This book is part of a series of short stories Ravi Zacharias has put out, called 'Great Conversations.'
The back cover of this one says:
"Step into a long-tail boat... and become immersed in an imaginary conversation between Jesus Christ and Gautama Buddha."
This is important to understand before you read this little treasure... that this book is an imaginary conversation to introduce us to the teachings of both Buddha and Jesus.
In the introduction Ravi says here of writing the book:
"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."
It is a cleverly written and engaging read. There were many times I had to pause and think about what was being said. Many religions of the world have very close beliefs to Christianity, but with one major difference, their rejection of Jesus Christ as the Son of God.
Buddhism is very concerned and sincere when it comes to being compassionate. This is what attracts so many to it. But this book shares why this is not enough.
Ravi Zacharias later says this in the introduction:
"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."
Here are a few quotes that stayed with me:
"When you mix falsehood with truth, you create a more destructive lie."
"There is no way to talk of what one ought to do without showing the value of the person."
"The purpose of life... is communion, not union. There can be no meaning when the goal is to meditate oneself into oblivion. But meaning is found in a relationship with the living God. That's what it's all about - a relationship."
This last quote moved me the most. What's the purpose of life?... "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind." Matt. 22 37... it's communion with the living God.
It's the love shared between us and Him in communion. His unconditional love, and our conditional love made perfect in Him. Silent meditation will never accomplish this, only communion with the living God will.
I highly recommend this book for those who are curious about Buddhism, as well as the differences from Christianity. You will discover how much Buddhism has influenced the west, and how much we all need Jesus.
*Note - Ravi Zacharias's 'Great Conversations' series also includes conversations with Oscar Wilde, Hitler and Krishna.
Buy it HERE on Amazon