World Religions in Seven Sentences: A Small Introduction to a Vast Topic

IVP Academic. Sept. 2023. 150p. ISBN 9781514005828. pap. $18. REL
Groothuis’s (philosophy, Denver Seminary; Christian Apologetics) book attempts to shift the tendency for some Christians to appreciate other religions by assessing various faith-based beliefs, using tools familiar to philosophy: abstracting key concepts and investigating whether they conflict with each other or some other intuitions. The book focuses on Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism, Islam, Judaism, Christianity, and even atheism, a curious decision since the latter is not an overarching ideology, nor does it have a standard code of conduct. The author argues that atheism logically leads to nihilism, and he analyzes that. Each concept is introduced to readers with a single encapsulating sentence from that specific point of view. Sentences are then unpacked into general viewpoints. General evaluations and critiques follow for further exploration, but there’s no deep dive into what draws people to each belief system. Since this work is designed for Christians, Christianity is spared any serious critique, and criticism of Judaism is muted.
VERDICT This title is better at assuring Christians of their own position than challenging their interlocutors. Readers are left with little understanding of other religions’ appeal.
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