Book review by Vikki Trushov
Now, if I may be quite honest with you all, my eyes didn't go straight to this book. I mean of course it sounded interesting, but I am not the biggest fan of reading books over 150 pages. But I thought “Maybe if I read this, I'll get something out of it.” And considering I was the only person who raised my hand, I thought I would give it a shot.
Jared C. Wilson's book Unparalleled: How Christianity's Uniqueness Makes It Compelling really did open my eyes to a different point of view. I knew that Christianity was unique compared to other religions. I just never really knew how unique it was. This book starts out with an anecdote by the author describing an interaction his friend and him made with a Muslim taxi cab driver. Since Wilson is also a pastor, he just happened to find himself in a religious conversation with the taxi driver. He goes on by saying “It turned out he was Muslim, but he admitted he didn't go to the mosque that often and wasn't a very strict practitioner.” And it goes on by saying how Wilson had a discussion about biblical history on their too-short of the drive.
As I kept reading deeper and deeper into this book, I find out there are three major types of monotheistic religions. Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. He goes on by saying “All three of the major monotheistic religions believe that God takes sin seriously and will sooner or later do something about it.” Now, of course, I believe this because it states it in the Bible (John 20:23 for example). But I want to go back to the taxi driver interaction. Wilson didn't catch his name but instead gave him one for the book's purpose. The driver's name was called Omar, and it is very interesting what I read about him. From what Wilson heard, he states “In Omar's religious worldview, God could not under any circumstances forgive sins of great gravity like murder. I'm going to assume Omar would also include things like rape and sexual abuse in this category.” Which I thought was odd because I grew up knowing that God could forgive any sin. Christians believe that all sin is the same and deserves just as much wrath as murder or idolatry. But God is so good and perfectly holy and by all means will forgive our sins, because we assume he won't “let it slide” I guess that's one thing unique about Christianity.
Anyways, as I read on, I stumbled upon a quote from President George W. Bush from a 2007 interview saying “I believe in an almighty God, and I believe that all the world, whether they be Muslim, Christian or any other religion, prays to the same God. That's what I believe.” But I feel like we can answer this way to easily and knowing that lots of people worshiping one God don't mean they are worshiping the same God. I also read about Jews and Christians believing in the same God, which they don't, but after reading about this, I was kind of surprised. Wilson goes on satiating how Jews and Christians share a common sacred history but what he goes on to state is that it really all comes down to our relationship with God. God revealed himself as Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ is God, and God is a Trinity. If we reject any of these, it simply means we are just rejecting God.
The uniqueness of Christianity is that we believe Jesus Christ is God in the flesh. We also believe the Trinity is one. What I know is the Trinity consists of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. There is one section in this book that kind of widened my eyes. Chapter 2 is called When 1+1+1=1. Which honestly doesn't add up, but it's God we're talking about here! I wouldn't expect any of our minds to fully understand the logic because I certainly don't. This just shows us how God is capable of things completely beyond the bounds of our human understandings. This also kind of shows the uniqueness of Christianity and the true God. But some religions commonly argue that Christians believe in three gods. Which honestly, I don't get those people.
As I read on in this book It just talks about how God shows his love to us through the Bible. For example, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Imagine God sending his one and only Son to the cross to die for not only friends but for enemies too! This shows the second person of the Trinity, the Son of God who is taken by flesh and comes to die. He who is Love shows His love and gives true love. Kind of confusing but makes sense in all aspects. It also talks about how us humans can judge quickly without knowing their whole story. This book then took a turn in talking about popular political opinions which we probably all have an idea about, abortion, LGBTQ+, etc which Wilson just goes into a deep discussion. If you are interested please read more into the book.
But honestly, this book Unparalleled has really shown me the uniqueness of our religion and that we Christians must fulfill our lives with what we were created to do. To spread to Gospel. This book just goes into so much more careful detail that it would take so many more pages. The great understanding of this book is knowing how unique our religion is because it all comes down to the one true thing we believe in - God.