Monday, October 7, 2013

Understanding World Religions

Understanding World Religions: A Bible-Based Review of 50 FaithsUnderstanding World Religions: A Bible-Based Review of 50 Faiths by Len Woods
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Looking for a book on world religions can be tricky.  Initially, it would seem that you would look for a book that is from a neutral perspective.  This way, there would be no bias and we could get "just the facts, ma'am."  But then reality kicks in.  There are no "uninterpreted facts" and everyone brings their own bias.  That is just the nature of being human.

From a Christian perspective, while it may allow for the claim of arrogance and intolerance from naysayers, we do have access to truth.  The truth.  So when we view things, especially those things religious in nature, we should view them through the lens of God's revelation to man.  To do otherwise would be to embrace a misunderstanding of whatever we seek to know.

And if you are looking for a book on world religions from a distinctly Christian perspective, get this one.  Seriously.  It is quite good.  From content to presentation, this book is A+.

Woods presents different world religions, or worldviews would be a good term since certain views are included that would not traditionally wear the label of "religion", and he presents them from the viewpoint of a Christian.

Each worldview gets a basic overview including: basic beliefs, sacred texts, Nature of God, does/how does it present Jesus Christ, human nature, basic human need, salvation, and afterlife.  Also, if applicable, it covers some historical figures, calendar dates, and historical dates.

The format is beautiful and makes you want to read it.  The colors and patterns are engaging but not distracting from the text.  This would make a wonderful textbook for a basic world religions course taught from a distinctly Christian perspective.  Beyond that, it makes a great reference text to keep around and it is immensely readable, to the point where someone could sit down and read large sections straight through.

I cannot say enough good about this book.  It is great.

I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.


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