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So What's the Difference?: A Look at 20 Worldviews, Faiths and Religions and How They Compare to Christianity

So What's the Difference?: A Look at 20 Worldviews, Faiths and Religions and How They Compare to Christianity

3.6 20
by Fritz Ridenour

ISBN-10: 0830718982

ISBN-13: 9780830718986

Pub. Date: 03/02/2001

Publisher: Gospel Light Publications

So What’s the Difference has been revised and updated for the 21st Century to help Christians better understand their own beliefs. A classic first released in 1967, this revision takes a current look at the answer to the question, How does orthodox biblical Christianity differ from other faiths?  In a straightforward, objective comparison, Fritz


So What’s the Difference has been revised and updated for the 21st Century to help Christians better understand their own beliefs. A classic first released in 1967, this revision takes a current look at the answer to the question, How does orthodox biblical Christianity differ from other faiths?  In a straightforward, objective comparison, Fritz Ridenour explores and explains the basic tenets of 20 worldviews, religions and faiths, including Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Science, New Age and Mormonism. 

Product Details

Gospel Light Publications
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.63(d)
Age Range:
12 - 18 Years

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So What's the Difference? 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you want a brief overview and don't mind an evangelical bias, this is an appropriate book. As a Catholic, I found the chapter on Catholicism to be very superficial and at times erroneous (both in what the author put in and what he left out). I was left wondering if he was accurate about the other religions he wrote about.
georgemarshall2 More than 1 year ago
I borrowed this volume from a friend. I must admit that I read it with specific interests, and so only focused on Chapters 1, 8, and 10. This gives the reader an overview of evangelical Protestant Christianity in the mind of the author (which all other groups will be compared against), an overview of what makes a "cult" in the terminology of the book, and Mormonism (one of three cults given major review). The reading is fairly easy. For its intent, illuminating some of the major differences between evangelical protestants (the major audience if the book) and "competing" ideologies, it does a good job. Most of the differences receive only cursory notice, just enough to allow the reader to appreciate the differences, but not enough to say one fully grasps both sides of the spectrum (and all that is between). I would have liked to see more information on the "whys" of cult growth, especially Mormonism. There is an unfortunate number of people in our culture leaving Protestant communities for Mormonism. Rather than just indicate the differences, which is more a defensive maneuver for the Church, I would have liked to see how we counter/approach the issues that pull people toward these groups. It is not enough to defend ourselves from error, we must learn how to encounter our world (especially those with competing beliefs) in a way that is loving, compassionate and peace-making. I'll briefly cover those chapters I looked at more deeply: Chapter 1 addresses the beliefs of "Biblical Christianity". It is clear from the beginning that this will largely be based on view Old and New Testaments as together making up inspired Scripture, and providing full and complete revelation. This is foundational for some of the statements that will be made later. Emphasis is placed on recognition of Jesus as both man and God, dying and rising again as a unique expression of God's will to address mankind's sinful condition. Then, having addressed the Trinity and man's fallen condition, he covers the validity and importance of scripture. The view lacks nuance, painting inspiration with broad strokes lacking any distinction between Old and New Testament in quotations from the New Testament about scripture's value. The formation of canon is covered, but without much discussion of canon closure - something I was wishing was addressed more directly having read chapter 10. The accuracy of scripture in comparison toarchaeological evidence is expressed in glowing terms, and the unity of Scripture's worldview is proclaimed. Of course, this demands one address the many different variations of Christian expression through denominations and major branches. This is the subject of the first part of the book (which I did not have opportunity to read in depth). The information related to this in chapter 1 is a brief non-specific historical explanation of the development of the Catholic church, the Eastern Orthodox church, and Protestant denominations. Chapter 8 covers the use of "cult" to describe groups that practice or teach in a way differentiated from the orthodox practice. Five major characteristics of cults are given. For more of this review, go to http://sphodra.wordpress.com/2009/05/17/review-of-so-whats-the-difference/.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It really was! I even looked some of it up, and it's 100% accurate. And the author made it so that it was actually interesting to read, not some boring lecture! He made very logical and smart points and observations--this book an excellent read and, most importantly, accurate.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book explains all religions very well, and I found it extremely interesting to read. I'm thirteen and know someone who's an atheist, and this book really gave me some great things to tell her. She said, ''It doesn't really matter if I have a religion or not, they're all relatively the same,'' and even though I knew what a load of bull that was when she said that to me, I was shocked into silence. I knew the basics of most religions, but I didn't know enough to actually talk to her about it. So this book really gave me some things to tell her!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The aurthor does a good job on exsplaining the differences between the christon religon and other religons on what they belive in and how they veiw GOD THE FATHER.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was very disturbed by this authors views and descriptions of other religions. I do not feel that this book is showing accurate information about the religions in this book. I suggest that you look at The World's Religions: Our Great Wisdom Traditions by Huston Smith. Which contains a much richer and non-biased view of other religions.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I always wondered the answer to the question this book approaches. Mr. Ridenour does a fantastic job of explaining these differences from a clearly Christian perspective. He starts with a clear identification of the Baseline for comparison (that is Protestant Christianity). He then proceeds to distinguish that baseline from Catholism, then on to other major world religions. I think every high school student should read this book before college. If you've missed that mark, go ahead and read it now!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great learning tool. Used as a study guide at church. Very informative.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting book comparing major elements of major religious denominations and religions.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I find it funny that people in school, college or whatever say that I should be tolerant of every religion, that everyone has their own opinion, that I shouldn't tell people what to think and what to do---but my answer to that is, ''Why are you telling me what to think? Why are you being so intolerant of me? I have my own opinion about this matter, you know--stop telling me what to do.'' They even said that all religions are equally righteous and honorable! I almost laughed right in their face! This was after I read this book, so I had some interesting things to tell them...that made them stop bugging me about it. This was a great book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As others have said, this book is biased towards Protestant Christianity, but it does have a concise summary of other religions and is easy to read. I am Catholic and I certainly noticed the author's bias, but it did not really bother me. I would still recommend the book with the caveat that it is biased.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book does exactly what it states -- compares the major world religions to Christianity. The author states clearly his objective from the beginning of the book. Each major religion's history and practices are described, though not in great depth, then followed by a brief summary of how it differs from Christianity. This is a useful book if you want to better understand those with beliefs different from you own.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is more about Christianity than the other religions. The title tells you that this book concentrates on comparing to Christianity, and that is all you get out of it: a narrow Christian viewpoint from the author with lots of criticism.
Shiva More than 1 year ago
This book is a one sided (Christian) point of view. It tried to give the impression that it was being fair and balanced all the while it gave a somewhat accurate and vague view of other faiths while still saying that they were false. The truth is that this book was written by a Christian minister with an agenda to put people off of even looking at anything other than Christianity. I would not suggest this book to anyone that is looking for fact and fairness. However if you are a Christian trying to reaffirm what you already hold to be true then this book is for you!
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a devout biblical Christian and Divinity School student, I was surprised by the inaccurate scholarship represented in the book. Ridenour¿s purpose for writing the book is good, but unfortunately his research and analysis of the religions he writes about show a strong bias. Many of the secondary sources Ridenour uses include a particular slant or agenda, rather than more balanced scholarship. He does use some primary documents from the various religions he speaks of, which is important and valuable. However, as a biblical and religion scholar myself, I found that he seems to approach those writings from his own specific perspective and with the purpose of proving those writings to be `unchristian.¿ One example is his review of Christian Science, which leaves one with a false picture of the religion that Mary Baker Eddy established. Ridenour claims Christian Science is a mind science and not biblically based. However, Christian Science is a Christian denomination, and the basis of the religion is Jesus¿ teachings and healing work. I appreciated his use of Biblical citations in explaining his understanding of Christianity, but I would not recommend this book to anyone trying to understand Christianity and the broad range of Christian denominations, especially if they are trying to evaluate their own.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The author made some very good points that I never would have thought of, but seemed so obvious once he stated them. He did an extremely good job explaining other religions, though didn't go into too much depth--that's good, because I would have gotten really bored if he did. So, yeah, he explained all the important things about other religions, then explained how different it was from Christianity. Overall, 'So, what's the difference?' was very well and smartly written, and is well worth reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book said it was comparing christianity to other world religions which is fair enough.However as a Catholic I found it very strange that the authors compared Christianity to Catholics and the Orthodox. Catholics and Orthodox are Christians in fact they were Christians 1500 years before the Reformation. The author either does not know history or has an axe to grind with the historic Church.