Monday, November 19, 2018

Book Review

So What’s the Difference?

By Fritz Ridenour

 The goal of this book is to spell out the differences between the historic Christian faith and other views represented in major religions, cults and ideologies.  The author begins by asking the reader to answer some important questions about life so that you can discover your own worldview.   Ridenour quotes the Bible extensively as he goes about to compare Christianity and other religions.

He begins showing how God’s word is the plumb line to define the differences between the basic truths on which Christianity was founded and what other faiths believe.  I felt that this first chapter was an excellent review for all Christians to reconfirm their beliefs. 
Once this Biblical worldview has been explored by the author he goes on to discuss what he calls the other trunks of the Christian Tree.  He looks at Roman Catholicism-the one true Church?  And Eastern Orthodoxy-just like the Catholics except for the Pope? At the end of each chapter he sums up the differences between these religions and Evangelical Protestants.  I found the explanations easy to understand and helpful when looking at my own worldview.

The next part of the book looks at the major religions of the world.  Judaism-  foundation for the Christian Faith, but still looking for the Messiah;  Islam-Allah is One, and Christ was just a prophet; Hinduism-We are all divine ; Buddhism-You yourself must make the effort.  Once again the discussions are easy to understand and the author ends the chapters by summing up the major differences between these religions and Christianity.

Part four of the book looks at cults with a very good discussion of where cults come from, their characteristics and why they grow so fast.  Ridenour looks at  Jehovah’s Witnesses-there is no hell, hard work earns paradise; Mormonism-As God is man can become; New Age-the serpent’s old lie in an updated package;-- a chapter is dedicated to each of these movements.  From here the author goes into a discussion of eleven more viewpoints that undermine, challenge or attack Biblical Christianity. These are short discussions which include a section of how these beliefs are different from Christianity.  The book ends with two appendices that give resources for further study.

I very much enjoyed this book.  The author explains other religions in a way I could understand and unfailingly compared them to evangelical Christian beliefs.  His Bible references are helpful and reassuring to the Christian view.  However, and I guess here is the BUT.  I would not say the book is unbiased but does serve as a quick reference to other beliefs and also gives the Christian reader ways of approaching those who believe differently. 

 Thanks to Linda Cliff for this post.

Ed. Note: The book is available in our library.

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