BOOK REVIEW: Jesus Among Other Gods

This book is a wealth of information on apologetics for youth.

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Ravi Zacharias doesn’t pull punches. It begins with a story about a thrashing his father gave him for skipping school but that’s also where his journey to Christ began. He also discusses an attempt at suicide he made around the same time he was seeking out truth.

His book addresses the pluralism we see in our society today. The idea that no religion can claim it has the exclusive way to God. Zacharias’ honesty in his writing is refreshing. He tells the reader that while pluralism can make everyone feel nice it is not truth.

With honesty and humour Zacharias points out that pluralism has lead to a ridiculousness in culture where people feel the need to respect the worship of nearly anything – including dachshunds.

He also calls to task the double speak of tolerance – that they will not leave Christians alone to believe what they want but instead insist that everyone must be tolerant, as they claim to be. He notes that Western society is very willing to condemn Christianity but will not hold Eastern religions to the same level of account. He is also straightforward in his calculation about why youth prefer Eastern religions, largely because it offers them freedom to do as they wish.

He challenges the reader to examine Jesus’ claims to deity and to consider what kind of being would make such claims. Getting our kids to think through these questions for themselves is crucial to discipleship.

He compares Christian doctrine to that of Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam looking at how each differ in their claims of truth and of God.

Zacharias also compares the lives of Mohammed and Jesus, pointing out only one lived a truly pure Life. He shows that Jesus knew who he was and why he had come but Mohammed was confused at the spiritual revelations he claimed to have had. He also demonstrates that Jesus is different from other leaders because he doesn’t just point to the way. Mohammad and Buddha point to their writings to show the right path but Jesus says HE is it.

He also tackles some bigger issues that are more specific to Jesus’ claims including the virgin birth, which may be a difficult subject to explain to younger children.

He presents briefly the arguments about the Bible’s trustworthiness, which is essential for any Christian to know.

Zacharias has added a section that tackles the claims of hypocrisy in the church. He also prepares the reader for the blame that will be put on them by atrocious committed by so-called Christians in the past.

I wouldn’t hesitate to offer this as a resource to a reader aged 12 and up but I think it is too much for a younger reader to grasp.

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