Illustrated Guide to World Religions, The

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Press: Bethany House (November 1, 2003)


With the world at America's doorstep, today's Christians need to understand the beliefs of their neighbors, who represent many ethnic groups and religions. 
This book presents the evangelistic challenges and opportunities of the world's leading religions in a colorful graphic format.
It prepares Christians to answer the questions "Is Jesus the only way to God?" and "How can we know the Bible is the Word of God?" Ideal for teachers, pastors, and lay Christians who want to witness to their friends and colleagues.

About the Author

Dean Halverson is a World Religions Specialist with International Students Inc., a para-church organization committed to sharing Christ with the half-million internationals studying in the U.S. 
He was a researcher for the Spiritual Counterfeits Project and is the author of Crystal Clear: Understanding and Reaching New Agers.
He lives in Colorado with his wife, Debbie.
They have three children.


Religion & Spirituality,Religious Studies,Comparative Religion

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Comment List (Total:13)

  •     This book covers some of the more well known religions and some I have never even heard of. It has good tables that contrasts every religion to christianity. It seems written from a christian point of view since each chapter ends with how to relate and find similarities to the other religion to help with your witnessing efforts.
  •     There's nothing wrong with having a book written from a Christian Perspective that outlines other world religions and how to approach adherents of those religions to convert them to Evangelical Christianity. What is wrong however is presenting it as a comparative religions book without making that particular quality clear on the book cover.This book does a reasonable job at stating in the first section what it is. The problem is, most people will have already bought the book before doing that and not be aware that this is effectively a Christian Apologetics work. World Religions are presented, but they are presented in the light of evangelical, fundamentalist beliefs and compared and contrasted against that standard alone.That's really all that needs to be said about it. I'm a Christian and not completely adverse to the point of view to a limited degree, but I was disappointed with the tone and taste it left in my mouth as I considered others' reaction to reading it. It's a little difficult to expect others to take a call to "truth" seriously when the book itself somewhat misrepresents itself to the average buyer picking it off a shelf. The book itself is used as a textbook in Christian Universities. Obviously they know what they're getting and why, but outside of that context, the message is inconsistent with the method of approach and this should not be mistaken at all for a comparative religions text. It compares only against Christianity and that with an already made up mind.2 stars. I can't recommend this book to a general audience without these issues being addressed.bart breen
  •     I am a Christian and gave to my Buddhist friend so that she can compare beliefs. This book really spells out different beliefs in a clean and concise way. An excellent book. Knowledge is a powerful tool. Read and learn to strengthen your belief system.
  •     Love this book. VERY informative and well laid out. It is heavy reading, but that is because it is so full of information.
  •     The goal of this book is to teach about other religions so people can use that knowledge to convert others to Christianity. If that's not your goal, don't bother.
  •     Having just begun to delve into the wonderful world of our world's religions, I was looking for a good book that would give me an objective survey and history of the major...
  •     This must be one of the most vicious, hateful, evangelistic books I've ever seen. It is such a threat to world peace and goodwill.
  •     Although the information in this book is the same as what is found in his 1996 edition "The Compact Guide to World Religions," Dean Halverson does a beautiful job putting this work together. First, it is easy to read and follow. In fact, any layperson should have no trouble with the basics of each of the major religions. In addition, the pictures and charts alone are well worth the inexpensive price of this hardcover book. Finally, the valuable chapters on "Is Jesus the Only Way to God?" and "How can we know the Bible is the Word of God?" make this a must-have in one's library. I don't know of any other resource (from a Christian perspective) that provides the fundamentals of a particular world religion in a context so easy to understand. I teach a world religions course, and it is the first book (out of three texts) that I require my students to purchase.
  •     I picked this book up on an impulse at the library last night. The book's title and front cover gave me the impression that I had in my lucky little hands an objective, unbiased...
  •     I had read a friend's copy in preparation for a Sunday school class.I ordered a new copy to give as a Christmas gift.
  •     I borrowed this book from the library because I wanted to read a good, objective overview of the religions of the world. While this book does provide good, generic, simple overview explanations of most of the known (non-tribal) religions of the world, it is heavily bent toward Christianity. I have to agree with what reviewer "kiddmugg" said below: it is very snarky. Within each chapter about other religions, the book compares that religion to Christianty. There is even a chart in each chapter, with one column for that chapter's religion and one column for Christianity. Then it goes on to make lengthy, descriptive comparisons to passages in the Bible.I would not go so far as to say this book is trying to convert people who have other religious beliefs to believe in Christianity (although I would not put it past the author if he happens to be a Christian), but it is obvious that this book is written FOR Christians and, at the very least, is trying to get Christians to understand what the other religions of the world are about.The title of the book is inappropriate. It should be "A Christian Guide to World Religions".
  •     Contrary to the other review who called this book "narrow-minded," I believe this book is very helpful because it actually treats relgions as something that should be verfied as true. Our culture today treats religion like flavors of ice cream--pick the one that pleases you best. Halverson, however, does a marvelous job of showing the most important details of the world's religions so that the reader can evaluate them based on good philosophical principles. Rather than 'narrow-minded,' I find this book actually encurages the reader to use her mind when exploring some of the most vital questions of life.This book is a great introduction to a very broad subject. It is accessible, easy to read, and colorful layout. The pictures take the reader beyond sterile 'facts' and into the real world of each religion.Halverson is a Christian and writes from a Christian perspective. But he calls the reader to think for herself and make her own judgment according to the best reasons for believing.
  •     I believe the negative reviews below are unfair. As the author states in the Intro: "This book was written primary with the Christian in mind, but not exclusively.. I invite you to consider the arguments.." The book is easy to read, very broad, and clear but very insightful.It frames the primary issues all religions deal with and shows how Christianity contrasts with other religions. In each case it describes how Christians should present their beliefs to those with other beliefs. The tone is respectful of other religions, but, of course, since the issues are goodness, meaningful lives, just societies, and eternal bliss, it does not paper over the profound differences. I'm so sorry to hear those who preceive differences and the belief that one way is correct as equal to hate. Could science or any other field have advanced with this as the governing assumption?

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