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International Review
Missiology: An
http://mis.sagepub.com/content/42/3/324.citation
The online version of this article can be found at:

DOI: 10.1177/0091829614528444a
2014 42: 324 Missiology
Marcus W. Dean
First-Century Religions
Book Review: God Has No Favourites: The New Testament on

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324 Missiology: An International Review 42(3)
Christianity and other religions
God Has No Favourites: The New Testament on First-Century Religions
By Basil Scott
Bangalore, India: Primalogue
2013. 207 pp., paper. $9.99 (Kindle) 9.99 (UK)
Reviewed by Marcus W. Dean
This is one book that I misjudged by the cover, assuming that its objective was just
a study of first-century religions. Basil Scott, however, has a more contemporary
objective. Scott posits several questions in the preface that seem to come from his
years of living, studying, and serving in India surrounded by religious pluralism.
The process of answering the questions yields a book that should be read by all
Christians who interact with adherents of other faiths, whether on the mission field
or down the street.
In Part I, about three-quarters of the book, Scott focuses on letting the New
Testament speak for itself regarding early Christianitys approach to other religious
faiths and their adherents. He begins with a thorough analysis of New Testament pas-
sages that relate to Greek, Roman, and Jewish religions. This is followed by highlight-
ing the exclusive claims of salvation through Christ. Part I ends by looking at how
Jesus and early Christians related to the adherents of other faiths.
In Part II, the title God Has No Favourites begins to make sense. In five brief chap-
ters Scott answers his preface questions with concise conclusions. First, God shows he
has no favorites by not giving preferential treatment to anyone and accepting any God-
fearer who comes to him by faith. Second, God does not condemn any religion, but
critiques the practices of all, rejecting idolatry polytheism, superstition, spiritism, and
the commercialism of religion, whatever the faith of the people involved (p. 173).
Third, the path to God has always been Gods grace through faith and optimally that
way of faith is Jesus Christ. Fourth, Christian Mission is to approach other faiths and
adherents through respect and humility as modeled by Jesus. Finally, Christianity
should relate to other religions through respect, tolerance, and love in action, not
superiority.
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Book Reviews 325
While Scott holds that individuals can come to real faith in God from within
other religions and without hearing about Jesus Christ, he is firm that salvation is
only possible through Jesus Christ. It was refreshing to read a thoughtful and New
Testament approach to other religious faiths that maintains that salvation is only
through Jesus Christ and dependent on the individuals positive faith response.
As Christians we are challenged to hold up Jesus Christ at The Way to
God the Father, while not condemning from where others are starting their faith
journey.
Church renewal
The Connecting Church 2.0: Beyond Small Groups to Authentic Community
By Randy Frazee
Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan
2013. 256 pp., paper. $16.99
Reviewed by Mark Hopkins
Randy Frazee, senior minister at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he
partners in leadership with Max Lucado, offers a significant update to his first edition
written a decade prior. The book is comprised of two chapters of introduction, fol-
lowed by the main text divided into four parts.
The introductory chapters paint the loneliness prevalent in much of the suburban
United States and then present a theological case for relationships and community as
a necessity for the health of the human condition, concluding that a role of the
church is to provide a place for the development of meaningful relationships. The
first three parts address barriers to Christian community: individualism, isolation,
and consumerism. Each part is organized in a 3-chapter pattern: (1) problem,
(2) solution, and (3) application. Part IV of the book offers implementation ideas.
This part opens with mistakes made, lessons learned, and steps taken to overcome
mistakes made during the decade since the first edition. Frazee then moves to mod-
els of doing churchcentralized, decentralized, and a hybridand showcases, in
brief, four examples of successful hybrid and decentralized models. The final chap-
ter of Part IV lays out Frazees best current thinking for employing of the Starfish
(decentralized) church model.
The subtitle of the bookBeyond Small Groups to Authentic Communityfore-
shadows Frazees central argument: The mission of the church is to develop peo-
ple into followers of Jesus Christ, and it takes a community to do this (30). His
theologically based correctives to the individualism, isolation, and consumerism
prevalent in US American suburbs (and suburban churches!) are compelling. A
weakness of the book may be its narrow focus; the strategies offered are aimed
primarily at suburban, middle- to upper-class American neighborhoods. Even so,
many of the proposed principles are transferable to other (perhaps even global)
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