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Christianity For Dummies Paperback – March 5, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 412 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (March 5, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764544829
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764544828
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #218,348 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Author

Includes Foreword by Kurt Warner, Super Bowl and NFL MVP

"Christianity For Dummies" is a friendly, approachable guide that introduces readers to the Christian faith and Church, putting into everyday language what exactly it means to be a "Christian".

The book is for anyone who is curious about Christianity -- both people who are not Christians and those on the periphery of the Church. However, it is also for Christians who are interested in discovering more about their faith.

To borrow the words of C.S. Lewis, "Christianity For Dummies" focuses the majority of its coverage on "mere Christianity", the core essentials of the Christian faith that all believers, regardless of their background, agree to. At the same time, areas of difference won’t be swept under the table. When debatable topics arise, the book will highlight the differences that exist among various parts of the Church and faithfully represent these positions.

Christians believe that God created all things, including a sense of humor. "Christianity For Dummies" embraces that view as it tackles a traditionally serious topic with the familiar Dummies style of wit and irreverent humor. As it does so, the book strikes an appropriate balance between funniness and a keen sensitivity and respect for the subject matter, such that even the most pious saint can chuckle without finding offense.

From the Back Cover

Get to know the beliefs and practices inspired by Jesus Christ

Discover what it means to be a Christian and follow the gospel

Curious about Christianity? This friendly guide helps you understand the basic teachings of the Christian faith, exploring the common ground that all Christians share, the differences among the major branches, the key events in Christian history, the key theological issues, and the many ways Christians live out their faith in today’s world.

The Dummies Way

  • Explanations in plain English
  • "Get in, get out" information
  • Icons and other navigational aids
  • Tear-out cheat sheet
  • Top ten lists
  • A dash of humor and fun

Discover how to:

  • Express the core essentials of Christianity
  • Appreciate the life and teachings of Jesus
  • Understand why the Bible is central to the faith
  • Respect the unique roles of the Trinity
  • Explore controversial issues among the branches

More About the Author

I have authored several books, focusing on two very different aspects of my life and professional focus. On the faith front, I am author of "The Expeditionary Man", "The Myth of Happiness", and several "For Dummies" books designed to make meaty truth easily approachable for postmodern readers. These books include "C.S. Lewis & Narnia For Dummies", "Christianity For Dummies", and "Christian Prayer For Dummies".

On the technology front, I have authored several web tech books as well, such as "Adobe AIR For Dummies", "XSLT For Dummies" and "Building Facebook Applications For Dummies".

I work as Senior Developer for Maark, a strategic and interactive B2B marketing firm in Boston. Previously, I was V.P. of Product Development at NetObjects, an Internet software company, as well as inventor/architect of NetObjects ScriptBuilder.

I graduated from Taylor University and pursued graduate studies at American University. Though a native Hoosier, I now live in Princeton, Massachusetts with my wife and three boys.

Customer Reviews

It's very hard to ready something with someone's criticism all over it.
lighter02
Quite frankly, it seems to me that the author is trying to convince himself of these positions.
Amazon Customer
I recommend that all Christians have a copy of this book on their bookshelves.
Katie Rae

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Savant11 on February 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
I read Mr. Wagner's book "Christian Prayer for Dummies" and loved it, intentionally or not it gave a better overview of what it really means to be a Christian. Which is a personal relationship with God.

I was hoping for a better continuation in this book, but it didn't really happen. Mr. Wagner does have a wit and a sense of humour. But this book is rather dry. The book is more about how Christianity works than anything to do with a personal relationship with God and all the good things that come from that ie. a revolution of character, peace of mind etc.

This book is for those who are looking for a good overview of the "technical" aspects of Chritianity. How it came about, the split from Judaism, why the Bible is so important. And the differences between all the Christian denominations. If you want to know about a personal relationship with God please check out Christian Prayer for Dummies
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Karen on March 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
I really love this book.It has helped me so much to understand the differences between religion and a relationship with Jesus Christ. Coming from a former Catholic backround I was so interested to read about what is fact in the bible and what is fiction.It has helped me to go deeper into my faith and knowledge of the bible and how to apply it to my everyday life.Rich presents this with a wonderful sense of humor that makes you feel as if you know him and his family personally.I loved being able to have the information about different religions at my finger tips.This trully is a book inspired by our Lord and Saviour and I am so thankful for it! A great read!
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
I read "Christianity for Dummies," by Richard Wagner. For the reasons stated below, I cannot recommend this book.

First, the good: The book shines when the beliefs and practices of the various Christian denominations are compared and contrasted. For example, Catholics believe that sacraments (baptism, confirmation, confession, the Eucharist [the Lord's Supper], and anointing of the sick) are required for a person to receive salvation (page 143). The author further notes that although marriage is a sacrament, it is not required for salvation; and, the sacrament of holy orders for priests only pertain to the clergy.

On the other hand, the Protestants (who don't accept all seven sacraments, which they call "ordinances") claim that the Catholic Church's position strays from biblical teachings by "leaving the role of a person's faith in salvation as secondary." In other words, Catholics believe that a Christian receives God's saving grace by practicing the sacraments and doing good works, while Protestants believe that Christians receive God's saving grace through faith alone.

The author then points out that, although the Eastern Orthodox Church uses all seven sacraments of the Catholic Church, it has no fully defined position on the role that sacraments play in salvation.

Throughout the text, the author describes the various beliefs and practices of the numerous Protestant denominations. These descriptions are both interesting and informative. I found the diagram, on page 214, connecting the various Protestant denominations to be very instructive. For these reasons, the book earned one star.

Now, for the bad: This book should have been entitled "In Defense of Christianity for Dummies.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
If you want to know the basics of the Christian faith, the beliefs shared in principle by most denominations, this book does it with humor and grace. Some Christian groups may have a more or less literal interpretation of these beliefs, but this book is a good primer on what it means to be a Christian. If you are thinking of becoming Christian, or you want to go back to basics an understand your roots, read this and start bulding your faith from the ground up.
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22 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Allison L. Sowell on April 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
Having been raised a christian, I was suprised by what I read in this book. Several times I asked myself "you mean christians believe that?" The author assumes that fundamentalism is mainstream christianity and occasionally throws in some information about Catholicism, Orthodox religions and non fundamentalist religions almost as an aside. Very one sided and disappointing. There must be something better out there.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tim on January 17, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is simple, straightforward, and a great starting point for new believers or anyone who wants to understand what makes Christianity tick. The book begins with an explanation of salvation and grace, and takes off from there. It includes divergent beliefs of various major denominations, as well as explanations of why those beliefs are held and what it means in practice.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Katie Rae on October 2, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really appreciate this book. For those who are seeking to just know a little about Christianity to those who have believed for a long time, this is a great resource. I am a youth director and I have been using it to help teach a confirmation class because it is so easy to understand and straight forward. You get your questions answered without being bogged down with too much theological mumbo-jumbo. (not that that's bad, it's just not always necessary) The author fantastically presents the foundations of the Christian faith from a very objective standpoint. He reviews differences in denomination beliefs without seeming too biased one way or the other. I recommend that all Christians have a copy of this book on their bookshelves.
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