Bethany House Publishers,
11300 Hampshire Ave, S,
Minneapolis, MN 55438, 1996, 272 pages

Anyone who is even remotely involved in working with college students or with progressive elements in society will quickly be forced to answer the question of why Jesus and His teachings are any better than the other options that are out there. Animism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Shinto, Taoism, New Age, and even various political ideologies are all being offered to people today as an alternative to Christianity. If a person is a Christian because that is what their parents were, or because that was expected and accepted in the society in which they grew up, they are going to be poorly equipped to deal with questions raised by people who were raised very differently. This book attempts to equip believers to answer the challenge we have formulated.

This is a book written by eight men who come from varied backgrounds. A number of denominational mission societies or outreaches are represented including Probe Ministries, Jews for Jesus, International Students, Inc., and Mission to the Americas. The authors have extensive backgrounds in the cultures dominated by the religions they are discussing. The book begins with an overview involving concepts of God and how Christianity differs from the concepts of other faiths. Each of the faiths listed in the first paragraph are then reviewed and suggestions are made about how the answer challenges offered by those who adhere to that faith. The final two chapters deal with Christ as the only way to God and how we can know the Bible is inspired.

The greatest weakness of this book is its brevity. This is predictable since eleven faiths plus the last two subjects are covered in 266 pages (not counting the index.) The shallow nature of the book makes it useful only in a very general sense, but for Americans who want a survey it is very useful. Perhaps its greatest strength is its organization. There are numerous charts all through the book comparing Christianity and the Bible with the beliefs of others systems. This should make the book very useful for preachers and people who want a general treatment. It would not be useable with a person schooled in another faith, but it offers a good beginning in understanding what that faith is about and what its weaknesses are.

Back to Contents Does God Exist?, Mar/Apr 97