Top positive review
Not exactly right.
Reviewed in the United States on December 5, 2018
Just received the book, “The Religions Book”, “ Big ideas Simply Explained”, and after a cursory review I would give the book a B-. The book gives a synopsis of various religions both past and present. The actual issue that I ran into was on page 334. While the paragraph at the beginning of the page appears concise, the material afterwards about The Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches is a bit misleading because of the language/grammar used. The author(s) state that the Roman Catholic Church originates during the 1st century CE, and that the Eastern Orthodox Churches originate from 1054. Not so. This is technically not correct. Both Churches stem from Christ and His Apostles during the 1st century. In the beginning there was only one Church and that was the Christian Church. The Churches were; the Church of the West (Substantially centered in Rome) and the Church of the East centered in Constantinople. But even before we can speak of “centers”, of the entire Christian Church, the Church was united through Faith and the Ecumenical Counsels until the Great Schism of 1054. Until that time the Christian Church was fully Catholic (Catholic means Universal), which the Church was considered universal as to one teaching. Why was there a Schism? Various reasons developed between the East and Western Church. One was the use of statues used within the Western Church. The other was the use of Icons by the Eastern Church. The Schism also developed over the use of the Church of the West (Rome) adding the Filioque to the “Creed”. The Creed is and still remains within the Eastern Orthodox Church unchanged and a statement of Faith. The term Filioque meaning “and through the Son” was not used in the original Creed developed during the 1st and 2nd Ecumenical Counsels but added by the Church of the West. One my wonder why would simply changing a single short line in the Creed be so important? The answer is more important than just a few simple words. Adding the Filioque to the Creed posed a very real problem. The Filioque, and the part of the Creed where it was inserted, addresses the how the Holy Spirit proceeds from within the Triune God head of Christianity, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In inserting the Filioque stating the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father (and the Son) causes a major problem within the Christian Church. The issue stems from the baptism of Christ, by John the Baptist. The Holy Spirit descended upon Christ, in the form of a dove, while he was being baptized in the Jordan River by John The Baptist. If the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father “and the Son”, this would mean that Christ sent the Holy Spirit unto Himself, which would negate the baptism of Christ. Additionally the first two Holy Ecumenical Councils of the ENTIRE Christian Church composed the Creed and it was agreed by the entire Christian Church, both Eastern and Western, that the Creed would not be changed under any circumstance. The Creed is a statement of Christian Faith for the Entire Christian Church.
Getting back to the differentiation on page 334. Both the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church have the same origins within the time line beginning with Christ and His Apostles. So I feel that the book overall may be in question, or slanted one way or the other, for the different religions that are addressed. I will attempt to update this review in the future.