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Personal friendships with Somali Muslims overcome the prejudices and expand the faith of a typical American Evangelical Christian living in the Horn of Africa. When Rachel Pieh Jones moved from Minnesota to rural Somalia with her husband and twin toddlers eighteen years ago, she was secure in a faith that defined who was right and who was wrong, who was saved and who needed Personal friendships with Somali Muslims overcome the prejudices and expand the faith of a typical American Evangelical Christian living in the Horn of Africa. When Rachel Pieh Jones moved from Minnesota to rural Somalia with her husband and twin toddlers eighteen years ago, she was secure in a faith that defined who was right and who was wrong, who was saved and who needed saving. She had been taught that Islam was evil, full of lies and darkness, and that the world would be better without it. Luckily, locals show compassion for this blundering outsider who can't keep her headscarf on or her toddlers from tripping over AK-47s. After the murder of several foreigners forces them to evacuate, the Joneses resettle in nearby Djibouti. Jones recounts, often entertainingly, the personal encounters and growing friendships that gradually dismantle her unspoken fears and prejudices and deepen her appreciation for Islam. Unexpectedly, along the way she also gains a far richer understanding of her own Christian faith. Grouping her stories around the five pillars of Islam - creed, prayer, fasting, giving, and pilgrimage - Jones shows how her Muslim friends' devotion to these pillars leads her to rediscover ancient Christian practices her own religious tradition has lost or neglected. Jones brings the reader along as she reexamines her assumptions about faith and God through the lens of Islam and Somali culture. Are God and Allah the same? What happens when one's ideas about God and the Bible crumble and the only people around are Muslims? What happens is that she discovers that Jesus is more generous, daring, and loving than she ever imagined.


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Personal friendships with Somali Muslims overcome the prejudices and expand the faith of a typical American Evangelical Christian living in the Horn of Africa. When Rachel Pieh Jones moved from Minnesota to rural Somalia with her husband and twin toddlers eighteen years ago, she was secure in a faith that defined who was right and who was wrong, who was saved and who needed Personal friendships with Somali Muslims overcome the prejudices and expand the faith of a typical American Evangelical Christian living in the Horn of Africa. When Rachel Pieh Jones moved from Minnesota to rural Somalia with her husband and twin toddlers eighteen years ago, she was secure in a faith that defined who was right and who was wrong, who was saved and who needed saving. She had been taught that Islam was evil, full of lies and darkness, and that the world would be better without it. Luckily, locals show compassion for this blundering outsider who can't keep her headscarf on or her toddlers from tripping over AK-47s. After the murder of several foreigners forces them to evacuate, the Joneses resettle in nearby Djibouti. Jones recounts, often entertainingly, the personal encounters and growing friendships that gradually dismantle her unspoken fears and prejudices and deepen her appreciation for Islam. Unexpectedly, along the way she also gains a far richer understanding of her own Christian faith. Grouping her stories around the five pillars of Islam - creed, prayer, fasting, giving, and pilgrimage - Jones shows how her Muslim friends' devotion to these pillars leads her to rediscover ancient Christian practices her own religious tradition has lost or neglected. Jones brings the reader along as she reexamines her assumptions about faith and God through the lens of Islam and Somali culture. Are God and Allah the same? What happens when one's ideas about God and the Bible crumble and the only people around are Muslims? What happens is that she discovers that Jesus is more generous, daring, and loving than she ever imagined.

30 review for Pillars: How Muslim Friends Led Me Closer to Jesus

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bob

    Summary: An account about how the author’s attitudes both toward Islam and her Christian faith changed as she and her husband lived among Muslims in Somalia and Djibouti. Rachel Pieh Jones grew up in a warm and thriving evangelical church in Minnesota. A lot of love–and some legalism. She didn’t know any Muslims but believed that they were “violent, backward, and just plain wrong.” Yet in Pillars, after a number of years in Somalia and Djibouti, she writes: “I had a lot to learn about how to love Summary: An account about how the author’s attitudes both toward Islam and her Christian faith changed as she and her husband lived among Muslims in Somalia and Djibouti. Rachel Pieh Jones grew up in a warm and thriving evangelical church in Minnesota. A lot of love–and some legalism. She didn’t know any Muslims but believed that they were “violent, backward, and just plain wrong.” Yet in Pillars, after a number of years in Somalia and Djibouti, she writes: “I had a lot to learn about how to love my neighbors and practice my faith cross-culturally. I don’t identify with the label ‘missionary,’ with its attendant cultural, theological, and historical baggage, though I understand this is how many view me. I do love to talk about spirituality–and what fascinates me is that the more I discuss faith with Muslims, the more we both return to our roots and dig deeper. As we explore our own faith, in relationship with someone who thinks differently, each of us comes to experience God in richer, more intimate ways. In this manner, Muslims have helped me become a better Christian, though things didn’t start out that way” (p. 49). How did she change? It began with some relationships with Somali refugees in their apartment complex in Minnesota while her husband completed doctoral studies. An opportunity opened up to teach in Somalia at Amoud University. This led to an immersion in Somali life, aided by their housekeeper and the guard assigned to them as foreign nationals–for ten months, when all their plans were interrupted when several foreign nationals were killed and they had to grab their evacuation bags and flee on a moment’s notice. The found refuge in neighboring Djibouti. Over the next years, Rachel and Tom grew close to a number of Muslims, entering into shared life, and observing their devotion to Islam They didn’t become Muslims. They learned a lot about Islam. When urged to pray the shahada, she was able to say, “No, I love Jesus.” She answered a lot of questions about Jesus. She learned how to live among the people. She celebrated weddings and births and the breaking of fasts. Jones organizes her account around the five pillars of Islam: creed, prayer, giving, fasting, and pilgrimage. Learning how her Muslim neighbors encountered God made her reflect more deeply on her own faith, and fall more deeply in love with Jesus. The shahada, a call to convert, to submit to God who is one is really a call to revert. It reminded her of Jesus and Nicodemus, the call to be born again. The prayers, which she sometimes was able to join some women in, led her to a renewal in her own prayer life–amid a pregnancy, ever present dangers, and the everyday challenges of life. The practices of almsgiving forced her to face how she also was conscious of reward in giving and recounts her experiences of helping a poor refugee establish an outdoor restaurant. She had rarely fasted but fasted along with others during Ramadan and joined in the joyous celebrations of Eid. Learning about the pilgrimage to Mecca brought her to a realization of her own lifelong pilgrimage. I so appreciated this narrative. It was earthy and incarnational. Jones adopts an open and learning posture, both with her Muslim friends and toward what the Lord Jesus would teach her. She can recognize difference without “othering.” She’s as open about Jesus as she is to learning from her friends, like Amaal, her spirited maid. And over time she is able to distinguish what is American Christianity and what is the core of the gospel of Jesus. This is not a book for those interested in polemics against Islam. Jones takes us into the lived experience of Muslims in the Horn of Africa and what a real engagement with them can be like with risk, affection, difference, and real learning. We also should remember her learning journey began with the Somali refugees in Minnesota. Many of us are near Muslim communities. We may have Muslim neighbors or work colleagues or health care providers. This is a valuable book both for its exploration of Islam, but also for its model of humble, open dialogue, willing to make mistakes and take risks, to welcome and be welcomed. And it points to what can happen as we engage those of another faith. We not only learn about their faith. We rediscover our own. ____________________________ Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    (Full disclosure: I knew Rachel a little in junior high and high school, since we had a mutual friend who went to school with me and church [yes, the infamous "Oh Kill Baptists", aka Oak Hill Baptist] with her.) If I was going to re-title this book, I would call it, "A Jesus-Safe Way to Learn More About Islam." The main intended audience seems to be evangelical Christians who may only know Muslims through stereotypes and headlines, but who are open to learning more about Islam and even (gasp!) le (Full disclosure: I knew Rachel a little in junior high and high school, since we had a mutual friend who went to school with me and church [yes, the infamous "Oh Kill Baptists", aka Oak Hill Baptist] with her.) If I was going to re-title this book, I would call it, "A Jesus-Safe Way to Learn More About Islam." The main intended audience seems to be evangelical Christians who may only know Muslims through stereotypes and headlines, but who are open to learning more about Islam and even (gasp!) learning to see God at work in Muslims' beliefs, practices, and communities. I'm sure there are other introductions to other major religions aimed at a general Christian audience, but I can't imagine there are too many specifically about Islam, told by a faithful woman who has lived in the Muslim world for 20ish years, using stories from her own experience. Rachel strives both to grow in her own Christian faith and to understand and experience the faith of her Muslim neighbors (to the extent she can....and sometimes beyond that!). It is brave of her to share both of these endeavors, especially when they don't quite unfold as intended. This is definitely not a book that only shows her in a good light or that romanticizes or exoticizes Islam! It is a very human book, thus it is a very holy book. I say that I assume the book is aimed at an evangelical audience because some of the "Jesus talk" seemed to be of a "dialect" different than the one I "speak" as a mainline Protestant, but that didn't detract from the experience of the book for me. But someone with no Christian background at all might struggle with her discussions of her own faith, which presume a shared frame of reference. But, given what it aims to be, this book is a valuable contribution to interfaith understanding. (Also, props to Plough for the beautiful book design!)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jodie Pine

    I honestly thought this book was brilliant. I loved the way Rachel organized her personal stories into chapters related to the 5 pillars of Islam and then connected them to her own Christian faith traditions. As one who has also spent significant time abroad, 5 of those years in a Muslim context, I could relate to so much: the questions, the tensions, the misunderstandings, and the fresh cultural insights causing me to reconstruct my own faith. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to I honestly thought this book was brilliant. I loved the way Rachel organized her personal stories into chapters related to the 5 pillars of Islam and then connected them to her own Christian faith traditions. As one who has also spent significant time abroad, 5 of those years in a Muslim context, I could relate to so much: the questions, the tensions, the misunderstandings, and the fresh cultural insights causing me to reconstruct my own faith. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to think outside the box and be stretched by entering into another's faith journey. "Making a life in a foreign context means examining the local culture, values, and faith system, and turning them over and over, deciding which pieces to adopt and which to let slide as intriguing but not for me. Making a life as an expatriate is not necessarily about living like a local but rather learning to be authentic and comfortable with the ambiguity of sometimes wearing a headscarf and most times not, of sometimes having an accurate instinctive response and most times not. It is a constant attempt to untangle something complicated."

  4. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    What a powerful and important book! Rachel's personal narrative is woven beautifully with her own reflections and research. It seems flawless how she tells stories from the Bible and the Quran while also capturing the tension of years of her own journey. In her story, I found my own questions and experiences. "I hadn't just left my passport country. I had left my native spiritual country, to take up residence in this place where the religion chafed against the edges of my Christianity and insiste What a powerful and important book! Rachel's personal narrative is woven beautifully with her own reflections and research. It seems flawless how she tells stories from the Bible and the Quran while also capturing the tension of years of her own journey. In her story, I found my own questions and experiences. "I hadn't just left my passport country. I had left my native spiritual country, to take up residence in this place where the religion chafed against the edges of my Christianity and insisted that there was goodness here too. I was now an expatriate, between two worlds, and I found beauty in both, brokenness in both."

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Hilkemann

    I'm really grateful for Rachel's honesty and passion evident as she weaves together the lessons she has learned serving in a Muslim context and the story God has written in her life. Definitely recommend! I'm really grateful for Rachel's honesty and passion evident as she weaves together the lessons she has learned serving in a Muslim context and the story God has written in her life. Definitely recommend!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Libby

    This is the book I wish I could have written. While my overseas experiences are obviously different than Jones's, as I read her story, I felt like my heart journey mirrored hers. Jones shares details of her life in Somaliland and Djibouti but more, she talks about how her Muslim friends have helped her grow in her own faith as a Christian. This is the book I will be recommending to friends in the US who want to understand how I've changed and grown in the years I've lived in Turkey, Morocco and This is the book I wish I could have written. While my overseas experiences are obviously different than Jones's, as I read her story, I felt like my heart journey mirrored hers. Jones shares details of her life in Somaliland and Djibouti but more, she talks about how her Muslim friends have helped her grow in her own faith as a Christian. This is the book I will be recommending to friends in the US who want to understand how I've changed and grown in the years I've lived in Turkey, Morocco and Jordan. It's also a book I recommend to my Muslim friends who want a glimpse of how their lives have impacted my life with Jesus. Obviously recommended!

  7. 4 out of 5

    G. Connor Salter

    Jones does a great job of describing her journey into an Islamic culture, the amusing and the difficult side of adjusting to her new home. She also carefully shows how her understanding of follow God, of being devoted to him and similar ideas were enhanced by her encounters with Muslims who helped her break down stereotypes and see the common humanity.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Wendy Moore

    As someone who has worked with Muslim refugees in an American inner city, experienced short trips into Muslim countries, and then lived in a Muslim background country for more than a decade, I found myself resonating with Rachel’s stories in Pillars, often jumping up and down with excitement about her insights, championing her challenges to faith, but sometimes coming to different conclusions myself. I love how Rachel’s stories reveal the collision of cultures and religion, upending expectations As someone who has worked with Muslim refugees in an American inner city, experienced short trips into Muslim countries, and then lived in a Muslim background country for more than a decade, I found myself resonating with Rachel’s stories in Pillars, often jumping up and down with excitement about her insights, championing her challenges to faith, but sometimes coming to different conclusions myself. I love how Rachel’s stories reveal the collision of cultures and religion, upending expectations and stereotypes. Insightful observations/applications like how Yusuf and Amaal’s professed belief about how giving to the poor earns eternal rewards exposed Rachel’s own secretly held belief that giving up her culture and convenience was a sacrifice that would earn her eternal reward as well. While this self-reflection and awareness in making these connections is honestly inspiring, I wondered exactly how realizing this mixed motive in going cross-cultural led Rachel closer to Jesus and deepened her faith. She didn’t really say, and I genuinely wanted to know. I can see how Rachel’s Muslim friends led her closer to Jesus by challenging her faith, forcing her into more authenticity, against the childish notions she grew up, that many people are sometimes too attached to in western churches. But I wanted her stories to go farther – I wanted to know more specifically about how her faith in Jesus grew stronger or how it may have mutually challenged her Muslim friends’ long-held beliefs and traditions. Did the interfaith dialogue go both ways? It’s evident Rachel’s faith was impacted, but in the end I was left wondering how that was mutual. Indeed, Rachel artfully crafts words into engaging stories, inviting us into her honest exploration to learn from her cross-cultural experiences and interfaith dialogues. I highly recommend Pillars for Rachel’s talented literary craftsmanship. I whole-heartedly recommend this book for anyone who’s lived cross culturally – you will delight in it! For those who haven’t experienced cross cultures firsthand this book can transport you into one and challenge some of what you always thought was true, those unexpected gifts of any cross-cultural experience.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Panda Incognito

    This fascinating memoir shares stories from the author's experiences living in community with African Muslims. She writes about her childhood prejudices against Islam, her overly simplistic view of faith, and the American evangelical assumptions that she had to work through as an adult, seeing that life was much more complex than she had ever seen it within the context of her childhood church. I had trouble with some of the timeline shifts in this book, and had a hard time keeping track of the or This fascinating memoir shares stories from the author's experiences living in community with African Muslims. She writes about her childhood prejudices against Islam, her overly simplistic view of faith, and the American evangelical assumptions that she had to work through as an adult, seeing that life was much more complex than she had ever seen it within the context of her childhood church. I had trouble with some of the timeline shifts in this book, and had a hard time keeping track of the order of events and different characters, but this is very well-written and insightful. Jones organizes her vivid stories and reflections under the Five Pillars of Islam, and writes about how her friendships with Muslims helped her connect with historic elements of the Christian faith which she wasn't familiar with during her earlier life. Even though I was concerned at first that this book might devolve into a message that we're all the same and fundamentally believe the same things, she maintained her Christian faith and honors the distinctive, unique elements of Islam. I found this very interesting and insightful, and would recommend it to other people who are interested in learning more about the similarities and differences between faiths, or about culture and religion in parts of Africa. Americans who are preparing to go to a Muslim-majority country for missions or humanitarian work should definitely read this, learning from the author's mistakes and insights before they face similar situations in their context, and I would encourage family members and friends of people involved in this work to read this as well, so that they can check their cultural assumptions and better support their loved ones. I received a temporary digital copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Shelley Rose

    I came across Rachel's blog before my first visits to Djibouti in 2015. As far as I've seen, her writings are the best English-language resource for all things related to life in Djibouti. 'Pillars' isn't the type of book I would typically choose to read, but I so appreciated Rachel's perspective on other subjects, that I decided to check it out. What an incredible book this is. Using the five pillars of Islam as guide posts, Rachel shares her experiences as a white American Christian woman livi I came across Rachel's blog before my first visits to Djibouti in 2015. As far as I've seen, her writings are the best English-language resource for all things related to life in Djibouti. 'Pillars' isn't the type of book I would typically choose to read, but I so appreciated Rachel's perspective on other subjects, that I decided to check it out. What an incredible book this is. Using the five pillars of Islam as guide posts, Rachel shares her experiences as a white American Christian woman living in Somaliland and Djibouti, as well as her own faith journey. Her honesty shook me to the core. For those who may be hesitant to read this type of book, it isn't all gooey and kumbaya, and Rachel absolutely doesn't have an attitude of white saviorism or missionary zeal that one might expect by simply glancing at her bio. She shatters all stereotypes about both Christians and Muslims. One thing I would note, which she also points out in the intro: while she covers some universal concepts in Islam, a lot of the examples and anecdotes she gives related to practice are very specific to Djibouti/Somaliland. That in itself is something else very unique about this book; I imagine it is one of very few contemporary English accounts of religious and cultural practices in the region (albeit from the lens of a white American). As a white American Muslim convert myself with a Djiboutian husband, I related to and understood *so* much of her experience, but I would highly recommend this to any person of faith (in any and all its forms).

  11. 4 out of 5

    Miriam Jacob

    “Pillars” by Rachel Pieh Jones graphically details how Somali Muslim friends led her, an American Evangelical Christian, into a much deeper walk with the Lord Jesus Christ. Her personal friendships calmed her deep-seated fears and deep-rooted prejudices, deepening her appreciation for Islam, and giving her a much greater understanding of the Christian faith. Centering around the five pillars of Islam, Rachel’s Muslim friends help her to rediscover the revitalizing power of ancient Christian prac “Pillars” by Rachel Pieh Jones graphically details how Somali Muslim friends led her, an American Evangelical Christian, into a much deeper walk with the Lord Jesus Christ. Her personal friendships calmed her deep-seated fears and deep-rooted prejudices, deepening her appreciation for Islam, and giving her a much greater understanding of the Christian faith. Centering around the five pillars of Islam, Rachel’s Muslim friends help her to rediscover the revitalizing power of ancient Christian practices. Viewing God and faith through the lens of Islam amidst a backdrop of Somali culture, Rachel discovers that Jesus is more generous, daring, and loving than ever. Focusing on Christians living in Muslim contexts, Rachel highlights the similarity of the Five Pillars of Islam with foundational principles of the Christian faith. Rachel’s personal experiences and unique perspective highlights the bridge building that takes the Gospel to the heart of the world. Her untested faith was challenged by devout Muslims who live out ideals and values parallel to those of Christianity. This is an extremely thought-provoking approach to interfaith dialogue, while teaching us how to be a good neighbor to the people of the whole world.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Gail

    Jones (Stronger than Death) and her husband have lived in Africa since 2003, first in Somaliland, then in Djibouti, where they now run a school. Jones’s Evangelical upbringing, though it provided her with a happy and secure childhood, tended to focus on legalisms. Her untested faith was challenged while she lived in the Horn of Africa, among Muslims who were as devout in their beliefs as Jones was in hers. Islam’s Five Pillars—Shahadah (There is no god but God), Salat (Prayer), Zadat (Almsgiving Jones (Stronger than Death) and her husband have lived in Africa since 2003, first in Somaliland, then in Djibouti, where they now run a school. Jones’s Evangelical upbringing, though it provided her with a happy and secure childhood, tended to focus on legalisms. Her untested faith was challenged while she lived in the Horn of Africa, among Muslims who were as devout in their beliefs as Jones was in hers. Islam’s Five Pillars—Shahadah (There is no god but God), Salat (Prayer), Zadat (Almsgiving), Ramadan (Fasting), and Hajj (Pilgrimage)—provide the basis for Jones to reflect on her eye-opening experiences while immersed in a culture that is foreign to her. The author’s soul-searching leads her to understand that her Muslim friends and neighbors live out ideals and values that run parallel to those of aspirational Christianity.VERDICT Jones’s pensive reflections will call into question readers’ unexamined notions about Islam and Christianity. A thoughtful approach to interfaith dialogue.

  13. 4 out of 5

    LDB

    I don't usually read religiously oriented books. In full disclosure, I read this book because it was my book club's pick for the month and the author would be participating in the discussion. What I encountered in this book, however, was not only about one woman's religious journey but really a cultural awakening. An evangelical Christian, sure of herself and her faith, travels to Somaliland then Djibouti. Evacuation from Somaliland and living in Muslim cultures tests what she thought she knew a I don't usually read religiously oriented books. In full disclosure, I read this book because it was my book club's pick for the month and the author would be participating in the discussion. What I encountered in this book, however, was not only about one woman's religious journey but really a cultural awakening. An evangelical Christian, sure of herself and her faith, travels to Somaliland then Djibouti. Evacuation from Somaliland and living in Muslim cultures tests what she thought she knew about her faith. I enjoyed learning of her journey as she got to know people of different world views, cultures and religion. Much of what she went through is what so many of us experience as we start to encounter "the other" in foreign countries around the world. While she presents it through a faith lens, really her journey was so much about learning how to be open to different ways of thinking, doing, worshiping, and simply being. Reading about her journey makes we want to live my life with as much self-reflection and openness as the author.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey

    Pillars is a beautifully vulnerable telling of a journey toward embodying Christ through interfaith relationships. Rachel's stories and insights regarding personal and spiritual formation are woven together with shared religious texts from both Islam and Christianity. The stories presented welcome interfaith conversation while also highlighting cultural and religious tension. Bravo, to Rachel for walking through life with intentional energy and passion to bridge the gaps of cultural and religiou Pillars is a beautifully vulnerable telling of a journey toward embodying Christ through interfaith relationships. Rachel's stories and insights regarding personal and spiritual formation are woven together with shared religious texts from both Islam and Christianity. The stories presented welcome interfaith conversation while also highlighting cultural and religious tension. Bravo, to Rachel for walking through life with intentional energy and passion to bridge the gaps of cultural and religious misunderstanding. Rachel's faith reveals the depth and ability to journey into interfaith relationships through the crossroads of transformed character and lived integrity.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lois Bushong

    This is a fascinating, informative book about the Muslim community. It looks at the Muslim culture, faith and the strong desire of her friends in Djibouti to draw closer to God. I loved it and wish Christian leadership and missionaries would add this outstanding missions book to their reading list. It makes the reader pause and rethink their own belief system. Rachel is a great author and a woman with a tender desire to learn and grow in her own faith. I have interacted with her on several occas This is a fascinating, informative book about the Muslim community. It looks at the Muslim culture, faith and the strong desire of her friends in Djibouti to draw closer to God. I loved it and wish Christian leadership and missionaries would add this outstanding missions book to their reading list. It makes the reader pause and rethink their own belief system. Rachel is a great author and a woman with a tender desire to learn and grow in her own faith. I have interacted with her on several occasions and find her vulnerability and faith journey inspiring. This book is similar to the book by Barbara Brown Taylor, "Holy Envy". Love it!!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Vanessa Luu

    I love the authors honesty in this book and how she wrestles with her faith. I respect every word she has written. I’m grateful for the inspiration it’s provided and her book does make me ponder the Muslim religion. It seems like a lovely religion and it seems they are sincerely seeking God, not the devil. Based on what she wrote I respect their strong convictions. There are so many similarities between Christianity and the Muslim religion and I can’t fault them for trusting everything in their I love the authors honesty in this book and how she wrestles with her faith. I respect every word she has written. I’m grateful for the inspiration it’s provided and her book does make me ponder the Muslim religion. It seems like a lovely religion and it seems they are sincerely seeking God, not the devil. Based on what she wrote I respect their strong convictions. There are so many similarities between Christianity and the Muslim religion and I can’t fault them for trusting everything in their Holy Book, just like I trust everything in mine. I don’t have a final decision on whether this religion is wrong or right, but I can say I have no hate in my heart for Muslims.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl Bostrom

    In Rachel Pieh Jones’ book Pillars, I crawled into the head and heart of a young mother, an evangelical Christian from Minnesota, who chose a life of austerity and danger as an expat living in the unstable, poverty-ridden Horn of Africa with her children and husband (who was newly hired by a university there). Her anecdotes about Muslim friends and adversaries who populated her new world gave honest and inquiring illustrations about Islam and cross-cultural relationships—and the effect those int In Rachel Pieh Jones’ book Pillars, I crawled into the head and heart of a young mother, an evangelical Christian from Minnesota, who chose a life of austerity and danger as an expat living in the unstable, poverty-ridden Horn of Africa with her children and husband (who was newly hired by a university there). Her anecdotes about Muslim friends and adversaries who populated her new world gave honest and inquiring illustrations about Islam and cross-cultural relationships—and the effect those interactions had on her faith. If you’re looking for a Christian expat’s perspective on Muslim-Christian interactions in daily life, you’ll find this book intriguing—and full of food for thought.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kyle Carrick

    Must read for every American Christian Full disclosure, I lived just down the street from Rachel in Djibouti and am privileged to call her a friend. That said, she blew me away with this book and the valuable reflections and stories she shared. By taking seriously her Muslim neighbors and their faith and practice she provides a much needed guide to Christian willing to reflect on their faith. That it comes through the lens of the Muslim-Christian relationship makes it that much more valuable for Must read for every American Christian Full disclosure, I lived just down the street from Rachel in Djibouti and am privileged to call her a friend. That said, she blew me away with this book and the valuable reflections and stories she shared. By taking seriously her Muslim neighbors and their faith and practice she provides a much needed guide to Christian willing to reflect on their faith. That it comes through the lens of the Muslim-Christian relationship makes it that much more valuable for the American Christian.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Hardin

    This is really 4-1/2 stars. The only criticism I can make is that some of time shifts were confusing, but this is a passionate book about faith and community and belonging and buiding bridges to people who are different and who disagree with you without losing oneself in the effort. I have a great deal of admiration for the Jones family and am grateful that Rachel Pieh Jones is such a talented writer and that she shared their story.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Angelia

    This fascinating book about a woman's journey to find her spirituality really resonated with me. While deepening her own faith through her friendships with Islamic friends, she shows us not only how to deepen our own faith, but that our similarities far outweigh our differences. A timely message that is needed in todays divisive world. Thank you NegGalley for giving me a free e-copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. This fascinating book about a woman's journey to find her spirituality really resonated with me. While deepening her own faith through her friendships with Islamic friends, she shows us not only how to deepen our own faith, but that our similarities far outweigh our differences. A timely message that is needed in todays divisive world. Thank you NegGalley for giving me a free e-copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Joni

    A uniquely great read. Having lived and experienced living a life embedded with Muslims, Rachel has a wonderful opportunity to share her perspective on the culture there and how her faith was able to grow and blossom from the place God placed this family. Rich understanding of The Lord and people around us.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Polly

    Wow! I loved this book. I related to this book based upon my relationships with precious Muslim friends here in the U.S. I agree with others that this is a very important book, especially for Christians. I'm so grateful for Rachel's humility in sharing her story with honesty. Wow! I loved this book. I related to this book based upon my relationships with precious Muslim friends here in the U.S. I agree with others that this is a very important book, especially for Christians. I'm so grateful for Rachel's humility in sharing her story with honesty.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    This cross-cultural memoir encouraged my faith and helped me see how Jones' openly forming relationships in a Muslim country led to greater understanding and opportunities to experience her Christian faith in new, deeper, and fresh ways. This cross-cultural memoir encouraged my faith and helped me see how Jones' openly forming relationships in a Muslim country led to greater understanding and opportunities to experience her Christian faith in new, deeper, and fresh ways.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Susan Walker

    Great book about faith. I learned so much about the Muslim faith by reading this.

  25. 4 out of 5

    RACHEL

    Pillars is an honest and vulnerable look at the challenges, joys and richness of living life in a multi or cross religious context. My copy was a gift through Goodreads First Reads.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Just....wow. Every Christian I know should read this book. Unfortunately, probably very few will. And that's super sad, because it is a gold mine. Just....wow. Every Christian I know should read this book. Unfortunately, probably very few will. And that's super sad, because it is a gold mine.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Olivia Gold

    This book was so good. Very convicting and really gave me a lot to think about.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany

    If you have lived overseas, if you are a Christian who has struggled trying to reconcile other faiths - this book will resonate with you.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Read. This. Book. I can away from reading this book with a greater respect for more of humanity, and a greater love for them, as well. Life changing. Perspective changing. Much needed in my life.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Audrey Adamson Stars in Her Eye

    I enjoyed this book. I had not realized that the author had written a biography that I had enjoyed. I enjoyed seeing the differences in her life and those she worked with and how religion lived together, though not happy. I love seeing Christians learn that Allah is the same God and there is things we can learn from Muslims..

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