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Book Review – Unparalleled (GIVEAWAY!!)

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Book Review – Unparalleled

Unparalleled is a book published earlier this month by Jared Wilson about the compelling uniqueness of Christianity when compared to other religions. The back cover reveals that Willson attempts to show that the message of Christianity is unparalleled among other religions by revealing how “Christianity alone answers the deepest longings of every human heart…” After reading the book, I believe that Wilson has done just that.

In Unparalleled, Jared Wilson shows how the God of Christianity is not only holy and just, but also personal and relational. He demonstrates that the Christian view of humanity is the most optimistic and yet also the most realistic. While we are created in the image of God (and therefore have immense value) we are also broken and sinful. We have a deep resident evil within us that causes us to partake in all sorts of twisted acts which mar our value as God’s image bearers and hurt others who are also made in the image of God. He then goes on to show how Christ validated his claim to be God by dying in order to triumph over evil and injustice and put death to death once and for all by rising from the grave. All of this culminates in a chapter showing that the Christian view of salvation is  “the most incredible idea in the History of the universe” because it is a salvation that is by grace from start to finish. Here Wilson shows that grace is the essence of Christianity because it is the only basis for salvation in Christianity. Grace is, as Wilson puts it, both powerful and provokes true worship.

But what about the place of good works? After all, Christianity has many examples of good works and we are told in scripture that the Christian is characterized by his/her good works. Wilson answers this by pointing us away from ourselves and to God who created us in Christ Jesus for good works. However, our works are neither a way of paying God back (which we could never do) or self-righteousness. They are a way of honoring God and pointing others to him. They are, as the author puts it, both worship (in that we honor God with them) and warfare (insomuch as we take dominion with them pointing others to God).

Good works are the resulting life of the heart that has been set free.. . good works as worship is not about earning but about delighting”

Why is this? Because in our salvation, we are not saved by our good works but rather that we are freed to do good works. These works are prepared for us beforehand (Ephesians 2:10) so that we might walk in them. This means that we are guaranteed to produce good works if we are Christ’s. This is what is means to “work out” our salvation rather than work for it. The difference is the very essence of Christianity. Unparalleled ends in a chapter on Christian eschatology and Wilson demonstrates that the end of the world is (in Christianity) just the beginning and an entire eternity awaits those who put their faith and trust in Christ.

Unparalleled is an excellent book on the basics of Christianity. There are a lot of good books which give an apologetic for the Christian faith. This is one which you will want to have on your bookshelf to return to often. It is a wonderful tool for reminding the believer of the hope that we have in Christ and an excellent resource to give to those who have questions about the place of Christianity among other religions. While it focuses more on Christianity than other religions, it is a trustworthy resource for the homeschooled student wanting to study comparative religions.

Where to buy Unparalleled

Click here to purchase Unparalleled: How Christianity's Uniqueness Makes It Compelling from ChristianBook.com OR

Click here to search Amazon for the lowest price on Unparalleled!
About the author

unparalleled
Jared C. Wilson is the Director of Content Strategy for Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Managing Editor of For The Church, Midwestern’s site for gospel-centered resources.

Jared is not a catalytic “agent of change” or a visionary anything. He is a failed church planter and once made a mess of his marriage. He likes food too much and worries way too much about what people think, and he’s definitely not all that he’s cracked up to be. After 20 years of ministry, he’s mainly learned that he’s kind of a nincompoop. But he knows Jesus loves him.

Jared blogs at The Gospel-Driven Church.

You can follow Jared Wilson on twitter at @jaredcwilson

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Baker Books in exchange for an online review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

 

37 thoughts on “Book Review – Unparalleled (GIVEAWAY!!)

  1. Lenette

    I want this book Aaron. I sure hope I win. As you know, God has been so good to me bringing me out of the bondage of Rome and into His grace. If I don’t win I’m buying it. So many people in my life need this and I’m too old to take the message out to them now.

    • Anonymous

      You need to STOP using my name.

      • Hello, just to make sure there is no confusion, are you sure that there aren’t any other people by the same name? Can you email me using the contact form on the contact link in the header? In the mean time I am suspending all comments by Lenette until I can determine if this is a real comment or a hoax. I want to allow various opinons but since the name in question is unique in spelling and in frequency I think there is sufficient cause to disallow comments under the name until it can be cleared up. I would like to hear from both parties if possible. Thanks – Aaron

  2. Raymond

    Good Aaron. I’ll read this and we can have more to talk about. During off hours though. I have a business to run.

  3. Aaron I never win your giveaways! I’ll keep trying though lol! I like James Wilson.

  4. Barbara R

    I’d much rather have this in audio but would rather have free print than paying for it lol! You mentioned he talks about our evil but does he talk about how to convince someone that they’re not good? Everyone I talk to seems to think they’re fine.

    • Barbara, Jared Wilson does talk about this extensively in his book. He offers some good conversation starters and uses examples form his own life to help aid in this discussion. Especially in chapter 4 (Broken Mirrors: How The Christian View of Humanity is the Most Realistic). It is very good. All that said, we can only act as spokespeople for truth. Ultimately the Spirit does the convincing. I don’t know how many times in my own life I heard that we are sinful creatures and then one day I was convinced by the Spirit that I MYSELF am sinful. So much meaning was added to grace that day.

  5. Cheryl

    Entering!

  6. Ryan Smith

    Am I eligible after winning the last one? I like Wilson’s use of illustrations in his writing. He makes theology come alive!

    • Of course! It is random after all!

  7. Natali

    This is true that Christianity is a superior and true religion. I am raised in Islam and in Islam we have no sure way to Jannah much less Firdaws which requires perfect virtue or martyrdom. I live in fear every day if I should die and not please Allah until I met Jesus my righteousness.

    • Ahmed

      Natali I too have been raised in Islam and am now Christian. It is true that Islam has no hope. It is a religion of fear. What else causes men and women and children to blow themselves up but fear. Christian is unique. It alone gives hope and diagnose the true problem.

  8. Jason

    We’ve kind of had a conversation about this before but how do you know yours is true? Sure it’s unique but they all are in some ways right? Having a better storyline doesn’t make it true. I’d like this book. Your answers always make sense to me at the time and I feel like I have no answers myself when you ask questions but I really need to just read something and digeat it without feeling like I need an immediate answer.

    • Hello Jason! Proof in that sense may be beyond the scope of this book. I would ask however what type of proof you are seeking? I hope I never make you feel like you need to give an immediate answer. Always feel free to think about things and get back to me later!

  9. Vanessa

    I read a few articles by the author just last week. I like his humility. This looks like a good addition to our bookshelf!

  10. Stacy Riedl

    I like the sound of this book. I have a new neighbor who thinks she’s Buddhist but doesn’t really know what it teaches much less Christianity.

  11. Kyler

    What a wonderful sounding book! There are already a number of these books out there that demonstrate that Christianity stands Out Among the other religions. But each book adds a new element to the discussion and a new dynamic. In my opinion we can’t have enough of these I can’t wait to read this one.

  12. Lorre

    Yay for another giveaway! Thank you for doing this. Unparalleled looks good!

  13. Patrick

    Looks like a good read. Sign me up!

  14. Karl

    Another good looking book Aaron
    Thanks for the giveaway

  15. Linda Burns

    I think I mentioned this before but my husband and I came out of a branch of Christianity that lacked the aspect of grace. We were Federal Vision Adherents and though I can’t describe it there was a scoffing at the idea that our salvation is by grace from start to finish. There is a huge focus on outward works and not so much the life transforming power of the Spirit.I’d like this book. It sounds refreshing.

  16. Shannon

    ooohhh!! I really wanted to win the apologetics package you gave away recently for my son but this looks even better. Entering!

  17. Adam

    Back at the beginning of the year I had a disagreement with the way you presented grace as all God because I feared that you were making allowance for sin. Or maybe my fear was that if we say this then people will use it as an excuse to sin all the more. But I’ve been thinking about it since then and have come to see that it really is by grace and by grace from start to finish as you often point out. The turning point was reading beyond the verses I loved to quote. All the verses about “do this” seem to be followed by “because it is finished” so I guess I agree with this in principle but struggle with it in application. Maybe this book doesn’t quite address this issue. I’d like to read it anyway but if you have any suggestions for working through the issues I presented please share with me!

  18. Karly M

    Here I go entering again!

  19. Nancy

    Entering!

  20. Jason M

    Looks good. Entering!

  21. Joy

    Thanks for the summary, review and giveaway! I’m particularly interested in this book because for so long I was one who believed that all religions are the same. Praise God I know better now but so many of my loved ones don’t.

  22. Susan

    Entering!

  23. Virginia

    I’m building an apologetics section for our church library. This would make a wonderful addition!

  24. Martha C

    I have two sons who have left the faith for other religions. One is now Buddhist and the other Hindu. I an really use this book right now. It’s heartbreaking. I don’t know where I went wrong. I just want them to come back to Christ.

  25. We were JUST talking about this book yesterday trying to decide what to read next!

  26. I was not raised Muslim but rather in the Nation of Islam which is a cheap hybrid between Islam and Christianity. It isn’t even a religion. It was a Marxist philosophy which used religious language. Like Joy said already praise God that he found me. I was running away from him fast. But he found me.

  27. Missy

    Okay I’m trying again lol! Giveaways is a sure way to bring me out of the woodworks and to comment. Especially books!

  28. Okay I’m trying again lol! Giveaways is a sure way to bring me out of the woodworks and to comment. Especially books!

  29. Tim Euen

    Entering!

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