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Jesus Among Other Gods: The Absolute Claims Of The Christian Message Hardcover – August 8, 2000

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When Pope John Paul II called for a massive "new evangelization" of Asia during a November 1999 visit to India, his comments sparked protest from Hindus for whom proselytizing is a form of oppression. The debate underscored the sharp difference between Western creeds such as Christianity and Islam, which tend to be exclusive, and Eastern religions that stress pluralism. This collision forms a fascinating story line, and on that basis Zacharias's new work is superficially intriguing. Zacharias, a Christian apologist who grew up in India, does offer the occasional insight into Eastern religions. He claims that despite the current Hollywood romance with Buddhism as a simple faith of compassion, in most forms Buddhism is actually a complex system, featuring 227 disciplinary rules for men and 311 for women. Yet for the most part, Zacharias is in dialogue here not with Eastern religions but with Western skeptics. He seeks to settle old scores with Darwin and Hume, resurrecting tired debates over the nature of evil and the argument from design without adding anything new to the discussion. His theodicy will be convincing only to committed Christians, and his use of scripture is entirely uncritical (he points out grammatical and textual difficulties in the Koran without even mentioning analogous difficulties in the Bible). There are touching flashes of humanity as Zacharias describes suffering people he has encountered, but on the whole he does little to advance inter-religious conversation. (Aug.)

Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Ravi Zacharias is president of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. Born in India and Cambridge educated, he has lectured in several of the world's most prominent universities, as well as in more than fifty countries. He is author of several books, including Can Man Live Without God, Cries of the Heart and Deliver Us From Evil. He and his wife, Margie, are the parents of three children.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 195 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (August 8, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 084991437X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0849914379
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (191 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,559 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

For over thirty-five years, Ravi Zacharias has spoken all over the world in great halls and universities, notably Harvard, Princeton, and numerous universities internationally. He is listed as a Senior Research Fellow at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford university. He has appeared on CNN and other international broadcasts. The author of several books for adults and children, he powerfully mixes biblical teaching and Christian apologetics. His most recent works include Walking from East to West, a memoir; The Grand Weaver, an exploration of God's intention in both the ordinary and the startling elements of life; and The End of Reason, a rebuttal of the claims of the so-called New Atheists. His weekly radio program, Let My People Think, is broadcast on 1,692 stations worldwide, and his weekday program, Just Thinking, is on 412. He is founder and chairman of the board of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, with additional offices in Canada, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates. Dr. Zacharias and his wife, Margie, have three grown children and reside in Atlanta.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

226 of 240 people found the following review helpful By dan hawkins on August 12, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I write this mainly in response to the first review of this book. The person's first critique of the book was that Ravi had treated Buddha as a god, whereas he was not nor did he claim to be. Two quotes from the book I think will suffice to show how this misrepresents the ideas expressed in the book, and begs the question, has this person read this book, and if so, how carefully did they read it?
On page 5, Ravi refers to Buddhism as a "non theistic, if not atheistic religion." Again on page 90 in reference to Buddha's stance on allowing women as disciples, Ravi says, "Whatever one may make of all this, we must be clear that in a non-theistic system, which Buddhism is...."
Implicit in both of these statements is the realization that Buddha did not claim divine status, rendering the argument made by the first reviewer inaccurate.
I found the book to be compelling, and the information presented, clearly demonstrated the uniqueness of the message of Christ when contrasted against other prevailing worldviews.
In reference to the comment about Ravi's hypocrisy, I would merely point out the lack of differentiation between an argument and a person. If indeed one man fails to live up to the claims of Christ, which the bible clearly states is impossible for man without divine intervention, the message itself is not compromised. Especially when the inability of man to do so is implicit in the message. The message of Christ stands on its own even in light of the attacks of its critics from all sides, and in light of the failure of His followers. (It should be noted that I am not at all implying that Ravi is a failure.)
First, the first reviewer is basing his/her claim of Dr.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Greg Carpenter on December 16, 2000
Format: Audio Cassette
While the organization of Jesus Among Other Gods calls for more note taking than usual for a book of this type in order to link concepts, the defense Dr. Zacharias presents for the orthodox view of Christ is a solid one.
The easiest thing for a proponent of a divergent world view is to claim that the critic of that world view has quoted sources out of context. This has been the major critique on this book by the one star folks. To those adherents of the world views being critiqued by Zacharais, his argument, complete with quotes, would read as if out of context to them because the adherent's context is rooted in belief of the system and its doctrine while the critic has another context due to a conflicting world view. To merely say that something is "out of context" is not enough to defeat an argument.
When talking about a world view or belief system, using one illustration or one slice of doctrine to indentify that world view is simply inadequte. Zacharais does not do this in his book, and his critics should not do this in their reviews. In fact, Zacharias is careful not to use this formula. He shares his experience of growing up in a pluralistic society and how that society affected his early world view versus his current Christian world view which is antithetical to a pluralistic view.
Jesus Among Other Gods should not be an introduction to apologetics for the casual reader or searcher. I would recommend Josh McDowell's More Than A Carpenter or the youth edition of Jesus Among Other Gods for that. Jesus Among Other Gods is a great book for those that are more advanced in their search for Truth and seek to reconcile the mind with the heart.
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88 of 102 people found the following review helpful By Kendal B. Hunter on February 12, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I beg to differ with most of the reviews. I was enchanted with this book, and found Dr. Zacharias' insights into the eastern mind to be scintillating. Of course, hailing from India, he has a special insight and affinity with many of these foreign religions. I am in awe with India's religiousheterogeny!
I think practice of actually quoting from the Koran, as opposed to alluding to, paraphrasing from, or imagining what the book says, which is what so many people do nowadays.
Dr. Zacharias doesn't spend a lot of time outlining Christianity, since he presupposes a Christian reader. Moreover, he covered much of the uniqueness of Christ among false ideologies in "Can Man Live Without God," and "A Shattered Visage." This book, therefore, should be read in context with his larger opus.
I think Dr. Zacharias has a very gentle voice and a steel mind, and that is what makes his books so enchanting.
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56 of 65 people found the following review helpful By E. Johnson on April 15, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jesus is Someone who is referenced somehow by practically every religion in the world. From Hindus to Muslims and the cults based in America, there is no doubt that having Jesus as part of one's theology is vital. In this book Ravi Zacharias explains whether or not there is any valid claim to truth and Christ in any other religion but Christianity. Ravi has good stories to tell, writing like an expository preacher with clear, easy-to-understand points. His illustrations are vivid. I guess my only complaint is that he could have tackled the "absolute claims of the Christian message" via a more systematic breakdown with each particular religion. He was continually referring to the Buddhist, Hindu, and others (especially with pantheist ideas), but unless you had previous knowledge of these religions and what they taught, it would seem that the typical layperson would have had trouble keeping up. Still, while it does not get too deep, there is plenty of meat here, and I think the book is very much worth a read. Ravi is a clear evangelical voice in the wilderness, and I appreciate his logic and stand for truth.
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