I had a couple minutes to burn the other day, so I popped into a bookstore to browse. Walking down the aisles, something excited the heart of this theology nerd. The book was titled, God is Not One. My brain began to work through the content's possibilities--perhaps it is a book on the Trinity, explaining its forgotteness in modern Christianity and its implications for faith and life in the Church. Sounds exciting, hmm?
I reached for it with the anticipation of illumination, hoping for shafts of light to pierce my mind unraveling any misconceptions I may hold, then piecing the threads back into a glorious tapestry of dogma.
The book was not what I expected, but I was not disappointed. The subtitle read, "the eight rival religions that run the world--and why their differences matter."
I was intrigued enough to skim further and found something refreshing. The author asserts that not all religious paths lead to the same place. Each conception of God and man are uniquely different and this brings each system to different conclusions. This is important because if we truly believe our faith matters and has eternal consequences we can't discuss it rightly with others unless we admit and take seriously their differences.
A secular political correctness has subversively eclipsed any dialogue regarding religion in postmodern life. If all paths lead to the same place, a forceful discussion is meaningless and generates nothing substantial.
The major reason that the author gives for these divergent views is the starting point of each religion, and the problem they feel the need to address.
Here's a sampling of his breakdown of various religions:
Problem / Solution
Christianity: Sin / Salvation
Judaism: Exile / Return to God
Islam: Pride / Submission
Buddhism: Suffering / Awakening
Confucianism: Chaos / Social Order
It seems there is a lot of good in this approach. Yet, I have a lot of questions. Does his conception of Christianity do it justice? I could argue that his framing of Judaism fits the Christian approach. Is there a different conception between East and West expressions of Christianity? Is sin the major problem?
I would love to know your thoughts, and if anyone has interacted with this book. Comment below.