• Significant Others: Understanding Our Non-Christian Neighbors

Significant Others: Understanding Our Non-Christian Neighbors

$ 14.99

by Monte Cox

Learn about the backgrounds and practices of these ten non-Christian religions so that you can engage with these significant others in meaningful ways.

A generation ago, most Americans had little or no contact with Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, or any other adherents of non-Christian religions. Now our culture is much more pluralistic. In addition to these “others,” many Westerners, disenchanted with Christianity, are more inclined than they were a generation ago to dabble in new spiritual alternatives that were not as readily available here before.

Many Christians don’t know how to engage their newest non-Christian neighbors in conversation, partly because they feel ignorant about the religions practiced by others. Significant Others seeks to fill this knowledge gap so readers will become more acquainted with the religious backgrounds of devout non-Christians they are meeting, as well as with the growing number of American people who claim no religious affiliation at all.

Each chapter outlines the major world religions according to their significant founders or leading figures, significant beliefs and practices, significant sects and developments, and significant points of contact and points of contrast with Christian faith.



1. Introduction: Does God Hear Their Prayers?
2. Our Jewish Neighbors
3. Our Muslim Neighbors
4. Our Hindu Neighbors
5. Our Buddhist Neighbors
6. Our Sikh Neighbors
7. Our Baha’i Neighbors
8. Our Jain Neighbors
9. Our Native American Neighbors
10. Our Chinese Neighbors
11. Our Shinto Neighbors
12. Bookends: What I Have Learned


Monte Cox is Dean of the College of Bible and Ministry at Harding University and Preaching Minister for the Downtown Church of Christ in Searcy, AR. He has taught Bible and comparative religions courses at Harding since 1992. He and his wife, Beth, have three grown children and three grandchildren.


“It is never an easy task to explore and explain other faiths, while remaining faithful and dedicated to one’s own. Dr. Cox has managed, with a clarity of history, a great deal of humor, and—along with the task—a tone of acceptance, to shed light on traditions other than his deep Christian faith. We are interconnected and valuable as part of the human continent.”

—Barbara L. McBee, Treasurer, Midwest Buddhist Council

“I really enjoyed reading the chapter on Judaism. It demonstrates academic knowledge and personal experience with Jewish life and living. Overall, it is great, and the style is readable and approachable.”

—Rabbi Feivel Strauss, Temple Israel, Memphis, TN

“As in the first century Mediterranean world, American Christians are a minority in a pluralistic society. Significant Others can help us understand and communicate with our neighbors, friends, and coworkers by providing a concise, readable, and respectful account of major world religions.”

—Sean Todd, missionary, Chiang Mai, Thailand

“As the world ‘shrinks,’ and the likelihood of our interacting with people from other countries and cultures increases, it becomes all the more imperative that we understand how adherents of other faiths view what makes us who we are. The easy flowing narrative of Significant Others strives to help the reader in getting to know our ‘new’ neighbors.”

—Anand Pandit, Hindu Temple of DFW, Irving, Texas

“I love that Monte presents Judaism as personal, and it is clear that his aim is that readers see the others as human, not so different from Gentiles. Monte’s understanding of Judaism is apparent.”

—Robert Kallus, Valparaiso, Indiana

“I appreciate the spirit in which this book is written. To consider others significant is the key to friendship and evangelism. In America, you can be at home and still share the gospel with people from all over the world by reaching out to your neighbors. I think this book can help you do that.”

—Nao Fukushima, minister, Tachikawa Church of Christ, Tokyo, Japan

“Monte Cox has been teaching religion for some time. What is impressive to me is his commitment to exposing his students to a genuine taste of religions beyond their own. He has annually mounted a student journey to explore all the diverse religious institutions in our very religiously diverse city (Dallas). I have always been impressed with the depth and breadth of his knowledge in the arena of religions and this book will be another vehicle for him to share his knowledge derived from genuine interest and curiosity about ‘them.’ Based on his writings and having met him personally in my capacity as a professional Buddhist meditation teacher, a former Buddhist monk, and Jewish by birth and upbringing, I unhesitatingly recommend his book, Significant Others.”

—Ken Goldberg, Buddhist Center of Dallas

“One of the biggest benefits for other Christians when they read this book is that they will have a relatively full picture of the religion and cultures of these ‘significant others,’ which will enable them to evangelize them in a more effective and productive way. I pray this book will be a great blessing to the people who read it and, through them, many others will be blessed as well.”

—Yu Kuang, Hubei, China

“A delightful guide full of important information for those of us who enjoy the interfaith work. You can either learn from a person who tells you what to do or from a person who is doing it and speaks from their experience. The latter individual is more effective in getting the message across. That is why any person committed to learn about Islam and Muslims will benefit from reading Significant Others. Dr. Monte Cox has written a must-read primer for anyone considering learning about Islam. Read this book and learn from one of the best.”

—Nabil A. Bayakly, PhD, Assistant Imam, Adjunct Professor of Islamic Studies, Memphis eological Seminary

ISBN: 9780891124641

Pages: 192

Dimensions (inches): 9 x 6

Weight (pounds): 0.5

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