather, who are we?

 

Many of us believe that in spite of our present focus on other issues, religion will emerge as the greatest challenge we will have to face. In times of crisis, people will compromise in most areas, but it is difficult to deny who one is. History has shown that in a crisis, one's belief system will drive him to extremes and even to death. In view of that record, what hope is there for the human race? It is probably providential that the recent New York tragedy has been dubbed 911. Are we willing to look beyond ourselves and dial 911 for divine help before our condition becomes terminal?

 

Today, Islam is an emerging force which is enjoying new respectability in the West and boasts a pedigree that connects them to Abraham's eldest son Ishmael. The Jews boast in their genetic connection to Isaac, whom they consider the better part of Abraham's offspring. Christians boast of Abraham's faith, yet most are not certain whether they are a spin-off from Abraham's faith or from Judaism. Or are these the same? In the West, Christianity is being nudged off center stage by the other two, thus the present attempt toward unity on grounds that all worship the same god. Secularists look at our obvious contradictions in amazement and turn the other way.

 

What has gone wrong with our legacy from Father Abraham?
What is the matter with his kids? Is there any hope for us, or is our "help" line out of commission?
Isn't it only fair, that before evaluating someone else's religion, we ought to look at the prevalent religion in the West today - Christianity? What is Christianity?
Does it still express the heart of Father Abraham's faith, or is it just loosely attached?
If Abraham were here, would he have the solution to our 911 call?
Name-dropping is not new. Who was this man, Abraham, who everyone would like to connect to?
How do we explain that after thousands of years, Abraham's name is still revered by all?
Can we benefit from the secret he learned from his friend Melchizedek?

 

Editor's note:

 

To help the reader to participate in the story of this book, the author has created a fictitious panel of religious leaders who will discuss the context of each chapter from their own points of view. Herald will chair the discussion group. Rabbi Benjamin, a noted Messianic Jew, will criticize the message of each chapter from the Jewish point of view. Professor Clarity, a renowned Christian theologian will look at the presentation through the eyes of modern Christians. Two reporters Mr. Hunt and Mr. Holmes, representing two well-known Christian publications, challenge the theologians to look at religion as it might relate to the average person.

 

This panel of experts comes on the scene at the end of each chapter. They may, or may not agree with the views presented by the writer. It will be a challenge for the chair person to keep the participants focused on the subject at hand and to prevent them from falling into the usual religious trap of either defending their own beliefs, or attacking those of another. Will it be possible for people with such diverse backgrounds to come together as explorers of the Scripture to simply seek for truth and solutions? We wish them well!


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