This book was not what I had expected. I am ashamed to admit this because it points out just how narrow-minded my personal, American world-view really is. When I received a review copy of this book, I thought I would be reading about how the American church has watered down and legalized the message of Christ to something unsatisfying and unpalatable. While this is part of the book, I'd say the majority of it is pointing out how Christ is the only way among many world religions and directly attacks the new movement of spirituality. I am not familiar with Deepak Chopra, but I would say 60% of this book is a rebuttal to his particular worldview.
Because he was born in India, raised a Hindu and later converted to Christianity- along with his vast traveling throughout the globe, Ravi is able speak candidly in a way that is sharp and unapologetic, yet still above criticism of a narrow mind. He is respectful and even loving, but also far from politically correct. He even says: "I have been fairly blunt because I want readers to be brutally honest with themselves." (p. 230) Early on he points out how television has changed our culture and even attacks, yes attacks, Oprah of all people. I mean, who doesn't like her? I was surprised, and my preconditioned - "try not to be offensive to anyone ever"- mentality was shaken. But as I continued to read, I began to understand why he would bother with Oprah or her philosophy. He explains that it is rationally "impossible to sustain truth without excluding falsehood. All religions are exclusive." He shows us how this is true and has a great understanding of Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism and other world religions.
I love the message of Christ, and the "good news," which it really is! I have never read a philosophy book that was so excited about God's love, and this book is definitely that. You can love God, Jesus and the Bible and not throw reason out the window. This book is not light reading but it is clear that Ravi loves Christ and is passionate about His truth. He says: "the message of Jesus is beautiful and magnificent and life-changing... Spirituality is not good enough. Jesus proclaims the truth- that is why it must exclude all that is contrary to it... his message bridges the greatest gulf within us- that is why it is relevant even today. (p. 269)
I will definitely read more of Ravi Zacharias' work. I have been a Christian for a long time, but I haven't been exposed to the gods of other world religions like I was in this book. I never fully understood how loving and gracious the God of the Bible is compared to the others. I will leave you with two, out of the many quotes I could have chosen, to show this point:
"...Belief in the equal value of every life is a bequest only of the Christian faith." (p. 106)
"God alone knows how to humble us without humiliating us and how to exalt us without flattering us... this is the grand truth of the Christian message" (p. 59)