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World Religions

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  1. World Religions ICCF Bible Bootcamp 2009

  2. What is Religion?

  3. Definition • Religion • A religion is an organized approach to human spirituality which usually encompasses a set of narratives, symbols, beliefs and practices, often with a supernatural or transcendent quality, that give meaning to the practitioner's experiences of life through reference to a higher power, God or gods, or ultimate truth. • a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs. • a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion. • That which is ultimate for or supreme concern for individuals or groups

  4. Comparing religions • “I mix a little truth with every lie to tickle itching ears. I’m drawing people just like flies, they like what they hear.”Keith Green • Common Development • Beginnings • Adding Ritual • Folk adaptations • Saints, Holy Places, Talismans, Magic • Explanations for life / Protections against powers

  5. Major Religions • “Western” • Judaism • Christianity • Islam • Eastern • Hinduism • Buddhism • Jainism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, Confusianism, Daoism, Shintoism

  6. Hinduism – Sanatana Dharma900 million • Introduction • God – 330 million gods • God is "Absolute" universal spirit; everyone is part of God (Brahman) like drops in the sea. • Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma • Avatars (Krishna, Rama, etc.) • Man and the Universe • Brahman, atman, samsara, maya, karma, moksha • Salvation and the afterlife • Four yogas: jnana (knowledge), bhakti (devotion), karma (works), raja (‘royal’ – meditative techniques) • Morals • Stages – “renouncing the fruits of your labors” is supreme • Reincarnation and karma have supported caste system • Worship • Animals, Rivers, Holy Men, ecstatic prayer, songs, folk religion

  7. Buddhism360 million • Introduction to the “Middle Way” • God – primarily atheistic/non-theistic • Man and the Universe • Illusory, all is changing • Transmigration rather than Reincarnation • Salvation and the afterlife • Ignorance not sin keeps from nirvana • 4 Noble Truths – 1) life is suffering, 2) which lies in desire, 3) with only solution to cease desire, 4) solution is Noble Eight Fold Path • Meditation • Bodhisattvas and merit • Morals – the Five Precepts • Worship

  8. Judaism14 million • Introduction • Orthodox, Conservative, Reformed • Tanakh, Talmuds • God – personal, just yet loving • Man and the Universe • Salvation and the afterlife • Obey God’s commandments • “Fuzzy” on afterlife • Morals • Obey God’s commands and live ethically • Worship

  9. Islam1.4 billion • Introduction – Sunni, Shi’a, Suffi • God • radical monotheism – distant, unknowable - • Mohammed and the Koran (Qur’an) • Man and the Universe • Not sinful, just disobedient • Salvation and the afterlife • 5 Pillars – Shahadah, Salat, Zakat, Sawm, Hajj • Holy Cities • Jihad • Morals • “Straight Path” • Women, Dhimmitude • Worship

  10. Christianity2 billion • By History • Catholic • Orthodox • Protestant • By Theology • Conservative • Liberal • By Practice • Charismatic • Secessionist

  11. Christian Cults • Definition – sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader. • Marks of a Cult • Jesus – Authority – Leadership • Salvation – Control • Examples • Mormons • Jehovah’s Witnesses

  12. Other • Atheism (1.1 billion, includes agnostics and non-religious, communists) • New Age • Wicca • Gnosticism

  13. So What? • Apologetic Needs • Witness • Spiritual Warfare • Glory of God • Web sites • http://www.religionfacts.com/big_religion_chart.htm • http://www.wamware.com/world-religions/comparative/index.htm • http://www.religionfacts.com/christianity/charts/denominations_beliefs.htm • http://www.religionfacts.com/christianity/charts/catholic_protestant.htm