Rev. Austin Miles, a chaplain in Northern California is a writer and historian. He is the author of Santa's Surprising Origins, a story that received worldwide circulation and resulted in him being cast in the 2004 Hallmark Christmas Movie titled, Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus. He played the mall Santa who magically received the gift of sign language.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Religion • One Word, Many Writings—an Essential Book

Book Review by Rev. Austin Miles

Finally!  A resource at your fingertips that gives a quick authoritative look at the various forms of religion that have sprouted and grown. Often confusing, this age of ‘multiculturalism’ dictates that all churches must be accepting, make room, and (in some cases) be pressured to accept strange doctrines of those who have moved into another populated sphere insisting that their culture be recognized and even dominant.

More troubling, there is a move to embrace, or at least combine some of the tenets of other belief systems into one religion that is non-challenging, promises heaven for all, no matter how one lives, and tickles the senses with ‘feel-good’ messages. This is what has become known as ‘New Age Religion, or worse, New Age Christianity.

Too many Christians have been sucker-punched into believing that this is a valid evolution of religion as the world modernizes.  It is not.

With a world that is changing at a dizzying speed, competent pastors, along with Christians in general, need to keep up to date with available source material in order to effectively deal with every twist and turn coming down the pike for the purpose of diverting the faithful from the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Concordia Publishing House, a branch of the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, expertly meets this need. Their current book, “One Word, Many Writings”, which is a study of Religious Writings, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Scientology, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and one which at present has evoked the most curiosity of all, Mormonism.

Each is given a bite-size page with its History, Central Teaching, Significant People,  Today’s Connection and how each differs from Christianity. Website addresses are given so that more info can be obtained.

This slim, inexpensive volume ($14.99) equips the reader to obey the injunction of The Bible, “Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear (respect).” 1 Peter 3:15.

Today all Christians face more intensive questions and challenges than ever before. Prepare, with this book, to stand firm and give that answer.

The churches today offer a smorgasbord, where one can pick and choose what they like and discard what they don’t like, i.e. biblical commands regarding personal conduct, responsibility and ethics.

It is like the cotton candy sold at the circus and carnival. If you buy one to eat, there is not even a mouthful as it quickly dissolves in your mouth leaving only a small bit of sugary material. That is the church of today. A lot of fluff but no substance.

Not just Christian pastors need this material . All Christians should have a copy in order to know exactly how and what the various faiths believe and how to explain those differences to show what sets the Word of God apart from other forms of spiritual writings.

End Note: This pastor-chaplain profited from the Concordia book, Living and Dying with blessings and prayers for those who grieve. Check their website:cph.org or their phone number: 1-800-325-3040.

Rev. Austin Miles is a working minister-chaplain in Northern California.

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