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78 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books on the subject, September 2, 2005
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This review is from: Is Jesus the Only Savior? (Paperback)
It seems to be a popular fad these days among many professing Christians to downplay the particularity of Jesus Christ as the Lord and Saviour of the world. In this book, Edwards does a very good job demonstrating that what is fashionable may not always be true and biblical. The book you can say is divided into two main sections. In the first part (chaps. 1-6) Edwards talks about the legitimacy of the orthodox Christian view of Jesus Christ. He delves into the Jesus Quests, the Jesus Seminar, the historic reliability of the New Testament documents, Jesus' self-identification, etc. In all these dicussions, Edwards does a good job exposing the various flaws of liberal and anti-Christian perspectives on these matters (demonstrating how the Enlightenment's heightening of the individual and a naturalistic view of the universe has severely skewed how one reads the biblical narrative). In fact, students who are interested in the methodology of finding out who Jesus really is from an evangelical and conservative perspective will enjoy reading the first six chapters. All in all, Edwards pretty much smashes the presuppositions and arguments of the liberal school that aims to deconstruct the historical Jesus Christ (the God-man) and orthodox Christianity through a worldview that is foreign to the biblical period.

The second part (chaps. 7-12) deals more intensely with soteriological pluralism. Edwards does an excellent job smashing down the often ridiculous accusations laid against a particularistic understanding of the gospel. For instance, he does a good job showing how orthodox Christianity does not undermine world peace but aims at reconciliation with the whole world because of the nature of the gospel (cf. Matthew 5:9). He also provides a good treatment regarding the relationship between the gospel and postmodernism (chap. 9). He does a good job exposing the flaws of a postmodern worldview (i.e., that there are no such things as universal truths and that every opinion has legitimacy--which is a joke to any rational mind). Edwards' commitment to the particularity of Jesus Christ comes out strong in chapter 11 ("How Should Christians Think about Other Religions?"). He gives ample Scriptural evidence that the Bible supports only one way to heaven--through Jesus Christ. In fact, Edwards is even bold enough to proclaim that Judaism has no saving efficacy apart from Jesus Christ and that we cannot automatically assume that some people who have never heard the gospel will be saved. In a final note, Edwards convincingly argues that the particularity of the gospel leads to its own universality. If God did not come down in a particular place and time then there would have been no possibility of redemption for the whole world.

Overall, this is an excellent book. The one thing that is refreshing to know is that this book was written by a New Testament biblical scholar rather than a Christian theologian or philosopher. Hence, you will notice throughout the book that Edwards quotes Scripture to back up his arguments. Though many modern scholars are willing to rebel against Scripture because they feel that this leads to hostility and dogmatism Edwards does not fall into this futile path. Modern Christians should realize that ONLY in Jesus Christ are people saved from eternal perdition and that Christianity does not have to cater to certain disenfranchised groups because they complain that orthodox Christianity is too exclusivistic (which is quite the oppposite, read Galatians 3:28), morally-upright (which is no surprise, since some people in this world still want to live a sinful lifestyle), and sexist (which, if understood properly, is not).
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46 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, and it is said so well., December 11, 2005
By 
John B. Hoehn (Walla Walla, WA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Is Jesus the Only Savior? (Paperback)
James Edwards asks the question in the book's title (Is Jesus the ONLY Savior?) and the answer is Yes.

But it is not the Yes of a demagogue, a hermit, or an

American evangelist. Is is the Yes of a student, a scholar, an intellectual, and a world citizen.

It is a measured Yes, a thoughtful Yes, a reasoned Yes.

The book answers the objections to the uniqueness, the non-equivalance, of Jesus to other religious thought leaders.

It is written for anyone curious about Jesus, and that covers all kinds of belief and non belief. If you want a clear exposition of why some find him unique and not merely one of many, this book makes it clear.

If you are already convinced, it may help you present your convictions with kindness and generosity.

It was bracing and satisfying to read, the best spiritual read of the year. I'm sending copies to thoughtful people I love.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timely and Necessary, December 16, 2006
This review is from: Is Jesus the Only Savior? (Paperback)
James Edwards has written a timely and necessary book that deserves a great deal of attention from a broad Christian community. At issue is the drift in our culture toward a type of multiculturalism which causes Christian and non-Christian alike to question whether Christ can or should be spoken of as the "only" savior.

Edwards looks, in the early chapters, on the various forms of the "quest for the historical Jesus" up to and including the historically recent conclusions of the "Jesus Seminar". As is common in many fields, some theological excursions into the quest for the Jesus of history were fully indebted to naturalism, the view that all things can and should be explained in purely natural terms. Edwards calmly and clearly asks whether such assumptions are warranted and finds the resulting conclusions wanting.

He takes the question further showing that there is a great deal of reason to trust the historical reliability of the New Testament with easy to read, cogent arguments and a judicious choice of compelling evidence. Having established the reasonableness of trusting the New Testament, he tackles the central issue - did Jesus believe himself to be God.

What is unique about the book is that it is not a mere apologetic for the historicity of the Christian faith. Edwards, having established the reasonable foundation, moves from the key questions of the 20th century in the first half of the book to the key questions of the 21st century in the second half. Postmodern theories and multicultural sentiments lead many to believe that the exclusive claims of Christianity are unwarranted, arrogant, and perhaps even a threat to world peace. Without disparaging anyone in the process, Edwards carefully deals with questions about postmodernism and exclusive truth claims, relativism and its relation to human sin, the clash of cultures and its relation to the tendency of many Christians today to embrace universalism rather than the historic view of the uniqueness of Christ.

This book hits all the critical issues at an important time. It is sholarly enough to have credibility, but readable enough for lay study. It would be a great gift for college bound kids at graduation. Highly recommended.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Defending the Uniqueness of Jesus, November 7, 2006
By 
Amazon Customer (Melbourne Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Is Jesus the Only Savior? (Paperback)
These are difficult days to be a biblical Christian. In affirming the uniqueness of the Christian truth claims, we run up against a host of obstacles, such as the denial of truth, as is postmodernism; disdain of ethical absolutes, as in moral relativism; spiritual eclecticism, as in the New Age Movement; religious pluralism, as in interfaith dialogue; and theological relativism, as in liberal Christianity.

Because biblical Christianity insists that Jesus is the unique and only way to God, and the only true saviour, such claims are met with hostility and disdain in today's pluralistic climate. Yet they must be insisted upon, if we are to retain the very heart of the Christian faith.

Can a good case be put forward that Jesus is indeed who he claimed to be? Is it possible to affirm the uniqueness of Christianity in the face of other world religions and their claims? Are the New Testament documents indeed reliable? Can a case for universal truth still be made in a postmodern world? And does the insistence on Jesus being the one true way make Christianity intolerant and bigoted?

These and other important questions are more than adequately addressed in James Edward's new volume. He takes on all the challengers - be they from without the faith, such as postmodernism, or from within, such as the Jesus Seminar.

Christian particularity and uniqueness can be cogently defended, as Edwards demonstrates. Consider just one issue, that of the Jesus Seminar. This is an effort to reconstruct Jesus in the image of contemporary liberal theologians. By voting with colored ballots, they determine whether a saying attributed to Jesus is indeed authentic. In the end, they have decided that 82 per cent are not.

Of course such scepticism about Jesus and his words and deeds is not new. But what is different is the way the Jesus Seminar has marketed their results since coming together in 1985. They have managed to get a lot of free publicity, and have been able to widely disseminate their radical claims. But they have "turned the wine of myth into the cold water of reality" says Edwards.

He argues that these scholars come to the New Testament with minds already made up, with a predetermined agenda. Instead of letting the gospels speak, and recognising the high level of reliability and authority of the canonical gospels, they simply read their own assumptions into the debate. The question is, does their reconstruction best fit the evidence? Edwards thinks not.

Other meaty chapters deal with other attacks on the Christian truth claims. By the end of the book, the reader is left with the strong impression that these various attacks have not been effective, and the traditional understanding of biblical Christianity still stands.

Edwards deserves credit for nicely bringing together in one volume the various recent assaults on the Christ of Christianity, and performing a credible job of debunking those challenges.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Contender Among Many?, September 21, 2007
This review is from: Is Jesus the Only Savior? (Paperback)
'The saving historical death of Christ is made present whenever the gospel is proclaimed in His name.' p 137

Christianity has a right to be heard because of Christ. He is the only Being who has unique claim to being the true Son of Abraham. Matthew demonstrates not only Christ's biological descent from Abraham, but also His biological descent from David, which emphasizes Jesus' legal claim to the throne of David. The genealogy of the Messiah in Matthew 1:1 affirms these claims: "The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham..."

While the genealogy establishes that Joseph is the legal father of Jesus, Matthew emphasizes that Mary is the biological parent "of whom" Jesus was born. 'Yet, despite all that evidence, we hold, on the testimony of the first chapter of Matthew and the first chapter of Luke, that Jesus was not as a matter of fact descended from previous men by ordinary generation, but that at the beginning of His life upon this earth, there was a creative act of God, the supernatural conception in the womb of the virgin Mary.' J Gresham Machen, The Christian View of Man p 121

Denying 'The Jesus Seminar' its power, Edwards proclaims: 'The claims of Jesus were not an exercise in self-promotion, but rather the corroboration of the Scriptures that "testify on My behalf" (John 5:39), as the Father "who sent Me testifies on My behalf" (John 8:19).' p 94

'What was unique in the NT drama of salvation was not that Jesus was God, but that in Jesus of Nazareth, God had become a human being. It was the humbleness of God, and not the exaltation of God, that was and is the crowning glory of the Christian gospel.' p 115

The gospel experienced the continuous threat of perversion in the early church through the foreign practices of initiates drawn from the mystery religions and pagan cults. 'It is in these later Gospels that one sees the wild inventiveness that is wrongly suspected of the early church.' p 57 Still today there is the ever-present drive for religious experience to substitute the objective revelation of God in the Bible, but nonetheless, Edwards reminds us quite rightly that 'The gospel, of course, is also an experience, but an experience of grace, which is a different kind of experience. Mysteries promised an emotional experience in life; Christianity, which appealed to the will and mind, promised a new life.' p 137

This book seeks to reclaim the ground lost to pluralism by acknowledging that Christ is the one true Savior, and that all other religions fall short of the mark. Any who espouse to this solid view, will find this critique to be unquestionably vital to a robust Christian faith presented to a fallen world. The uniqueness of the Son of God has saving power. Especially Edward's contrasting look at the gospel and 'Not By Mystery Religions' is enlightening reading. 'The Mysteries, both then and now, are expressions of human longings; the gospel was, is, and ever will be a demonstration of God's longing.' p 139

Edwards offers a much needed book and an uncompromising stand. He articulates what so many sense is wrong with the post-modern generation. Fables and endless genealogies all become minuscule in the light of Christ and the faithfulness of God, 'when we review the interface of biblical faith vis-à-vis other religions in the ancient world'. p 227 Added to this, Edwards has genuine writing flair and I appreciated his ability to inform, as this turned out to be a very stimulating read.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No other name upon which humankind may be saved, August 3, 2007
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This review is from: Is Jesus the Only Savior? (Paperback)
It used to be typical for the majority of Evangelical Christians to insist that the true Jesus (2 Cor. 11:4) was the only way to God, as all other ways fell short. John 14:6 used to have meaning to the church. However, in recent years, the meaning about the exclusivity of Jesus have blurred, as many have turned to pluralism or, at best, inclusivisim (Jesus can be found innately in other faiths).

In this book, James Edwards deals with the issue head on. Indeed, he holds to the conservative position that a true relationship with Christ is vital to one's standing before God. In the last chapters, he hits Postmodernism head on and also talks about what to do with other monotheistic faiths such as Judaism. His conclusion? We should continue to preach the gospel to everyone who does not have a personal relationship with Christ. I, for one, am glad to see this scholar hold such a view, and think the book is worth a look.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tremendous Defense of the Uniqueness of Jesus, January 15, 2010
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This review is from: Is Jesus the Only Savior? (Paperback)
This book does for this generation what Josh McDowell's books and FF Bruce's books did for an earlier generation, but this one surpasses them all! Edwards swims into familiar territory when he discusses the overwhelming ancient manuscript support for the New Testament (especially in light of the miniscule support other ancient documents have that we still trust anyway).

Edwards also shows how unlikely it would have been for the early church to put sayings into the mouth of Jesus and then not draw them anymore in the epistles. He also shows that the gospel portraits of Jesus are much more realistic than anything anyone could have made up. He shows how plausible it was for Jesus to use the less explosive Son of Man moniker than it would have been for him to throw aroudn the Messiah label.

Edwards also answers questions skeptics might have about Christ and Christianity such as "Is the exclusiveness of Jesus as Savior a threat to world peace?" "What about the claims of other religions?" All the while, Edwards is meek and respectful of other faiths while holding without apology to the specialness and uniqueness of Christ a Savior. This is a book you'll want to pick up for friends who are hungering and thirsting for truth.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Logic, truth, faith, October 12, 2006
By 
A. Lee "Gus Lee" (Colorado Springs, CO) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Is Jesus the Only Savior? (Paperback)
James Edwards is this age's C.S. Lewis, welcoming with warm, comfortable truths and steely images of wisdom. He coalesces deduction, induction and truth to make the case that encourages the doubter, invites the hostile and fortifies the believer. As a minor historian, I was stunned by the unprecedented validation of Jesus' life. As a former prosecutor, I marveled at the impeccable precision of Edwards' reasoning. As a struggling Christian, I was moved by the unconditional gift of Jesus' life to our own. Edwards respectfully invites a response by the Monty Pythonic-postmodern Jesus Seminar, which might be better served by hiding from the bright light of this book. This is a resounding hurrah for a courageously brilliant recall to logic, truth and faith.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fair and Balanced, October 5, 2006
By 
Craig W. Beard (Birmingham, AL USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Is Jesus the Only Savior? (Paperback)
Edwards is a biblical scholar with a philosopher's mind. The thinks through the issues thoroughly and presents his conclusions clearly. He is well-read in the literature that bears on this topic. In a time when the identity of Jesus is being questioned at both the scholarly and popular levels, this is a sure guide through the debate. Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Serious, scholarly thinking, August 11, 2014
This review is from: Is Jesus the Only Savior? (Paperback)
Intelligent, clear, concise and scholarly.
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Is Jesus the Only Savior?
Is Jesus the Only Savior? by James R. Edwards (Paperback - May 2005)
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