Sunday, May 31, 2009

Nelson's Illustrated Guide to Religions: by James A. Beverley

Nelson's Illustrated Guide to Religions covers more than 200 religions, sects, and cults, most of which the reader might encounter in everyday life. The information for the most part is fairly presented, and his research is well organized, which is impressive.

Features of this book include
  1. Historical information on each of the major religions with detailed timeliness.
  2. Profiles of each group's primary leaders
  3. An inventory of key principles and beliefs of each religion
  4. An analysis and critique of religions from a Christian Perspective
  5. Opinions and commentary on the controversial issues related to specific religious groups
  6. Recommended resources- bibliographic information and extensive internet sources for further study
  7. Ten tests for truth in religion- a set of multifaceted tests that Christians should apply when approaching the faith traditions of others and their own faith.
  8. Many photos and side notes related to the religion being disgust
I would like to note that this book is written by one man, and contains his opinions based on his research, and world view. If your looking for a guide to world religions this book may or may not be for you. At the end of each chapter is the author's opinions ,and critique of each religion from an Evangelical view point. Writings based on opinion have a tendency to get away from the truth and become offensive. The author at times presents himself as over judgmental, especially in regards to the Catholic Christian Faith.

My Personal Opinion.
I was looking for a book based on factual information about world religions, not a book clouded by one man's opinions. The author does very well with his information, and research. Though I must point out at times his information seems to have a slightly judgmental tone. In the author's opinions and critique section he often contradicts his own research. When one compares the Catholicism information section, to the author's opinions and critique section the result is very contradicting and condescending. The most offensive part of this section is the author's opinion on the pagan influence in Catholic Tradition. A Quote from Nelson's Illustrated Guide to Religions: by James A. Beverley "Catholic traditions have often been mixed with pagan customs in ways that detract from the main teachings of the gospel" As a Catholic Christian and as someone who deeply loves the Lord Jesus I find this very offense. All of the Catholic Traditions I am aware of, in one form or another directs one to Christ in a more intimate way. After seeing the author' negativity towards Catholicism and that certain views are altered by his opinions makes me question the validity of the rest of the book.

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