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The Lotus and the Cross: Jesus Talks with Buddha Hardcover – October 1, 2001

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Product Details

  • Series: Great Conversations
  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Multnomah; 1St Edition edition (October 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157673854X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1576738542
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 6.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #294,633 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Ravi takes a scholarly yet imaginative approach to apologetics. The dialogue he sets forth in this unique drama will educate, enthrall, and enlighten you—and everyone you share it with—for years to come.”
“The works of Ravi Zacharias are a vital resource around our house, and this latest addition to our intellectual arsenal is delightfully different: a vivid, dramatized meeting of the minds through which the truth of the gospel—and Dr. Zacharias’s impeccable logic—shines forth with enjoyable clarity.”
“Ravi Zacharias is a first-rate thinker and a preeminent Christian apologist. With The Lotus and the Cross, Zacharias now demonstrates that he is also a gifted and imaginative writer. This captivating dialogue not only clears up confusion about the claims of Christ and Buddha, but also provides us with a highly entertaining read.”
“With signs of spiritual warfare all around us, this book challenges all Christians—male and female—to arm up and engage the enemy. Its pages are chock-full of fascinating insights and solid, practical, biblical advice. It’s a must-read for everyone who takes seriously Christ’s command to ‘Fight the good fight.’”

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About the Author

Ravi Zacharias was born in India, immigrating to Canada at age twenty. After earning a Masters of Divinity at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, he began a speaking ministry that has taken him worldwide (including the campuses of Harvard, Princeton, and Oxford University) as a recognized authority on comparative religions, cults, and philosophy. Zacharias' holds three doctorate degrees, and his books include the Gold Medallion winner Can Man Live without God, Deliver Us from Evil, Cries of the Heart, Jesus Among Other Gods, and two children's titles. He teaches a weekly, international radio program entitled Let My People Think. Ravi lives with his wife, Margaret, in Atlanta. They have three grown children.

More About the Author

For over thirty-five years, Ravi Zacharias has spoken all over the world in great halls and universities, notably Harvard, Princeton, and numerous universities internationally. He is listed as a Senior Research Fellow at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford university. He has appeared on CNN and other international broadcasts. The author of several books for adults and children, he powerfully mixes biblical teaching and Christian apologetics. His most recent works include Walking from East to West, a memoir; The Grand Weaver, an exploration of God's intention in both the ordinary and the startling elements of life; and The End of Reason, a rebuttal of the claims of the so-called New Atheists. His weekly radio program, Let My People Think, is broadcast on 1,692 stations worldwide, and his weekday program, Just Thinking, is on 412. He is founder and chairman of the board of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, with additional offices in Canada, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates. Dr. Zacharias and his wife, Margie, have three grown children and reside in Atlanta.

Customer Reviews

I recommend it highly and you would read the book yourself before you make a judgement call on it.
This by itself means little, but Zacharias' attempt to refute historical fact seems to be an example of protesting too much.
Jason Mierek
Jesus is very respectful of Buddha and shows love and compassion to him the same as he would any other human being.
Christ Only

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Gnostic Path on August 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The author attempts to be fair AND to communicate his own view, his own conclusions. This means the book is a short vehicle to present some of his own understanding of the differences between Jesus and Buddha, and to show you his view, his side on the question of how to evaluate Jesus or Buddha.

Some would attempt to be fair and withold their own conclusion if it should be on one side or another, but his point is to respectfully present his side, to SHOW what's going on in his understanding when he looks at Buddhism and Christianity, the claims, the culture, the founders, the sorrows of human life.

It succeeds where other attempts might fail, in that it is not heavy handed and given the short space he does attempt to fairly express views other than his own.

The dialog does not sound stylistically like either the Jesus in various Gospels nor Buddha in various Sutras. It is interesting when Jesus says something that sounds like it is very much along the lines of what might be said in Buddhist lingo, and vice versa when the Buddha says something that relates to things often said in Christian lingo.

It is thought-provoking whatever one's view, and it is clear enough that the author is primarily trying to show his own understanding of Jesus Christianity in contrast to his understanding of Buddhism through his travels in Buddhist cultures and remembering his childhood in India.

It cannot go into too much depth on some things, that isn't unfair it's just a hazard of such a subject, particularly in a short book.
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59 of 72 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I was born and raised to two lefty quasi-Buddhist parents that indoctrinated me with the philosophical pap that passes for Buddhism in the West.

A woman I met on an airplane handed me this book to look at and, at first glance, I scoffed at it but the woman was very gracious and I assured her that I would peruse it later...

Now, I am a born-again Christian and this book was the first step I took in that direction.

Some of the criticisms I have read on this site are valid, as Zacharias does not provide an all-encompassing refutation in this small work--but I don't think he was meaning to (its only like 100 pages), simply giving someone (perhaps like myself) their first critical glance at the Buddhist faith/philosophy and exploring some of the difficult implications that most Buddhists either ignore or suppress.

No, this book does not bring down the hammer and utterly refute Buddhism--but it can be used as an introduction to the ways of Buddhism and how they pale before the Ways of The Master.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Maxon A. Bruno on October 19, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First off, I encourage you to look at a fair chunk of the 1-star reviews for this book. Notice that most merely complain without offering any specifics as to what was wrong with the book. Most attack Ravi's scholarship, but go no further than saying, "He isn't a Buddhist" or "He only talked with Buddhist monks and provides no citations." To rebut these weak assertions, I say the following: (1) Attacking a man's scholarship or character does nothing to invalidate the content or arguments made in the book. The issue is, is what he says about Buddhism true? (2)If he was merely 'well-read' about Buddhism, then people would complain that he never talked with the people who live it. It's ironic that most Western practitioners of the Buddhist philosophy aren't actually true Buddhists, but merely New Age Spiritualists who like to cherry-pick certain flavors out of Buddhism. So the fact that Ravi traveled to all the Buddhist hotspots and conversed (ate and drank with) REAL Buddhists should tell you that Ravi was sincere. If Ravi merely read the Buddhist scriptures and used it for his book, then he'd be accused of 'interpreting' it wrongly. See the vicious cycle? (3) As for a lack of citations, so what? This book wasn't meant to be a comprehensive scholarly journal article. If one is so concerned with whether Ravi is accurately depicting Buddhism, then buy an introductory text and compare and contrast. Finally, there are many 'flavors' of Buddhism and to avoid a book that is over 500 pages long, Ravi merely focused on the core teachings of Buddhism which fundamentally deal with the rest of those flavors. Now on to my review.

I personally thought the book was well-written.
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25 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Green Fire on August 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved the style of this book. Throughout the whole book, I got the sense that I was really there in the boat with Priya as she had the privilege to discuss her life between two great minds. I liked how Mr. Zacharias used her as an example for several reasons:

1. Her position as a prostitute is considered a lowly occupation, no matter what class or cultural background a person comes from.

2. When she contracted her illness, a incurable one at that, she lashed out at the people surrounding her because she was in pain and wanted to share it in a negative form. We, in one aspect or another, all do that.

3. Her life was a downward spiral of pain and suffering. How can we not all identify with that in one aspect or another? We may not be prostitutes but our lives can somehow spin downward. We lose our jobs, homes, family, kids, property, etc.

Priya was "us".

As she has this conversation with these two great men, Jesus and Buddha, she represents what each of us would like to do-ask God to explain the reason for this life.

The conversation between Jesus and Buddha is polite and courteous, thought provoking and full of respect for each other. Not at one time, did I belive that they were attacking each other. Mr. Zacharias did a fine job in expounding one what Buddha taught and contrasting them well.

Jesus would say, the cause of suffering is walking away from God. Buddha said the cause of suffering is personal desire. Jesus says, "I come that you might have life and have it more abundantly." Buddha would say "You must reach Nirvana, the exstinguishment of the self and there will be no more suffering." Which of these worldviews are correct with Priya standing in the middle of them? Read the book and judge for yourselves.
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