Debut author Barber, a therapist, defines and explores the essential tenets of Christianity in the third edition of this study guide.
Christianity is, of course, a popular and influential religion—according to the Pew Research Center, nearly a third of the world’s population adheres to a Christian denomination—but what do Christians actually believe? Barber, himself a practicing Christian, lays it all out in this study guide, which is meant to be used in conjunction with the Old and New Testaments as a resource for “anyone and everyone who seeks God’s knowledge and truth.” The book’s organization makes it an easily consultable reference, providing introductions to—and thorough investigations of—major topics such as God, Jesus Christ, living as a Christian, and the nature of evil and sin, as well as the Bible itself. The Old and New Testaments are not organized by subject, but Barber’s guide manages to bring together various passages, relating to concepts like the Trinity or the second coming, and compare them. As a result, the guide provides more digestible descriptions of these ideas than one would receive from reading the Bible alone. Each chapter concludes with a series of lessons that summarize the main points, allowing readers to review and internalize key concepts. Barber’s prose is accessible throughout, and he’s gifted at elucidating general principles of Christianity from a very conservative, millenarian perspective. The book does have passages with an Islamophobic bent, which many readers would argue is not fundamental to Christianity: “Recently, the nations of Islam are escalating their persecution and execution of Christians (and Jews) while Christians must endure increasing persecution and discrimination in the USA and Europe. These are signs that the end is near.” There are also homophobic passages, and the book devotes more time to the concept of Satanism than one would normally see in a serious Christian work. Most readers would likely be better served by a study guide that’s more reflective of the diversity of practice within the global Christian community.
An extensive Christian study guide, written from an evangelical perspective.