Encountering World Religions: A Christian Introduction

Reviewed by: G. Connor Salter, Professional Writing alumnus from Taylor University, Upland, IN.



Title: Encountering World Religions: A Christian Introduction

Author: Irving Hexham

Publisher: Zondervan Academic (Zondervan)

Publication Date: May 21, 2019

Format: Softcover (paperback)

Length: 224 pages


“After almost fifteen hundred years of Christian civilization in the West,” Irving Hexham writes, “we now live in a world where many people are deliberately turning their backs on the Christian tradition.” He then describes how this shift means that Western Christians increasingly meet people who follow other religions. To be effective witnesses and good citizens, Christians need to understand how these other religions view life, faith and other matters differently than Christianity does. Hexham then describes several major religions:

  • African traditional religions
  • Yogic religions (specifically Buddhism and Hinduism)
  • Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Islam)

With each one, he notes their major tenets and things Christians need to know when meeting their practitioners.

As the title indicates, this book focuses on encountering other religions, showing readers how to engage with each one. As such, Hexham gives a good overview of each religion, but his real focus is how Christian can relate to each one’s practitioners. His assessment of each religion is helpful, noting popular misconceptions and pointing out ideas Christian can use for apologetics or evangelism. A well-developed resource for Christians trying to understand other worldviews.


Rating (1 to 5)

4 stars

Intended Audience

Christians seeking to understand or evangelize people who follow different religions.

Christian Impact

This book will equip readers to understand just how their faith informs their view of the world and how to be better witnesses to people of other faiths.

Other Notes

Readers seeking a fuller understanding of each religion will want to read other works, such as Hexham’s connected book Understanding World Religions.



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Encountering World Religions: A Christian Introduction

About Ceil Carey

The Evangelical Church Library Association, founded in 1970, is a fellowship of Christian churches, schools, and individuals.

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