- Taschenbuch: 397 Seiten
- Verlag: Harvest House Publ (Januar 2005)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0736912894
- ISBN-13: 978-0736912891
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 21,3 x 14 x 2,5 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 1.119.432 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
The Complete Guide to Christian Denominations (Englisch) Taschenbuch – Januar 2005
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Mehr über den Autor
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Ron Rhodes, president of Reasoning from the Scriptures Ministries, is heard regularly on nationwide radio and is the author of Bite-Size Bible Answers, Bite-Size Bible Definitions, Commonly Misunderstood Bible Verses and 5-Minute Apologetics for Today. He holds ThM and ThD degrees from Dallas Theological Seminary and teaches there and at several other seminaries.
In diesem Buch(Mehr dazu)
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Rhodes' book begins with a very short history of the church (4 pages). He then defines 'denomination,' 'protestant' and gives a description of how to use the book.
The books covers the following churches:
Episcopalian and Anglican
Fundamentalist and Bible
With each congregation, Rhodes begins with a date of origin for the church, census of members and number of congregations. He then describes their beliefs and gives a chart of fast facts for the church. There are several added "fast fact" charts that detail theologies such as Calvinist and Arminian. Each congregation gets 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 pages (except the Roman Catholic Church where 10 pages are written.) Some congregations have a robust history leading into discussion of the divisions within, such as the Orthodox church.
--A large swath of churches is covered.
--A good index aids in finding churches. For instance, I wanted to find out what the Nazarene church was like, and the index pointed me to the Holiness section, which I was not aware they were part of.
--There is an index of persons that helps in determining which authors are from which church.
--Rhodes speaks from an unbiased viewpoint. One could not tell he is conservative dispensational Protestant from this writing.
--Rhodes left out a couple of churches I have wanted to learn about in my town, namely Unitarian. Granted, many do not consider the Unitarian church to be strictly Christian, but it is a prominent congregation that would be helpful to have in the book.
--The book is VERY vague about church beliefs. Many of the churches described deny the inerrancy of Scripture, but that can not be determined by the wording used, as the writing makes little distinction between those that call the Scriptures inerrant and those that do not. One must read between the lines or have some knowledge of the church to discern Rhodes' writing. Views of Scripture is only one of the vagueries, but is the most prominent.
--The book does NOT discuss the issues that set the churches apart. Worship is spoken about, again, in vague terms. Is Christ present in the Eucharist of the Lutheran churches? One cannot tell from this book. (Some Lutheran churches do teach this and some don't.) Which churches put high focus on speaking in tongues? One cannot tell from this book.
My greatest critique is vagueness. Granted, Rhodes could not have been very specific without relying on some theological bias. But, more specifics could be told. From this book, it is very hard to tell why there are divisions. What divides the American Baptists from the Southern Baptists? Episcopalian from Anglican? Greek Orthodox from Orthodox Church in America? Volumes could be written, but little of it could be found out in this writing.
Is this book the one to choose for the purpose of understanding other congregations? I have to give a resounding no. The breadth of this book is a blessing and a curse. He doesn't leave many out, but the book would have to be much longer to give any insight into the differences between the congregations discussed.
The church history is interesting, and it is valuable to realize where all of the Christian denominations fit in the family tree. I also felt it is structured as a nice reference, so one could easily find a specific denomination.
However, after a while, all of the theology started to seem to be the same--rather than highlighting the differences, he regurgitates the statements of each denomination in slightly different words for each one. Rather than reiterating the slightly different verbiage for each denomination regarding each major point, it woudl have been helpful to have a basic template with such things as inerrancy of scripture, belief in the Trinity, belief in the human and divine natures of Christ etc--and then have Yes/No or comments on how a specific denomination differs in one particular area. A chart comparing denominations would have been helpfu.
I also found it frustrating that not much was said about worship style or structure of church services. While the cover of the book talks about it being handy for someone looking for a new church (or something like that), some things like liturgical worship style (yes/no, or shades of grey) or style of prayer (formal, thees and thous--or informal, "we just"...), or type of music (traditional hymns, organ music vs contemporary worship). Only a few churches who were considered very unique--ie, all singing a capella--were described in detail.
I did find the "fast facts" interesting, although not always handily placed--definitions of 'millenial' beliefs were way after the first mention. And the comparision between Armenian and Calvinistic beliefs was interesting, but left out other perspectives which are neither of the 2.
All in all, this is a decent book, a decent place to start learning about different denominations. I do wish it had more meat to it, and less redundency; more structure and focus on comparison/contrast and less regurgitation of what ever is on the church website.
John Robinson is rememberd for having said, "God hath yet more truth to bring forth from His holy word."
Unfortunately, Rhodes doesn't seem as scholarly as others who have written about denominations, such as Mead, Hill and Atwood in the Handbook of Denominations, which is what I reccommend.
Dr. Rhodes only mention Christian Churches, no cults like mormons or Jehovah Witness.