Evit Kejbo Nosrep, |
& Islam are Wrong
In Judaism, Christianity & Islam are Wrong, the author attempts to prove that the facts underlying the world's three most prominent religions are in many ways incorrect, thus invalidating those religions. He keeps his own identity and history close to the vest, admitting only that he was once a follower of one of these three religions. This is a short and straightforward book that quotes extensively from the holy scriptures, but I would argue that it suffers from a number of weaknesses.
The author basically takes on each religion one at a time, picking and choosing different elements of each one to be called into question. It results in a rather haphazard organization of material, repetitive in places and subject to huge gaps in terms of the overall ideas. After all, attacks on the facts of the great religions are not a new phenomenon, and in many ways this book simply rehashes questions that have been asked before. The author, to my mind, does not go into enough detail about his arguments, and at times he declares something invalid without proving why or how it is invalid. In many cases, he strings together collections of scriptural quotations without adequately expounding upon them. As one example, he says that Old Testament prophecies about the coming Messiah are obscure and varied. When he lists some of those "obscure" prophecies, though, he leaves out most of the primary prophecies -- including those of Isaiah completely.
This leads me to what is, in my opinion, the book's primary weakness: scriptural references are oftentimes given without any attempt to put them into context. Thus, Jesus Christ is characterized as pro-slavery, anti-women and an advocate of religious violence. The author looks at individual lines and words and comes up with interpretations I have never heard voiced in a Christian church. Since this is a review and not a forum for religious debate, I will not try to argue his points here, but I will say that much of what he says about Christianity is, in my experience, wrong.
I cannot speak to the facts of Judaism and -- in particular -- Islam, although I must note the fact that the author's treatment of Islam is far less detailed than those of the other two religions. As for Judaism, the most likely subjects are brought into question -- the Creation story, the Great Flood, the escape from captivity in Egypt, etc.
Certainly, the author does make some valid and useful points -- e.g., the fact that a person chooses his religion largely on the fact that it is the religion he is born into. He also criticizes the religious in today's modern world for not living up to the teachings of what they believe in. That is certainly a valid point, but the many sins and mistakes of "believers" have no relation to the religious "facts" he set out to question.
As a Christian, I do regard this book as a good and useful one. It is, after all, a short and straightforward assembly of arguments made against religious belief. I do not really regard the work as an attack on any of the religions at all (although he does seem to reflect some personal bias against Christianity) -- I say this mainly because the author sets out to address "facts" rather than argue issues of faith. Faith, after all, is at the core of religious belief. Pondering the types of questions the author poses can actually strengthens one's own religious faith, and that is what -- in my opinion as a Christian -- makes this book a valuable read.