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New Birth or Rebirth?: Jesus Talks with Krishna (Great Conversations) Hardcover – Bargain Price, June 17, 2008
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About the Author
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
But I am doing so because the one notion that all religions subscribe to (either explicitly or implicitly) is the notion of exclusive truth. Populists like to deny that premise, but all religions either make this claim or try to covertly smuggle it in.
The question, therefore, is not whether one enjoys a discussion like the one that follows in this book but whether the arguments are fairly presented. That is much harder to do, especially where length is limited. I have, therefore, selected to write about what I consider to be the greatest differences between Jesus and Krishna.
As always, putting words into the mouths of historic figures is a challenge. I have done my best to take ideas straight from what has already been quoted in each faith’s sacred texts and put them into context here.
Hinduism is a complex belief system. At times the following conversation will become quite philosophical and intricate. Please be patient as we work through these areas of belief so that the truth and beauty of Christ’s gospel is fairly presented against the backdrop of Hinduism’s complexity. To present either of these beliefs as simple is to not understand them fully.
As with the other books in this series, I have introduced a third personality who can raise questions legitimately, since any known conversations between Jesus and Krishna do not exist. Subramaniam was a real person. Born a Hindu in the early part of the twentieth century, his is one of the most remarkable stories I have ever read. He challenged the religion of his birth and faced immense persecution for his actions, being ostracized and finally fleeing from his hometown to avoid death.
Incidentally, I have always marveled that so many religions exact this kind of revenge against dissenters. It only weakens the appeal of their own faith and contradicts any claims they might have made that “all religions are basically the same.” If all religions are indeed the same, why not let someone be "converted” to another religion?
I also marvel at the fury sometimes evident in those who attack others for examining and questioning their own worldview. If the repercussions of converting weren’t so serious, it would almost be comical to see the animosity of the responses. But what this revenge demonstrates so strongly is an inbuilt belief that conversion is wrong. And why is conversion so forbidden?
It circles back again to the one notion that all religions subscribe to—the notion of exclusive truth. I have also introduced a fourth character, Richard, a fictional traveler to India who converses with Subramaniam on the road to Mathura and later eavesdrops on the conversation between Jesus, Krishna, and Subramaniam.
Richard does not lean heavily behind the curtain, as Subramaniam does, but it is my hope that he will someday—as it is my hope that all people who seek spiritual truth will. Another factor is at stake in the following discussion: it is easy to take the weakest aspect of a worldview and exploit it. But that is not what I wish to do. When one encounters expressions of belief that are openly affirmed and followed, even when they seem bizarre, one must ask the hardest questions. One must examine the stronger
aspects of any worldview as well.
At base, one of my consistent premises throughout this series is that the popular aphorism “All religions are fundamentally the same and only superficially different” simply is not true. It is more correct to say that all religions are, at best, superficially similar but fundamentally different.
In the pages to come, I hope that the vast differences between Christianity and Hinduism will become very evident in this imaginary dialogue. Yet it is important to remember that, as different as these faiths are, we must learn to accept those differences peaceably. Still, let us not be so mindless as to think that Christianity and Hinduism are saying the same thing and that, in the end, the differences do not really matter. Both claim to be true and legitimate. This rationally implies, then, that it does matter what you believe. That is what this imaginary dialogue is about.
Top Customer Reviews
In my choice to convert, I needed something to 'get me over the hill' if you will, and understand some simple conceptual differences between Jesus and Krishna for my own curiosity. I was surprised to see that this book existed in my local bookstore, and having heard about the reputation of the author, decided to purchase the Kindle edition here.
Sadly, I have come away unimpressed, doubtful of Zacharias as a pastor/preacher, and dismayed at the lack of both knowledge and good sense in Christians conveying the higher thoughts of comparative religions while attempting to demolish them. This book has shown its true colours as a form of hate media that uses an ugly type of manipulation to convert people with misinformation. It was so bad to read that there were numerous times I could not really believe these were written by an adult.
There the numerous problems I found with New Birth or Rebirth by Zacharia. The majority of them were theological errors, an erroneous understanding cultivated by poor reflection upon difficult points in history of the Indian nation, or just a heavily out of context view of doctrines, concepts or ideals. I would therefore dissuade any self respecting Christian from attempting to convert using the information presented in this book. Doing so would not only make you look and sound misinformed, but deeply ignorant.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Deep deep book, you must it twice and take notes to fully grasp what is being said. I definitely recommend this book!Published 4 months ago by Christopher Norman
Another warped Christian tunnel vision view of the Vedas and Krishna. I thought this was going to be a book that examined similarities, instead it was a sad attempt to discredit a... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Blue
Now I understand the Hindu religion better. So now I can witness to them even better.Published 17 months ago by Luis Argudo
I really liked this book. It didn't take long to read, concisely describes the two main viewpoints and throws in general tidbits about Indian culture too. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Jen M
These books by Zacharias are very good.....well thought through and well written.Published on August 26, 2014 by KEHL
A very insightful look into the claims of Jesus and Krishna. You will not regret reading this book! Definitely worth it.Published on March 11, 2014 by Sam