God Among Sages: Why Jesus Is Not Just Another Religious Leader
God Among Sages: Why Jesus Is Not Just Another Religious Leader  -     By: Kenneth Richard Samples
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God Among Sages: Why Jesus Is Not Just Another Religious Leader

Baker Books / 2017 / Paperback

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Product Description

If Jesus was just a "good teacher," why is he superior to world religious founders such as Buddha, Krishna, Confucius, or Muhammad? In this biblically and historically grounded apologetic, Samples contrasts Christ with the spiritual leaders of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam, and explains critical differences between competing philosophies of religious pluralism, inclusivism, and exclusivism. 288 pages, softcover from Baker.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 288
Vendor: Baker Books
Publication Date: 2017
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0801016908
ISBN-13: 9780801016905

Publisher's Description

Was Jesus just a spiritual leader, like Buddha, Krishna, Confucius, and Muhammad? Or is he something more--something else entirely?

In God among Sages, apologist Ken Samples offers readers a biblical and historical portrait of Jesus, grounded in the claims Jesus makes about himself. Then Samples compares and contrasts Jesus with Buddha, Krishna, Confucius, and Muhammad using eight relevant categories of evaluation. He also helps readers understand the competing philosophies of religious pluralism, inclusivism, and exclusivism. The result is a clearer understanding of what sets Jesus apart as not simply a teacher to follow but God himself, worthy of our full allegiance and worship.

Christians who struggle to answer claims that Jesus was just a good teacher, as well as those haven't quite made up their minds about Jesus's claims to divinity, will value this accessible introduction to comparative religions.

Author Bio

Kenneth Richard Samples is a senior research scholar with Reasons To Believe, the premier science-faith integration ministry. An adjunct instructor of apologetics at Biola University, Samples is the author of Without a Doubt, A World of Difference, and 7 Truths That Changed the World. He lives in Southern California with his wife, Joan, and their three children.

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  1. standingupforJC
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Comprehensive but a worthwhile read
    May 19, 2017
    standingupforJC
    Quality: 4
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This was my first scholarly read about world religions as I'm not used to reading books that are overly objective like this one. Consequently, I thought I wouldn't finish the book as I got kind of overwhelmed by the amount of information being presented.

    The book discusses details about the world's major religions alongside their leaders in a comprehensive manner. It also includes tables which are helpful when recalling the major points previously presented. Readers are given tips on how to share Jesus with others using the very information discussed in this book, which makes for a useful reference.

    The book is impartial in that it presents not only the weaknesses but also the strengths of the leaders of the religions other than Christianity.

    I recommend this book to people who are eager to gain clear-cut facts about how Jesus compares to other religious leaders. I also recommend this to those who are pursuing apologetics.

    Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.
  2. Terry
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Too Little of Too Much
    April 4, 2017
    Terry
    Quality: 4
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 2
    God Among Sages is almost difficult to characterize but generally falls into the realm of apologetics, I suppose. In his book, Kenneth Richard Samples tackles a significant number of Christian topics ranging from the historicity of the Gospels, analysis of Jesus' miracles, a compellation of Jesus' deity claims, and explanation of the hypostatic union and kenosis, a review of the parables, and much, much more. All of this would be more than enough to fill volumes, but this is just Part 1 of this book.

    In Part 2, Samples tackles the teachings of Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Islam. In presenting the teachings of these other religions, he also provides comparisons with Christianity. In his analysis of these religions, he includes what he calls "Strengths" of that particular religion, areas of "Common Ground," and areas of conflict. Samples concludes his book in Part 3 with a discussion on Pluralism and the Biblical Perspective on world religions.

    God Among Sages is a 230-page book.

    The content of God Among Sages is sound. It's biblically-based (at least the Christian part, more on that later). My issue with the book is that it seems that Samples tried to produce something for everyone all under one cover, and in doing so, did not really do much justice to any ONE issue. As an example, Sample provides 1 1/2 pages on the Hypostatic Union and the concept of Kenosis. Entire BOOKS are written about this subject, necessarily so because it is both a complex and highly disputed topic among biblical scholars, of which Samples is not. Samples writes approx. 50 pages on Christology, Bibliology, and First Century History combined. I get it - this book is to be a comparison of God and the "gods" of other religions. But to try to lay the foundation for the Christian God and then teach AND compare Him to four other major world religions, in my opinion, just should not be done in 230 pages. I walked away with such a surface understanding of these world religions that I learned just enough to be dangerous and MAYBE to be able to have a 30-second conversation with a believer of one of these religions before I would run out of material.

    The content was simply too ambitious for the length restrictions(?) of this book. Additionally, I need to note that I saw nothing to indicate that Samples is any type of expert in any one of these other world religions, which causes some concern. The book is endorsed by an apologist I admire however even he indicates that the book would best serve as a basis on which to mold a religions course, and I agree. I think this type and quantity of material would be better presented in a textbook that was intended to be devoured slowly over the course of a semester.

    I received this book free from Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggers Program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.
  3. Deuce Skunks
    Springfield, MO
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: Female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Thorough Comparative Examination Of The Roots Of Christianity And Other Major Religions
    February 28, 2017
    Deuce Skunks
    Springfield, MO
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    God Among Sages: Why Jesus Is Not Just Another Religious Leader is a very thorough comparativeexamination of Jesus versus the leaders offour otherworld religions (Bhakti Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Islam), laid out in an easy-to-follow format by Kenneth Richard Samples.

    The first part of this bookis a conclusive study on Jesus Christ's unity with God, the historical accuracy of Scriptures and other related teachings, and secular historical evidence of the existence and authority of Jesus Christ.

    Part two compares Jesus with Krishna, Buddha, Confucius, and Muhammad(each in his own distinct chapter) through thestudy of each leader, his religion, and how it lines up with Christ and Christianity. Here, Samples covers the historical narrative of each leader's life, his values and beliefs, and the role that played on forming the religion he is associated with. Then, he discusses that leader's religion through it's history, beliefs, and teachings. Finally, each chapter in this part is concluded with "Suggestions for Evangelistic Encounters" with each of these religions.Most statements about each leader and his religion are done in a compare/contrast format to showhow they alignwith Christ and Christianity.

    The last part of God Among Sages reveals how Christians should treat and respond to followers of other religions, in light of current affairs and Biblical teachings.

    Samples provides ample evidence to back up all of his conclusions, along with providing a fair and adequateview of the major alternatives of Christianity. I think this book would be a good read for Christians seeking to know more about other religions, as well as those aspiring to go into missions worklooking toplead Christianity tofollowers of any of the covered religions. I also appreciate that each chapter has discussion questions that are perfect for personal review or for group study. 5/5 stars.

    *Disclaimer: I received a free print copy of this book from Baker Books for the purpose of this honest review. All opinions are my own.*
  4. Michael
    Indian Trail, NC
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    God Among Sages
    January 25, 2017
    Michael
    Indian Trail, NC
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: male
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    "God Among Sages" by Kenneth Samples is a great read about comparing Christianity with other religions and how unique Jesus Christ is among "religious leaders". The book is around 230 pages and addresses such topics as:

    1. What Jesus said about Himself as opposed to what other religions say about Him.

    2. Many parts of Jesus' character.

    3. Major themes of Jesus' teaching.

    4. Christian doctrine about Jesus' incarnation.

    5. Characteristics of particular religions (Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, and Confuciusm).

    6. What Christianity has in common with these religions (for example, Christianity and Islam are monotheistic - one God).

    7. Differences between Christianity and other religions (particularly about Jesus Christ).

    8. Suggestion for sharing the gospel about Jesus Christ with adherents of other religions.

    The book is very readable, full of very helpful insights, and will be an excellent future reference. I was given a review copy by Baker Books in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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