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Posted May 16, 2002
Dialogue for beginners
Having heard Ravi Zacharias lecture on several occasions, this book was somewhat disappointing. It may be a bit too simplistic and brief considering the subject matter. However, it could be worthwile for those not at all familiar with Christianity or Buddhism or for high school students perhaps as a means of stimulating further exploration. Unlike two of the other reviewers who seemed to have serious axes to grind (see Sanford who, by the way, doesn't even appear to know what the 'a' in 'atheist' means), I feel that the book does point out significant differences between Buddhism and Christianity even though these differences may be grossly simplified at times. One wonders what a geniune dialogue would be like between Jesus and the Buddha. Even if it may not be what Ravi has envisioned, there are some things worth noting while listening to them converse.
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Posted June 22, 2012
Posted April 22, 2012
I needed a quick, inspirational read, and this book did the tric
I needed a quick, inspirational read, and this book did the trick. Lighthearted at times, yet interspersed with some very deep thoughts. Ravi comes across as respectful of other religions, but unwilling to "gloss over" the deep, fundamental differences. At their cores, Buddhism makes one offer, and Christianity a completely different offer. One cannot have both. It is up to the seeker to decide, which do you want?Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 13, 2002
Biased Misrepresentation and Falsification of Buddhism
Buddhists of all sects never view life as being born in debt and will die in debt, as the author accused, but simply born neutral and it is up to oneself to do good or bad deeds, one is responsible for. The Buddha simply taught: ¿Volition, O monks, I declare is karma. Having willed, man acts with deed, words, or thought.¿ ¿I am owner of my karma, heir of my karma, born of my karma, related to my karma and abide supported by my karma. Whatever karma I have done, good or evil, of that shall I be heir.¿ It is irrelevant whether there is a creditor to collect the debt or not, as one is responsible for it. Parinirvana is not a state of oblivion (as falsely stated by the author). He passed away while being in the state of full awareness, free of greed, hatred, and delusion, with total liberation of mind. Buddhism was fully formed overnight through the Buddha¿s self-enlightenment. He did not need any more time to understand or any process of clarification, as being made up by the author. The Buddha taught one to avoid the two extremes of sensual indulgence and self-mortification, but to practice the Middle Path that led him to realize the Ultimate Truths. It was not the other way around as he mistakenly wrote. He intentionally smeared the Buddha as a cold-hearted person, that he cannot touch dying Priya¿s hand, as precepts forbid touching a female, to avoid lust. Not applicable to sick and dying persons, sick monks can be cared by female physicians and nurses, without any wrong doing. True compassion is through mind, not based on touching or physical contact. He would guide her to realize the Ultimate Truth, freeing herself from suffering. He wrongfully accused that the Buddha cannot go back to Priya¿s house¿s with her, while Jesus clearly stated that he can. During the Buddha¿s time, the compassionate Buddha himself personally took care of a sick monk, which resulted in building wards for sick monks by laities, and later on, King Asoka was to build hospitals for the public, the first hospitals in the history of mankind. To visit Thailand does not mean that what he learned from the Buddhist monks are all true, as it still needs further research to confirm the truths. Confrontation is healthy, only when it is done in fairness with proven facts; not with bias as he did. ¿Ravi, you are no Buddha! It is sinful for you to fool and blind others from the truth through your biased misguided statements, denying them future opportunities to further enrich themselves in the ultimate truth of Buddhism, the awakened way of life. You have successfully accomplished in proving your own words and statement that `To be handcuffed by a lie is the worst of all imprisonments.¿¿ Kongsak Tanphaichitr, M.D. Chairman, Buddhist Council of Greater St.Louis
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Posted May 11, 2002
I am one class short of completing a MA in Contemplative Religions, so I have some knowledge in this area. Mr. Zacharias seriously misrepresents Buddhist teachings and the personality of the Buddha. He limits the Buddhist view to the narrowest and most restrictive interpretation in every case. He presents only the Theravada Buddhist view, and then only the most negative interpretation of this view. He ignores the Mahayana and Vajrayana teachings. Both of these schools would do better in this specific 'face-off'. The Buddha NEVER denied God, only that our conditioned concept of God was not the final basis of reality. The Buddha taught a Unconditioned Ultimate Reality: 'O'monk, if there were no Unconditioned there would be no escape from the conditioned.' We live in the world of the conditioned - conditioned by causes and effects (karma). It is the realization of the Unconditioned state in us all that IS (already) eternal (unborn of a cause). The Christian salvation is conditioned, based on causes, it can not be eternal. Conditioned causes can only have conditioned effects. 'Even if a million conditioned causes could join forces they can not change something that is conditioned into unconditioned.' An unconditioned thing already exists, it is eternal and unborn of a cause, it is realized, not changed or created. This unconditioned nature is the 'buddha nature' in all of us, in all things. Some would call the Unconditioned Nature a Divine Nature or 'existence in (and realization of) the mind of 'God'.' The 'conditioned self' (ego self) is 'let go' so that the 'unconditioned being' can be realized. Virtually every Buddhist position related by Mr. Zacharias is in error. It is common in the West to think that Buddhism is atheistic, it is not, it is non-theistic. This means that Buddhism does not believe in a conditioned theistic God as the final reality (they do admit that he exists). Buddhist believe in an Unconditioned Ultimate Reality that can not be defined, limited, conceptualized, named, or otherwise limited by theistic thought. This book is little more than Christian propaganda. It is not a serious work or study.
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Posted December 7, 2009
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