Author: Robert Anderson **Book review by Robert Guenther**
The Reformation that took place in the 16th century is the subject matter. The Reformers believed that the Bible should be the supreme standard of authority, whereas Rome taught that "the Church" was. These two differing viewpoints are still at odds in the days in which we live. One position is Christianity, the other is the religion of Christendom and of its Buddha.
The first chapter points out the obvious, God is our creator. "The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God." This knowledge of how we came into our own existence is essential. If we miss this point, that life is needed to create life, we can be deceived into believing other lies. This truth is recorded in God's Word and is the starting point of our belief about creation.
The next chapter continues with this theme and suggests that the language of Scripture allows for the theory of evolution in the lower forms of creation. However we find no "missing links" when God designed man.
The following chapter was the most interesting for me. It builds on the topic of how man was created from the dust of the ground and man is unique because he is a religious being. We have been created in God's image and God is Spirit. Therefore we are spiritual beings and are distinct from the other animals that God created. Mankind has implanted in him a God-consciousness that makes him a spiritual being. Rom. 2:14,15 R.V. "When Gentiles which have no law do by nature the things of the law, these, having no law, are a law unto themselves; in that they show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness therewith, and their thoughts one with another accusing or else excusing them." So even though the heathen may be destitute of Divine revelation they still have a knowledge of good and evil, for that is inherent in man. Another point that stands out is that being a religious man does not make one moral. An example is given of the Apostle Paul who was according to the religious law of that day "Blameless," and yet as we read further he was a God-hater, "a blasphemer and a persecutor." Mere religion drags a man down spiritually.
Chapter four adds even more weight to the fact that we should not trust in a person's religion. We should always test it with the Word of God. Use the Bible as a tool to measure what is truth and what is not. It is stated that there is more self satisfaction found in religion than any other activity that man is involved with. We do not need a mediator or an interpreter to understand God's Word.
Modem Buddhism as we have it today is a most degraded form of Paganism. However it did not start out that way. It began as a system of morality and philosophy, founded on a pessimistic theory of life. "The principles of the eightfold path are (1) right belief; (2) right aims; (3) right speech; (4) right actions; (5) right means of livelihood; (6) right endeavor; (7) right mindfulness; and (8) right meditation." We find these goals to be very similar to those of the religion of Christendom.
These religions have several things in common: some material representation of the God, a priesthood, an altar, mystical rites and ceremonies.
One point that Mr. Anderson brought to my attention was an answer to a question of "Why did the Israelites erect the golden calf?" The golden calf was to become the mediator to take the place of Moses who had gone up into the Mount for 40 days. This symbol did not take the place of God. These Israelites were very religious and wanted to worship God, but they needed a way to approach Him. Building this image was idolatry and it is very similar to what Christendom has done with the building of its altars, images, pictures, crucifixes, and relics of the mass which it celebrates. In John 4:24 we read that "God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth." We are not to become involved with any false religion, no matter how good or pure it may sound.
Another point the author makes very clear is that "the Church" is not the mediator in-between God and man. In I Tim. 2:5 it states "For there is one God, and the one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus," We should not allow any church, priest or minister to have this position of mediator between God and men. Our salvation is not in or through "the Church", but it is in and through the Lord Jesus Christ.