Former Congressman and Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations Mark D. Siljander takes us on an eye-opening journey of personal, religious, and political discovery. In the 1980s, Siljander was a newly minted Reagan Republican from Michigan who joined Congress in the same generation as Newt Gingrich and Tom DeLay, ready to remake the world.Read more...
Former Congressman and Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations Mark D. Siljander takes us on an eye-opening journey of personal, religious, and political discovery. In the 1980s, Siljander was a newly minted Reagan Republican from Michigan who joined Congress in the same generation as Newt Gingrich and Tom DeLay, ready to remake the world. A staunch member of the Religious Right, he once walked out of the National Prayer Breakfast when a speaker quoted from the Qur'an.
But after losing reelection, Siljander dove into the Bible to look for the passage in which the Bible says it is our job as Christians to convert others in order to save them from eternal damnation. He couldn't find it; in fact, he couldn't even find a passage saying that Jesus set out to form a new religion. This discovery was the first step on a spiritual and political journey that started with an in-depth linguistic study of the Bible and led to the discovery that Christianity and Islam share many base words and concepts. In his role as ambassador to the United Nations Siljander began sharing his insights on the connections between Islam and Christianity, with surprising results.
A Deadly Misunderstanding recounts Siljander's amazing discoveries as he travels to some of the most remote and hostile places in the world deep into Libya, Sudan, Pakistan, and India forging deep ties with both heads of state and religious leaders. What he has learned could radically shift the contemporary religious landscape and help heal the rift between Islam and the West. No Christian or Muslim will be unaffected after reading this book. "
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 76.
- Review Date: 2008-03-10
- Reviewer: Staff
Former congressman Siljander began his career as a zealous evangelical Christian, convinced that the Qur’an was “devil’s work.” In this memoir, Siljander recounts his “paradigm crash” after discovering that much of what he’d been taught about his faith was nowhere in the Bible, and that the Christian and Muslim religious texts are surprisingly compatible when studied in their original languages. He has since made it his life’s mission to find common ground between Christian and Muslim worlds, meeting with a dizzying list of political and religious leaders in the process. The result is an engaging story (despite somewhat stilted dialogue) sure to surprise and inspire many. Though he has no formal background in linguistics or religious studies, Siljander is deft at providing balance when discussing controversial subjects, and careful to show support from academics. Though his theological argument is based almost exclusively on the study of Muslim and Christian scriptures, in the current atmosphere it’s hard to argue with his dictum for what’s needed: “Making friends with the people you thought you hated. It’s that radical, that simple and that necessary.” (June)