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Today's Religions Handout (TiS Version)
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Today's Religions Handout (TiS Version)

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  • 1. Quick Evangelism Tips Buddhism •Share understanding of common views on: how desire causes suffering and how personal peace can only be found in that which is permanent •Challenge isn’t having desires but the right desires •God is personal and therefore He is concerned with our suffering and our sin “I believe in Christianity as I believe that •Relate story of Prince Mahanama (The Teaching of the Buddha, 254-255) to the sun has risen: not only because I see sacrificial concept of Jesus dying for us all it, but because by it I see everything else." Shinto •Parallel an understanding of the kami (refers to “higher power”) and how – C.S. Lewis you need the Harai (state of purification) to come before God... similar focus on righteousness. •Japanese term ikigai (purpose in life) is something that is sought in Japanese Christianity is not about culture even though focus seems to be developing society. Jesus is the answer to that. Taoism textual evidence, philosophy, lifestyles, •Respect the issues of suffering and view of harmony that is presented. •Chuan Tzu presents a view of the “deep love” (Chap. 67; Chan, 171) of or a book – it is a revelation of the one Heaven but how can something formless and not personal have an True living loving God. It transcends emotional component •Belief that we are inherently good should be challenged and shared time, space, matter, energy, reason, personally to really ask if we feel we are that way or do we natural tend to sinful acts and understanding much like our Creator. In the end, it results in a show Hinduism •Respect the tie between family and religion and a long history of their of charis (grace) that reconciles our beliefs and a certain pride associated with that •Jesus is respected as an “avatar” (incarnation of Brahman) but you will need broken condition under sin that begets communicate his uniqueness by suggesting a read through John (historical veracity, purpose was to save (Luke 19:10) and was once and for all (Heb. a wholesale transformation into the 9:26-28) and he is the only way (John 14:6)) body of Christ founded upon a Islam relationship with our heavenly Father. •Respect the tie between family and culture and nationality and the high view of Jesus in the Qur’an No set of facts will close this gap in our •Deal with claims against the validity of the Scriptures and compare to views of Qur’an being consolidated during time of Uthman (third Caliph) as Abu minds because God’s Spirit is what calls Bakr burns other “versions” and issues one document •Explain the trinity concept as valid as it doesn’t contradict itself (essence vs. our hearts to respond to His grace. personhood) •Clearly explain the concept of God's grace and assurance of salvation vs. the However, biblical faith isn’t calling for a mercy of god in Islam and uncertainty of salvation. leap into darkness but rather a step Judaism into the light illuminated by God •Need to explain a personal commitment of faith... they view being born into a certain religions home as being part of that religion through facts, logic, the world around •Jewish identity does not need to be abandoned and there are differences in “how to live” so we need to understand varying degrees of Jewish us and His word. dedication •Reference specific messianic prophecies (Gen. 18:18 – Luke 3:31-33, Jer. 23:5-6 – Luke 3:31-33, Mic. 5:2 - Luke 2:4, Isa. 53:3-11 – throughout gospels) Secularism “I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. •Clarify their position as an atheist, agnostic, or functional atheist and listen I always knew a bottle of Port would do and question •Offer evidence for God’s existence and ask for their certainty that He does that. If you want a religion to make you not •Need to clearly communicate religion isn’t the cause of evil but anything can feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t be used. Logic is something that is an ally in this type of conversation as in any other. recommend Christianity.” – C.S. Lewis www.theologyinsneakers.com sumair@theologyinsneakers.com
  • 2. Spectrum of religion and religious beliefs* Monotheism Competing Dualism Polytheism Balancing Dualism Monism Atheism Concept of One transcendent God Two opposing gods Many gods Two opposing but An impersonal oneness No god God interacting and balancing forces Primary Judaism, Christianity, Islam Zoroastrianism So called “Tribal” Taoism, the yin/yang Hinduism, Buddhism, Secular Examples religions, Santeria, concept Sikhism, Sufism, the New Humanism, voodoo, Shinto, Age movement Marxism, any form of a Confucianism “folk” religion Views of Part of creation, but different in Made to join in the Can be influenced A microcosm of the Caught in the illusion of A complex Humanity kind from the animals battle against evil and even two interacting separateness, but identical in form of matter possessed by the forces essence to the oneness spirits Humanity’s Breaking God’s law (Judaism); Choosing to do evil Angering the gods Living out of Ignorance of one’s innate Superstition Primary rebellion against God (Christianity); alignment with the divinity and irrational failing to seek God’s wisdom ways of nature thinking Problem (Islam) The Living according to God’s law Choosing to do right Appeasing the Living in harmony Realizing that our essence is Applying Solution (Judaism); being justified by faith gods with the ways of the same as the oneness rational based on God’s saving work nature (enlightenment) thinking to our (Christianity); seeking God’s problems guidance (Islam) The The person continues in The person continues Sometimes the Usually the person Either the person is The person Afterlife existence in either heaven or hell in existence in either person advances advances to some reincarnated or merges into ceases to heaven or hell to the spirit world. form of the spirit the impersonal oneness exist. world. How can all religions be the same or lead to God when they have such different ? A beliefs about God, humanity, our chief problem, the solution, and the afterlife?! * The compact guide to world religions, 1996, International Students Inc. Dean C. Halverson, General Editor