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Religious Tolerance logo

Evangelical Christian books describing
conflicting beliefs on key religious topics

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Background and implications:

InterVarsity Press, Zondervan, and other publishers produce books which describe the full range of conservative Christian beliefs about important religious topics. In these books, a number of leading evangelical Christian writers and theologians explain their personal views on a specific topic, and critique each other's beliefs as being false.

It is worth noting that each of the authors is an intelligent, sincere, serious, devout, thoughtful theologian and is quite confident that their personal belief is the only one that is biblically based. Yet, the authors' conclusions conflict with each other.

A comment by InterVarsity Press on its book "Women in Ministry" is typical of this type of book:

"Even those who agree that Scripture must determine our answers do not agree on what it teaches. And too often differing sides have not been willing to listen to one another. Here in ove [sic] volume are the views of four deeply committed evangelicals that focus the discussion on the issues."

This type of book illustrates very clearly some of the ambiguities that theologians have found in the Bible. Some academics suggest that since the Bible appears to be quite ambiguous, terms such as "inerrancy" or "authoritative" cannot really be applied to the Bible. That is, although there is reasonable agreement about what the Bible says concerning many basic beliefs, there is little consensus on what it means, even within the evangelical wing of Christianity. If one were to widen the scope of the book to include the full range of Christian theologians, including some from the Roman Catholic Church, mainline Christian denominations, liberal/progressive Christian groups, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other Mormon denominations, there would be many more beliefs promoted -- each one explained as "the" only valid biblical belief.

Unfortunately, these books typically restrict the views to those common within fundamentalist and other evangelical denominations. There does not seem to be a similar series of books from InterVarsity Press, Zondervan, or any other publisher in which views representing the full diversity of Christian theologians are presented. That is a great pity, particularly to fundamentalists and other evangelical Christians who need to know all Christian beliefs in order to be effective prostelyzers. Publishing such a series would be a great opportunity for a more inclusive publisher.

 InterVarsity Press:

Sorted by lead author/editor's name:

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Their Counterpoints series of books covers many topics:

Other publishers:


Thomas Nelson:

bulletRevelation: Steve Gregg, "Revelation: Four views. A parallel commentary," Gregg describes the preterist, historicist, futurist and spiritual (or symbolic or idealist) interpretations of the last book in the Bible. Read reviews or order this book.


Kregel Publications:

bullet Dispensationalism: Herbert W. Bateman IV, Ed., "Three central issues in contemporary dispensationalism: A comparison of traditional and progressive views." Read reviews or order this book.

Copyright © 2001 to 2012 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2012-JAN-07
Author: B.A. Robinson

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