Jesus Talks with Buddha. Have you ever wondered what Jesus would say to Mohammed? Or Buddha? Or Oscar Wilde? Maybe you have a friend who practices another religion or admires a more contemporary figure. Drop in on a conversation between Jesus and some well-known individuals whose search for the meaning of life took them in many directions -- and influenced millions.
Popular scholar Ravi Zacharias sets a captivating scene in this first in the intriguing Conversations with Jesus books. Through dialogue between Christ and Gautama Buddha that reveals Jesus' warm, impassioned concern for all people, God's true nature is explored.
Writing this book has been an incredible experience. I spent scores of hours in temples with monks and with instructors of students of Buddhist thought. The discussions I had were always cordial and delightful. Over many a cup of tea, we lingered and talked about life’s deepest questions and contrasting answers.
Having enjoyed such rapport with those who embrace the Buddhist worldview, I found it difficult to highlight the deep differences between Buddhism and Christianity and not bring offense. Those differences may be discomforting, but they are real. Even the answers the monks gave to my questions were not always the same depending on which school of Buddhism they represented. At times there was frustration on their faces when the questions became tough and their answers dissimilar. But even in the midst of disagreements, they drew comfort from the fact that, for them, agreement was not as important as the pursuit itself.
I will always be grateful for their courtesy and hospitality. Although we have radically different answers to life’s fundamental questions, we dare not shrink from asking the hard questions just to avoid discomfort.
Although a book like this could be slanted any way one pleases, some fundamental ideas are inescapable and must be engaged. In that sense, at least, I trust I have presented the ideas fairly and subjected them to scrutiny. Many of those I talked with will be reading this, and I look forward to their responses. Jesus and Buddha cannot both be right. The lotus is the symbol of Buddhism; the cross, the symbol of the Christian faith. Behind the two symbols stand two diametrically opposed beliefs. I ask you, the reader, to examine the message of each, using both your heart and your mind. It is worth the exercise because it will determine your destiny. One day we will all find out that being respectful and sincere does not give us license to be wrong. Truth demands investigation and commitment. Our conclusions must be in keeping with Truth that can be tested. To be handcuffed by a lie is the worst of all imprisonments. May the God of all truth lead you to the Truth that sets you free indeed.
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