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Christianity and World Religions [Paperback]

Derek Cooper
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Presbyterian and Reformed; First edition (15 Feb 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596384468
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596384460
  • Product Dimensions: 25.3 x 18.2 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 135,962 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear and up-to-date introduction 23 April 2013
By Phil W
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Derek Cooper has done a great job of introducing the subject of Christianity's attitudes and relation to the major world religions. The book contains a helpful introduction to each religion and could be a valuable resource for college or undergraduate students, as well as for the lay Christian reader looking to find a clear and reliable introduction to the beliefs and practices of Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism or Sikhism. Following these there are some very lucid and engaging chapters on Christian approaches to understanding the nature and purpose of other religions. Both biblical-theological and systematic approaches are covered. Written from a Protestant, evangelical perspective, Cooper nevertheless interacts with a wide and representative range of Christian thinking on this issue, including John Hick and Paul Knitter, but also more recently developed positions such as that proposed by S. Mark Heim.
This book also includes some well-thought-out study questions for reflection or essay-writing, and a practical guide to undertaking a visit to a place of worship (e.g. Synagogue, Mosque, Temple).
I would recommend this book to Christian students looking for a readable and up-to-date introduction to this topic, seminarians or Christian workers looking to understand other religions better from a theological perspective, Religious Studies teachers, or any Christian reader looking for a reliable introduction to this area.
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, But Note the Final Chapter 11 Dec 2013
By Shane Lems - Published on Amazon.com
I agree with the earlier four reviewers: this is a fine summary of these major world religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism/Taoism, Judaism, and Islam. Cooper gives the basic history, beliefs, writings, and worship practice of each of these religions.

The book has many helpful charts, study questions, project suggestions, website resources, and book suggestions for further study. I really appreciate how this book is laid out. Furthermore, Cooper is kind in his assessments; he doesn't critique these religions in an arrogant way. There are many strengths in this book.

However, I do have to point out one big weakness: the last chapter (entitled "Theological Responses to Other Religions"). In this chapter, Cooper talks about inclusivism (Jesus saves people outside the Christian faith), exclusivism (Jesus saves only those who believe in him), pluralism (all religions are legitimate), universalism (Jesus will save everybody), and particularism (a newer hybrid position). He says that all of these views are acceptable in Christianity. Cooper himself leaves them all as viable options, and does not really speak for or against any of these positions. I believe that the most biblical view is Jesus saves only those who trust in him (exclusivism), and that the other views are quite unbiblical. All of these positions cannot be correct, and it's not helpful to say they are equally valid and leave the chips fall where they may. It's disappointing to find this approach in a book related to apologetics and evangelism. I'm guessing those who are so-called exclusivists like myself will be discouraged by the final chapter.

In summary, the first six chapters are good, the seventh one is not. I recommend the first six chapters, but cannot recommend the final one. It's a good summary of these major religions, but it ended in a fizzle. So the book is worth getting, certainly. But read that last chapter with discernment.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kind, Fair, Accurate, and Well-Written 29 Mar 2013
By Christian Dove - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It reads very well and makes insightful points about the parallels and differences between Christianity and the other religions. Sections in each chapter are even dedicated to brief discussions of how Christians may approach sharing the gospel with believers of the different faiths. The author is informed, kind, honest, and fair in tone with trying to present the beliefs accurately and in a way that stirs up compassion and discernment of fellow Christians. This is a book that is obviously focused on encouraging healthy discussion on part of Christians with those of differing faiths, as well as combating the unfortunate ignorance of said topic throughout most of the Church. I highly recommend.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It was fantastic! 6 Feb 2013
By amber - Published on Amazon.com
I just finished reading this book on Christianity and World Religions. It was fantastic! It was clear and very readable. The author used a lot of charts and helpful diagrams to explain each religion, and that helped me to understand it better. My favorite part of the book was the colorful pictures and discussion questions at the end of each chapter. The first part of the book described each of the major religions of the world in a clear way. The second part of the book looked at these religions from a Christian perspective. If you are looking for a book to help you think through other religions, then you should check this book out.
4.0 out of 5 stars study group 12 May 2014
By Loretta M. Christensen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
chosen for a study group which just started so end result is still in question but so far so good and delivery was perfect.
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Thorough and easy to read 26 April 2014
By Jenny - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book for a religions class I took. I was very easy to read and very informative. As part of the class we visit a Buddhist temple and were given a guided tour with a Q&A. The guide's answers matched what the book had stated. It made me feel confident that what I was reading was true and well-researched.
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