World Religions

Picture2How does Christianity compare to the other world religions on Earth? This is our catalogue of articles on comparative religions. We try to represent each view fairly before offering our response from a Christian perspective. These are listed in alphabetical order:

A Cumulative Case for Christianity Many people choose a religion based on a matter of taste, rather than on a matter of fact. Here is a brief case for why biblical theism has greater evidence than any other worldview.

Buddhism Buddhism has various sects and traditions, but largely, classical Buddhism is a pantheistic or even an agnostic faith. 500 million Buddhists live on Earth today (or roughly 7% of the world population). This article covers the origin of Buddhism, its various traditions today, and how it compares with Christianity.

Christian Science Who was Mary Baker Eddy, and what is Christian Science? We begin with a brief history of Mary Baker Eddy and the founding of Christian Science before offering a philosophical and biblical critique.

Eastern Orthodoxy In recent years, many evangelicals have turned to Eastern Orthodoxy (hereafter EO). They are taken by the ethereal experiences of worship services: incense, music, icons, liturgies. What are the differences between Eastern Orthodoxy and Evangelical Christianity?

Hinduism Hinduism is a pantheistic faith with polytheistic expressions. In this religion, Hindus worship 330 million gods, but they also believe that ultimate reality is impersonal. There are roughly one billion Hindus on Earth today (or roughly 15% of the population). We offer a Christian perspective on this popular world religion.

Islam Roughly 1.6 billion Muslims populate the world today, making Islam the second largest religion on Earth. Many people hold false beliefs about who Muhammad was and what the Quran teaches.

Jehovah’s Witnesses There are roughly 7.5 million Jehovah’s Witnesses on Earth today. In the last decade, the Watchtower Society has published over 20 billion pieces of literature supporting their organization. Are Jehovah’s Witnesses just another Christian denomination, or are they a non-Christian sect?

Judaism How does Christianity relate to Judaism? In what ways does Judaism point forward to Jesus of Nazareth? Are Christianity and Judaism mutually exclusive, or is it possible to be Jewish and Christian?

Mormonism There are roughly 14 million Mormons on Earth today. But is the Mormon Church a rapidly growing Christian group, or a non-Christian sect? We survey the history and beliefs of the Mormon faith, as well as offering a biblical perspective on Mormon beliefs.

New Age Spirituality New Agers often say that they are into “self-discovery,” “spiritual growth,” or “enlightenment.” Of course, these terms seem harmless enough, but what exactly do they mean when they say these things?

Occult Occult comes from the Latin occultus, which means “hidden, secret, dark, mysterious, concealed.” Many are not aware of how widespread and pervasive occult practices actually are. This article covers a description of occult practices, how to discern mental illness from demonic oppression, and how to renounce occult bondage.

Oneness Pentecostalism Oneness Pentecostalism (sometimes called the “Jesus Only” movement) is different from Orthodox Pentecostalism, because they deny the Trinity. Oneness Pentecostalism consists of multiple denominations including the General Assembly of Apostolic Assemblies, Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ, and United Pentecostal Church International.

Postmodernism Thinkers from this perspective question whether we can know what language really means with any degree of objectivity. They charge that you might have your interpretation of the Bible, but it’s no better than anyone else’s. Since we all bring our own personal agendas and biases to the table, postmodern thinkers argue that it is impossible to have any kind of objectivity in our interpretation of the Bible (or any other text for that matter).

Reincarnation Is there any evidence for reincarnation? Is reincarnation biblical? We explore these claims in this article.

Roman Catholicism What are the differences between Roman Catholicism and Evangelical Christianity? What are the similarities? We explore these controversial issues here.

Scientology Critics of Scientology have been quick to point out the lurid and fantastic beliefs of this particular faith, while many celebrity Scientologists have been quick to retort that this belief-system has changed their lives. In the midst of this often heated exchange, many people wonder: What is Scientology? We give a detailed examination of its history, as well as its beliefs.

Seventh-Day Adventism Seventh Day Adventism holds to unorthodox theological views, but is it a cult? Where should Bible believers stand on Seventh-Day Adventism?

Unification Church The Unification Church is an aberrant offshoot of Christianity started by Yong Myung Moon. Members of the Unification Church are often pejoratively called “moonies” after their founder Moon.

What is a Cult? Is Christianity just one big cult, or is it possible to differentiate Christianity from cultic practice? How are Christian churches different than cults, and how do we consistently distinguish between the two? To inform our answers to these questions, we have consulted both secular and Christian authorities on the subject.

Further Reading

 

Christian Texts on Comparative Religions

Boa, Kenneth. Cults, World Religions, and the Occult. Wheaton, IL: Victor, 1990.

Geisler, Norman L., and Ron Rhodes. Correcting the Cults: Expert Responses to Their Scripture Twisting. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2005.

Halverson, Dean C. The Compact Guide to World Religions. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House, 1996.

Martin, Walter, and Ravi Zacharias (General Editor). The Kingdom of the Cults. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House, 2003.

Rhodes, Ron. The Challenge of the Cults and New Religions: The Essential Guide to Their History, Their Doctrine, and Our Response. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2001.

Ridenour, Fritz. So What’s the Difference? Ventura, CA: Regal, 2001.

Sire, James W. The Universe next Door: A Basic Worldview Catalog. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2004.

The Marks of a Cult: A Biblical Analysis (DVD).

Secular Texts on Comparative Religions

Carmody, Denise Lardner, and John Carmody. Ways to the Center: An Introduction to World Religions. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Pub., 1984.

Hopfe, M. Religions of the World. Fourth ed. London: MacMillan, 1987.

Ludwig, Theodore M. The Sacred Paths: Understanding the Religions of the World. New York: Macmillan, 1989.

Nigosian, World Religions: A Historical Approach. Third Edition. Boston: Bedford/St.Martin’s, 2000.

Singer, Margaret Thaler. Cults in our Midst: The Continuing Fight Against Their Hidden Menace (Revised & Updated). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2003.

Free Audio Lectures on Comparative Religions

Apologetics Mp3 Audio Page

Dr. Timothy Tennent: World Religions

Dr. Timothy Tennent: Intro to Buddhism

Dr. Timothy Tennent: Intro to Hinduism

Dr. Timothy Tennent: Intro to Islam