Monday, June 1, 2009

Recommended Reference Book: Nelson's Illustrated Guide to Religions

I am sure many of you that normally read my blog are wondering why in the world are you putting this review here? Well I have started something new and am reviewing books for Thomas Nelson as part of their blogger readers program. And I actually chose this book. Crazy? Yes and no. Yes in that this is a reference book and most are not drawn to reference book and no because I believe this is vital information for every Christian believer. Today we are seeing the "back door" of the Evangelical Christian Church church grow wider and wider. Many that have grown up with a basic belief in Christianity are leaving in droves to pursue religions that are scary at best. Many of our teens that have grown up going to church are being drawn into the self absorbed self consumed religions such as Witchcraft and Spiritualism. Have you checked out the preteen and teen sections in Barnes and Nobles lately? Your child can learn to channel and also cast basic spells. So all this to say I am concerned. Because many of our parents are not informed or educated about #1 what they believe as Christians and #2 what their neighbor who is a big Mary Baker Eddy fan and follower believes who is taking their children to reading rooms with their kids. To some parents this seems harmless but it is a deceptive luring away of your child to their faith. But this won't happen if you as parents will first of all know what you believe and pass that along to your children and second of all become educated about what others around you believe. So that you can talk educatedly with your children. So.. below is my "official" review of this reference book. I do think its a great resource. And although it is pricey as all reference books are I think it is a necessary read and reference source.

This is another needed reference book to be put on the shelves (or at least donated to your church's library) of everyone who is in ministry and every parent who wants to be up to date on today's major religions. The author, Mr. James Beverly, writing from the evangelical Christian perspective, covers the beliefs of Buddhism, Christian Science, Hinduism, Islam and many of the other world religions that we are "used" to hearing about. But he also tackles some of the "newbie’s" that are growing rapidly in popularity such as Baha'i, Sikhism, New Age Sects such as Christian Science, Satanism and Witchcraft. I appreciate the information on the origin of the beliefs, and their belief structure as well as the historical and current impact that these religions are having on our world today. While Mr. Beverly has done an excellent job outlining his perspective and giving the reader his thoughts on the Christian’s response to other religions and the basics of the Christian faith in the beginning of his book, I wish he had included charts at the end of each religion he covers that allow the reader to quickly compare that religion’s beliefs to basic evangelical Christian beliefs.

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