Thursday, May 28, 2009

Have You Ever Wondered What the Differences Are...

between the religions of the world? I have the book for you: Nelson's Illustrated Guide to Religions. This is first a very large book with not just the big religions of the world but a lot of the new age stuff that is floating out there. Not only that, but it compared what the difference is between each religion and Christianity. Just so you know this author, James A. Beverley has done his homework. He has traveled the globe investigating and researching religions. On page 63 of the book shows him hand in hand with the Dalai Lama in 2000.

The author devotes one chapter to Christian Sectarian Groups such as Jim Jones, David Berg (The Family International), Faith Tabernacle (Philadelphia), Jim Roberts (The Roberts Group) and more, sadly, much more. David Koresh and the Branch Davidians, specifically the Waco raid has its own chapter and is very thorough.

Judaism has a large chapter with lots of really good information including the Jewish Statement of Faith. There is also a lot of historical information that is fascinating about the history of maltreatment of the Jews through out the world. There is a section that helps to define and understand the whole Jewish Arab conflict for those folks who don't know why it is important for Israel to protect itself as a nation. Maybe Obama needs to read this as he is obviously oblivious.

The author gives a Jewish historical time-line from 70AD to 1948 (the creation of the Jewish nation Israel). What I find interesting is that throughout Jewish persecution in 807, 1215, and Hitler (no specific year given) forced the Jews to wear yellow stars. What is up with the yellow stars? Is it to represent the star of David? Honestly I thought Hitler was the only one to do that and that was bad then. Yes the Jewish people have faced hostility through out history and those who call themselves Christians are not exempt from guilt in this.

In this book there are separate chapters on Orthodoxy, Protestantism and Roman Catholicism. Though some of the basic tenants of each of these are the same, there a still great differences between them. The author gives explanations about the splits or schisms that basically brought about these three dominant Christian religions. One thing pointed out is that the protestant church is not one group like Roman Catholics or the Orthodox church.

Within Protestantism there are even more factions or groups broken into denominations, large and small. The thing to remember is that within Protestantism the splits in denomination will not split on the core fundamentals of who Christ is, how He saved us, and how to be saved. The splits come from baptism beliefs, how to make disciples as instructed, and other non-essentials of the faith. For me, a protestant, it is important to see how we came to be and what other protestants believe or have historically believed.

This would be way to long to go on about each chapter but every religion major or minor you could think of is here, well researched and very well written.

1 comment:

Ali said...

Sounds like an interesting book.