Jesus Among Other Gods The Absolute Claims Of The Christian Message
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ISBN/ASIN : 0849943272
Manufacturer : Thomas Nelson|
Release data : 08 February, 2002
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Good, but title may mislead you
This is a good book, but unlike what the title suggests, it is not a comparison of Christianity with other religions. (For that, I recommend Stephen Neill's book, Christian Faith and Other Faiths, published in the 1950s.) This is more of a personal testimony of why Ravi Zacharias chose Christ rather than the alternatives. As in all of Zacharias' work, there is strong emphasis on the intellectual coherence of Christian faith and on the relation of belief to emotion -- what you believe determines how you are entitled to feel about things.
The title of this book initially threw me off but as I began to read
The title of this book initially threw me off but as I began to read, I could see that it is vintage Ravi Z. He offers apologetics through a multi cultural perspective but the goal is always the same-to proclaim the historical truth of Christianity. He doesn't ask the reader to believe based on faith alone but through facts about the authenticity of the Bible and the life of Jesus Christ. His personal anecdotes about his relationship with his father and the personal "almost" tragedy that led to his salvation serve to illustrate the state of man's pitiful existence without a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.This is an excellent book for Christians in any stage of maturity and a great book for those who may not be Christians and have questions about Jesus Christ.
The basics of Christianity
This book is written in a very matter-of-fact style, it's not one of Zacharias' intellectual masterpieces like [[ASIN:0801065119 The Real Face of Atheism]] or [[ASIN:084993950X Deliver Us From Evil]], his classic on postmodernism.
In the first chapter Meeting My Master he recounts how he came to the knowledge of Christ as a youngster in India. Here he also discusses the various major faiths like Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam, arguing that religions are not all the same.
Where Do You Live?, the second chapter, deals with the ministry of Christ, the first disciples, the God of the Bible and prophecies fulfilled by Jesus. It includes a section on the three aforementioned religions, their history and their core teachings on ideas like salvation and the soul.
Chapter 3: How Do We Know The Claims Of Jesus Are True?, investigates the matter of faith, distinguishing between blind faith and thinking faith. The author discusses the thoughts of Bertrand Russell, Thomas Nagel, Matthew Parris and David Hume. Here he also addresses the hypocrites in church, the limitations of science and the proof of the resurrection. Zacharias praises intellectual investigation and urges all Christians to think about their faith in the light of reason.
The following chapter: Won't Jesus Make Life Wonderful?, explores the motives and expectations of individuals. He refers to those in Christ's day who wanted something from him when they saw the miracles but didn't really want Him. On the subjects of miracles, mention is made of the miracles all around us that we never notice. He explains what we can expect from the Judeo-Christian God, comparing that with Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam. There is a section on some reasons why Eastern religions are so attractive to young people in the West, and a realistic view of how we can absolutely rely on God for all the important things. Norman Geisler, Jon Krakauer and Deepak Chopra are some of the people quoted in this chapter.
Chapter 5 deals with pain and how to find answers to it. He quotes the words of Christ on this subject. There are intellectual struggles and there are emotional wounds; very different things. A special section offers advice on how to help friends who are suffering. Next, the author considers the arguments of atheists like Richard Dawkins, and Hindu and Buddhist views of evil and suffering. The chapter recounts an experience of Eli Wiesel in Auschwitz and concludes with the Christian view of suffering, how the faith provides meaning and purpose, and a reminder that God will ultimately put a complete end to evil. In this regard, I also recommend [[ASIN:0060652969 The Problem of Pain]] by CS Lewis.
Won't Jesus Answer Every Question? begins by looking at some of the questions always used by challengers of Christianity, for ex. those accusing the religion of atrocities, those asserting that faith makes people puppets and those who resent religion "being shoved down their throats." There is a passage dealing with the inquisition, Galileo, the Salem Witch Trials, and the accusation of "colonial imperialism." Zacharias then refers to Christ before Pilate, when He was silent. Jesus was silent when the accusations against him were ridiculous and wrongful, when minds were already made up, when people wanted a show, and when his job was done. Under the heading Faith By The Sword, he compares faith in Christianity, Islam and Hinduism, and how one can best share what one believes.
The book concludes with Chapter 7: What Are You Looking For? There is a supermarket of religions out there. The author looks at scoffers who, amongst other absurdities, cite the straw man argument of a literal 6-day creation in Genesis. See also [[ASIN:1576833755 A Matter of Days]] by the scientist Hugh Ross on this subject. Ravi likens God to a gardener and takes the reader through the garden of creation, the garden of temptation, the garden of pain and the garden of resurrection. He provides 3 reasons to believe: that the claims of Christ are uniquely credible, defensible and consistent. The book concludes with bibliographic notes arranged by chapter. Finding Jesus Among Other Gods is nothing like the CS Lewis masterpiece [[ASIN:0060652926 Mere Christianity]], but the book is valuable for its practical advice in dealing with the current hostility towards Christianity and Judaism and for reminding Christians what the faith really is about.
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