Customer Review

26 of 52 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 17 May 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Christianity: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
I was wholly disappointed with this book, the series as a whole is brilliant but if you are genuinely interested in Christianity and finding out what Christians believe, this book really is not very helpful. It devotes little space to the central messages of Christianity and without this focus, there can be no coherent analysis of Christian practises. By quoting passasges from the Bible without considering their context, a somewhat distorted view is given, particularly in respect to the Biblical teachings on women. Whilst the views given may represent the ideas of a minority of Christians, they are certainly not a fair reflection of Christianity as a whole as found in the Bible.
If you want an introduction to Christian beliefs, a book like "Christianity Explored" by Rico Tice and Barry Cooper, gives a better, jargon-free analysis. I certainly found it very helpful.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 Nov 2008 22:20:26 GMT
Last edited by the author on 11 Nov 2008 22:22:08 GMT
Once again, it is profoundly saddening to see a well-written, broad based book on Christianity rubbished by conservative evangelicals on the basis that it does not accord with their narrow and, frankly, questionable views of Christian faith and practice. Christianity is far, far more than a set of beliefs - there is a rich and complicated history and culture to take into account as well - and this book gives a very effective introduction to this broader view. Unfortunately, this means that it covers Christian views and perspectives that do not accord with the monolithic bigotry clearly favoured by 'A Customer' (boldly remaining anonymous, I note!!!). The 'alternative' recommended is an efficient and adequate (although well-spun) introduction to conservative evangelical Christian belief with a view to 'converting' people - I don't agree at all with its theology but can nonetheless recognise something that 'serves its purpose' perfectly well - it would be refreshing to see evangelicals being a little more generous-in-spirit towards works that they may not be in complete agreement with!

But explaining Christian belief (or seeking 'conversions') is not Linda Woodhead's primary task - she instead presents well-researched and badly-needed context covering the journey of Christianity in its various forms from Biblical times to the present day - the sort that is undoubtedly threatening to any who wish to present the Christian faith as 'unchanging' over the past 2000 years! That's just one of many reasons to be grateful to her for this excellent book.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 May 2014 10:29:55 BDT
D. Hughes says:
Well said, I agree with you absolutely. The last people I would ask for a balanced view of Christianity would be the "happy clappy brigade".

The short introduction to christianity is a good jump off point for anyone and would recommend it as a first read.
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