THE UNIQUE ONE
by Cecil Price
Bible Message Publications, 169 pages, $19.99
“Isn’t Christianity just another religion?” A few years ago, a friend asked me this question.
“Well, no,” I replied nervously, for I was a Christian. He went on to inquire about the validity of Jesus’ claims, but I could not back up my answers very well. I could not provide a logical reason for the hope that was within me. I wish The Unique One had been published before this interaction.
Throughout the course of history, a great number of books have been written in an attempt to prove Jesus Christ and His authority. From archaeological findings to philosophical reasoning, there are many methods by which people have tried to do this. Cecil Price differs because he draws distinctives of Jesus Christ from the Bible, using either what Jesus said about Himself or what the witnesses of Jesus said. Finding these attributes that set Jesus apart, eighteen in all, he allows the reader to compare the findings to those of other religious founders. The conclusion is in the title: Jesus Christ is unique from other religious founders.
The Unique One is a reference text. As I read this book, I noticed its unusual paragraph structure, and I noticed that it reuses some of the same examples from different Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John). For these reasons, it is more consistent with a reference text than a cover-to-cover piece. It won’t keep you gripping the edge of your seat or itching to see the next page; this is not to say it is not interesting. Instead, it is the perfect book for a moment when you may ask, “What does the Bible say about this particular aspect of Jesus?”
This question is answered with countless examples of what Jesus did or who He was. For example, in the first distinctive, Price mentions that in Scripture Jesus is said to have existed before time began (John 1). Price then states, “All other religious founders establish their lives at their human births.” In another example, Jesus’ supernatural birth is brought to the reader’s attention. Then, at the end of the section, it is pointed out that Jesus is the only religious founder (or person for that matter) to have been born of a virgin, without a human father.
Before each example are a few contextual notes, stating the location, time frame, and other notes relating to the biblical text that follows. These are extremely helpful in understanding the situation Jesus was in while He said what He did. For example, distinctive 14 talks about the fact that prayers in Jesus’ name will be favorably answered. I read through this section twice and realized that He said this three times, and all three were on the night before His crucifixion. It is obvious Jesus wanted us to understand something before He left the earth.
I am confident that after reading this book, I am able to handle confrontations much better than I could have before reading it. Jesus claimed and was witnessed to have done some truly amazing things; things no other religious founder has ever done. For these eighteen reasons, Jesus Christ is unique.
Andrew Hoff is a professional writing major at Taylor University and a book reviewer for Church Libraries.