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Archive for the ‘The Lotus and the Cross’ Category

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The book is an imaginary conversation that Jesus would have with Buddha. This is Ravi Zacharias at his best, and my favorite of his books that I have read. Ravi opens up the book by situating it with a wonderful description of a Buddhist country, and while he never na…mes the country, one soon realize that the river setting he describe in his travel is Thailand. Even as he describe it, I can imagine the Mekong River (how I would love to go one day, being that I am Laotian-Chinese American). But among the beautiful scenery, he describe the tragedy of a news story he read about a Thai prostitute that eventually burned down her house as a sucidal escape. Here, the author ponders about what Jesus and Buddha would have to say and offer her. Thus, he launches into the meat of the book. Ravi does an excellent job here. For an apologist, the author is able to weave in great apologetics with tact, gentleness and creativity. Often apologist can carry what I call “battle-rattle” (what in the Marine we call our war gear, so much of it can be so clumsy on us, but needed for the tool of the trade), with technical terms and jargon for the toughest of opponents. In this book Zacharias was able to write for the general reading audience and yet manage to give penetrating insight into the internal philosophical inconsistencies within Buddhism. Another plus was the way Zacharias was able to put into Biblical motif and illustrations in Jesus response. Zacharias is truly a master wordsmith in writing the dialogue. As a former atheist born into a Buddhist household that turned Christian, I thought Zacharias did a fair job in portraying as true to life as possible what one can imagine Buddha and Jesus would say. The ending is also touching, marking the biggest difference between Jesus and Buddha, and what Jesus ends with in his address to the Thai prostitute is gripping–intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. Read it for yourself!

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