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Christianity 101 Paperback – April 20, 1993

4.1 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

You Mean to Say You Don't Know the Meaning of * Monophysitism * Hypostatic Union * Infralapsarian * Traducianism * Chiliastic * Pneumatomachian Cheer up! You don't have to have thousand-dollar vocabulary in order to grasp the priceless basics of Christianity. Christianity 101 bridges the gap between biblical scholarship and people who want to understand the Christian faith. This book presents eight basic doctrines of Christianity--The Bible, God, Christ, Holy Spirit, Human Beings, Redemption, The Church, and The Last Things--in clear, simple language that gives seasoned Christians a fresh understanding of the Bible and its teachings and puts new Christians on familiar terms with Christian doctrine. Gilbert Bilezikian does not shape his analysis of these doctrines in the worn-out, rationalistic categories of older systematic theologies, but in vibrant, dynamic language designed to communicate biblical truths to contemporary believers.

About the Author

Gilbert Bilezikian (ThD, Boston University) is a professor emeritus of Wheaton College, a charter member and elder of Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois, and the author of Community 101.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; 1st edition (May 2, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310577012
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310577010
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #221,775 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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This book clarifies many confusing and sometimes misunderstood aspects of Christian theology, including the triune nature of God and the individual aspects of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, God's original plan for man and how it was impacted by the Fall, and God's plan for man's salvation. I found that it filled a lot of gaps in my knowledge, even though I've been a Christian since childhood and have read and studied the Bible.
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Format: Paperback
Dr. Bilezikian's introduction to basic Christian doctrine is a wonderful distillation of eight basic doctrines of the Church. The book is very easy to read, does not get bogged down in technical debate and does not add endless Scripture references that add little to the point in question. Starting with the doctrine of Revelation, working through each person of the trinity, the church and end times. Bilezikian shows that he has thought through the issues with the question of the average layperson in mind. Bilezikian's chapter on the church is nothing if not inspiring and his chapter on End Times adds a nice touch to a beleaguered area of theology.
I did find some blemishes in the work. At times, Bilezikian jumps to conclusions that are not supported by his argumentation. For instance, on page 16, he makes the claim: "Since the truth of the Old Testament is partial and incomplete, the Old Testament cannot have the final word on any aspect of revelation, unless it is confirmed as such in the New Testament." That is a pretty hard pill to swallow, particularly when one remembers that 2 Tim 3:16 originally referred to the Hebrew Scriptures! More than once, I found myself asking "why" or saying "so what?" after he made some disconnected bold claim (see pp. 156, 183, 201, etc.). His section on predestination was weak in its argumentation, for anyone who has actually studied the issue. Bilezikian argues for corporate election and a self-limitation of God's foreknowledge not unlike the open-theists. It is an interesting argument, but it would have been more helpful to show the reader its weaknesses as well as its strengths. There were a couple of typos in the book ("gopsel" on p.153 etc.) but none were serious.
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Format: Paperback
Dr. Bilezikian's introduction to basic Christian doctrine is a wonderful distillation of eight basic doctrines of the Church. The book is very easy to read, does not get bogged down in technical debate and does not add endless Scripture references that add little to the point in question. Starting with the doctrine of Revelation, working through each person of the trinity, the church and end times. Bilezikian shows that he has thought through the issues with the question of the average layperson in mind. Bilezikian's chapter on the church is nothing if not inspiring and his chapter on End Times adds a nice touch to a beleaguered area of theology.
I did find some blemishes in the work. At times, Bilezikian jumps to conclusions that are not supported by his argumentation. For instance, on page 16, he makes the claim: "Since the truth of the Old Testament is partial and incomplete, the Old Testament cannot have the final word on any aspect of revelation, unless it is confirmed as such in the New Testament." That is a pretty hard pill to swallow, particularly when one remembers that 2 Tim 3:16 originally referred to the Hebrew Scriptures! More than once, I found myself asking "why" or saying "so what?" after he made some disconnected bold claim (see pp. 156, 183, 201, etc.). His section on predestination was weak in its argumentation, for anyone who has actually studied the issue. Bilezikian argues for corporate election and a self-limitation of God's foreknowledge not unlike the open-theists. It is an interesting argument, but it would have been more helpful to show the reader its weaknesses as well as its strengths.
There were a couple of typos in the book ("gopsel" on p.153 etc.) but none were serious.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is my favorite beginners book. It is not a simple read for newcomers to Christianity but it covers the necessary stuff. I used it as a reference for creating curriculum for our new believer's class at our church. I highly recommend it. As with all books on Christianity, you might not agree with 100% but this is written well.
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Format: Paperback
I checked Christianity 101 out of our local library because it was one of the few books in the "Christianity" section that was not heretical. I expected the same old poorly laid out rehashing of doctrine in a sedative format. I figured it was worth a try though. I was suprised. It seems that someone duped our humanist local library into actually buying a useful book! The author makes these eight doctrines come alive. I recommend this book to those new Christians who want to build a solid foundation for their faith as well as all those seeking out the truths of Christianity.
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Christianity 101: Your Guide to Eight Basic Christian Beliefs by Gilbert Bilezikian

This book presents an overview of the generally recognized doctrines which are basic to the Christian Faith. Potential readers should be aware that this presentation is from the Arminian theological perspective, not the Calvinistic or Universalistic perspectives. This author, Bilezikian, typical of Arminians, contends that the Bible teaches that God desires all people to be saved, but God cannot get everyone saved since people have free will which God will not violate. He clearly states that not all people will be saved and that the "saved" can lose their salvation. Actually, this theological school of thought contends that the vast majority of humans will be condemned by God to eternal hell fire for their refusal to accept Christ as their Savior since Jesus is the only way of salvation. This author acknowledges the obvious unfairness of people being condemned to hell who have never even heard of Christ and, therefore, had no chance to be saved.

Bilezikian reveals his compassion for lost souls by stating that God may make an exception in such cases. He, however, totally misrepresents the universalistic view of salvation by saying, "This is the belief that all humans will finally be saved regardless of whether they sought righteousness or rejected it." There is a huge difference between saying that God will not save unbelievers and saying, as Christian Universalists contend, all unbelievers shall, of their own free will, eventually be saved by becoming believers in Christ.
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