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The Complete Guide to Christian Denominations (Englisch) Taschenbuch – Januar 2005


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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.


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Amazon.com: HASH(0x9d2ae5c4) von 5 Sternen 41 Rezensionen
144 von 152 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x9d242090) von 5 Sternen Excited about this initially, but disappointed 10. Mai 2006
Von David C. Leaumont - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
I was really looking forward to this book. A book that discusses the aspects of each of the congregations in the US or world is a great reference tool in understanding what others believe. Is this book the one to choose for that purpose? First, I will discuss its contents, pros and cons before giving my final opinion.

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:

Adventists

Baptists

Brethren

Catholic

Christian

Congregational

Episcopalian and Anglican

Friends (Quaker)

Fundamentalist and Bible

Holiness

Lutheran

Mennonite

Methodist

Orthodox

Pentecostal

Presbyterian

Reformed

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.

Pros:

--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.

Cons:

--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.
20 von 20 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x9d242498) von 5 Sternen Pretty good place to start 25. Juli 2006
Von H. Clark - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
I found this book to be interesting in many parts, but fairly redundant and often too vague to be as helpful as it could be.

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.
55 von 68 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x9d242510) von 5 Sternen Errors, Errors, Errors 9. April 2006
Von Robert L. Johnson - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Being a retired Congregational (UCC) minister the first thing I took a look at, in a Christian bookstore, was Rhodes' account of the people later to be known as the Pilgrims who traveled to these shore on the Mayflower. I was very surprised to read that they were led here by their pastor, John Robinson. In fact, John Robinson stayed behind in Leiden, Holland and died there in 1625. His wife who succeeded him once made plans to travel to America but for reasons unknown canceled them. As the assembly which had met at the "green gate" dwindled, she later joined the Dutch Church.

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.
32 von 40 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x9d2428a0) von 5 Sternen Too many embarrassing errors and omissions. 14. Januar 2006
Von Peter C Birrell - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Ron Rhodes does not seem to possess the scholarship and background knowledge needed to produce an accurate guide to the Christian denominations in North America. His accounts of Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy are especially poor. A frankly embarrassing level of ignorance leads Rhodes to make numerous historical, theological, and terminological errors of fact. One despairs of an author of a "complete guide" who can write concerning the First Vatican Council (1869/70):"More than 800 Roman Catholic priests (sic) from around the world attended." Forty years ago a Jesuit priest, the late Father John Hardon, S.J., published "The Protestant Churches of America", a work of such impartial, objective, and deep scholarship that it was set as a textbook in many Protestant seminaries. So the task is not impossible!
50 von 64 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x9d2429d8) von 5 Sternen Great book 6. Mai 2005
Von Michael Ruangnol - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
This was a great book on denominations in the Christian world.It gives you a short history on the church. The book also gives you the break down on the things each church does. The polity of the churches are mention, baptism modes, if the church practices foot washing etc. There views on doctrines like church goverment, Trinity, eschatology, etc. There are also "Fast Facts" on secondary issues like Freewill, rapture, infant salvation, etc. This book was perfect in what Dr. Rhodes set out to do. Also he mentions were the myth of Bloody Mary comes from.

Great book.

Dr. Rhodes only mention Christian Churches, no cults like mormons or Jehovah Witness.
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