“What would you say the message of Christianity is?”
It’s a question that you may have never been asked. And it’s a question that, if you’re honest, you may not be ready to answer.
In the day and age we live in, where religious plurality and inclusivity abounds, we as Christians must be ready to give a biblical answer to this question. Put another way, we must be ready to answer the question: “What makes Christianity unique?”
Whether it’s the Muslim or Jew claiming to worship the same god as Christians, or the moral businessman that claims to be “spiritual but not religious” and just tries to be a good person, Christians everywhere must be ready to clearly articulate why what we believe is both different and necessary.
“It is my conviction that as Christians press forward into this brave new world of growing unbelief and skepticism, we must learn what makes Christianity so different from all the rival philosophies the world thinks all blend together” (17).
A New Book
To help in this endeavor, Jared C. Wilson has written a very helpful book called Unparalleled: How Christianity’s Uniqueness Makes It Compelling. Wilson has written many helpful books, and currently works at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Having pastored in various contexts, and speaking all around the world, Wilson has seen the scope of the religious landscape both here and abroad.
“Make no mistake, in the public marketplace of religious conversation — in the entire world of spiritual, unspiritual, religious, irreligious, theistic, deistic, polytheistic, atheistic, political, moral, liberal, conservative, moderate, or whatever kind of ideas — Christianity is at a great advantage. Why? Because in the midst of this murky multi-ideological fog, Christianity stands alone and above, a solitary lighthouse shining real light. The truth claims of Christianity are unlike those of any other religion, philosophy, or system in the world” (16).
The Book’s Contents
So how does Wilson help us answer this question: “What makes Christianity unique?” He takes you, the reader, back to the basics of our faith in order to so know the truth that we can easily spot the counterfeit and explain and compel people to see how the truth is so much better. He says:
“It is a well-worn truth that to spot the counterfeit, you must study the real thing. Christians have to get back to the basics of our faith and its implications and really see how different Christianity actually is. The more familiar we get with the truth claims of our faith, the more we see how utterly unique they are” (18).
What follows in this book are 10 chapters that explore the basics of the Christian faith and their implications. He addresses the following 10 topics:
- How the Christian God is not like the others
- How the reality of the Trinity answers deep human longing
- How the Christian view of Humanity is the most optimistic
- How the Christian view of Humanity is the most realistic
- How Jesus claimed to be God
- How Jesus triumphed over evil and injustice
- How Jesus defeated death
- How the Christian view of salvation is unique and incomparable
- How Christian mission is compelling and contagious
- How the Christian view of the end is just the beginning
Wilson reminds us that, “Rightly understood and appropriately shared, what the Bible teaches can dismantle its opponents’ objections while captivating their souls” (18).
Jared Wilson’s new book, Unparalleled, is an excellent reminder of what sets Christianity apart from every other religion and truth claim in the world. Wilson exalts Jesus as the true God-man who alone can redeem sinners and reconcile them to God. He exalts the one true God as the only God in the universe. He exalts the truth of the Bible as the only inerrant, infallible source of truth regarding God’s plan of salvation, upon which humanity can stake the future of their souls upon.
In this book, Wilson provides Christians an excellent resource to winsomely and accurately explain what makes Christianity unique and compelling. As such, I would recommend this book as an excellent resource for any Christian to get, use, and pass along. It would be a great book to study through with a friend, coworker, or family member who is not a Christian but is open to discuss the particularities of the Christian faith. In this book, you will find a very readable, but theologically accurate and faithful, picture of the Christian faith, what makes it different, and what makes it the one and only truth in the midst of many counterfeits.
Do yourself a favor and buy two copies today — one for yourself, and one for the person you’re going to read it with.
In accordance with FTC regulations, I would like to thank Baker Books for providing me with a review copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.