We should know what others (Islam, Catholicism, Buddhism, etc, etc) believe so as to better understand them. To know where their coming from. And you don’t need to attend these ecumenical/emerging/emergent events to reach these people. Their your neighbors, your friends at work. Their all around you.
From what little I’ve gathered, Samir Selmanovic is a believer of the “Wider Mercy Doctrine” also known as “Universalism,” which is nothing new, going way back to Origen. In an article which reviews Samir’s book “It’s Really All About God: Reflections of a Muslim Atheist Jewish Christian”, says:
The author argues that God is not confined to one belief system (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) and humanity is powerless to control the true God, even though the major religious systems are designed precisely to do this. He suggests it is easy to domesticate God and create an idol out of one’s religion. It follows, therefore, that no one system we can exclude the “others.” Selmanovic suggests that God uses atheists and Wiccans to further draw Christians deeper into the Kingdom of God and away from the idolatry of religion. The author recognizes his ideas have radical implications, especially in regard to interfaith dialog, which actually becomes “dialog” and ceases to be proselytizing.
Brain McLaren, tells us about the book:
I’m speechless in trying to describe this book… All the religious pundits and broadcasters on radio and cable TV had better take notice, because this book threatens our conventional, comfortable categories and familiar black and white polarities. Selmanovic has the nerve to imagine our religions becoming not walls behind which we hide and over which we lob bombs of damnation, but bridges over which we travel to find God in the other.
So, according to Brian, Samir’s book builds “bridges over which we travel to find God in the other.” Leaving us now with the question: Is this someone we want teaching us, our children? Will he brings us closer, and to a better understanding of sda doctrines? Or pulls us away, so as to enter into the emerging/emergent movement, which is full of, as this article said over and over again, “rituals” and “experiences.”