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Article about the Zondervan Christian Travelers Guides written for Christian Week, 5 February, 2002, p. Life-3.

Almost a million Canadians, and over ten million Americans, visit Europe annually (The Yearbook of Tourism ). Not surprisingly, travel books make up one of the largest sections in major bookstores and libraries. Yet you are unlikely to find a Christian travel book in either place. Instead you will find the big travel series like Baedeker's, Penguin, Fodor's, Berlitz, The Blue Guides, Frommer's Guides, The Real Guide and Insight Guide all of which mention churches as tourist attractions while seriously downplay Christian history by stressing ancient paganism and similar topics.

You will also find speciality guides like Pagan Britain, Alternative England And Wales and The Goddess in Europe that are decidedly cultic. Then there are about a dozen Jewish guides to Europe one of which you are sure to find in a store like Chapters and your local library.What you are unlikely to find are Christian travel guides. This is not to say that they do not exist. The Zondervan's Christian Travelers Guides series includes separate books on Germany, Great Britain, France and Italy with ones on Turkey and other countries in the works. Baker have also produced the Christian Travelers Companion series with overview books on Europe and North America and another on The Bible Lands due shortly.

There is also a Roman Catholic series Bed and Blessings (Paulist Press) and two general Christian travel guides C.J. McNaspy's Guide to Christian Europe (Loyola University Press) and the Mennonite Tourguide to Western Europe (Herald Press) by Jan Gleysteen. Finally, there is a very nice book Touring C.S. Lewis' Ireland and England (Symth and Helwys) by Perry C. Bramlett and Ronald W. Higdon. But, you are unlikely to find any of these in your local bookstore or library. Karl Marx observed "The task of history is to establish the truth of this world". What he meant was that whoever manages to have their interpretation of history accepted as the way things were is well on the way to dominating a culture.

Today Christians have fallen woefully behind in the struggle for history as the travel book market shows. Instead of capitalizing on our rich historical heritage to allow the very stones of European Churches to preach the gospel we have allowed secular writers to put a spin on our history that often shows Christianity in a bad light. Today, more than ever, Christians need to remember that God repeatedly tell his people to remember the things He has done (Deut. 8.2).

One way to do this is by visiting Europe with a Christian travel guide in your hands or even simply reading such a guide to get a feel for the way God worked in history. So if your local bookstore and library doesn't carry any Christian travel guides ask them to order some. These are books that can enrich your Christian experience while acting as wonderful pre-evangelism tools to get your none Christian friends and neighbours excited about rediscovering the Christian roots of our culture.

Permission to republish is being sought from Christian Week