Michael Woodhead

NEW BIRTH OR REBIRTH

Ravi Zacharias
Multnomah
2008
ISBN: 978-1-59052-725-2
Comparative Religions

In New Birth Or Rebirth?, Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias attempts to show the differences between Christianity and Hinduism.

He does this in a unique way, though, by presenting a conversation between Jesus and Krishna, drawing on material from the sacred texts of both religions.

As well as these major participants, he uses two other 'mortal' characters to introduce things as well as present their own perspective and ask further questions.

Ravi's premise for the book is that the popular belief that "all religions are fundamentally the same and only superficially different" is not true. Rather, he purports that all religions are superficially similar, but fundamentally different.

As much as possible, the author has tried to present both points of view on equal footing. In addition, he also provides a revealing glance at the social strata of India so that an understanding of Hinduism can be a little more complete.

Occasionally, the author lightens things up with a bit of humour. For example, Richard, a Westerner, tries to recall the name of an East Indian dessert, barfi. Unfortunately, the only word he can think of is pukey. In spite of the levity, however, the author doesn't poke fun at any character's beliefs.

In the end, however, it becomes obvious that the author has chosen to promote Christianity as the One True Religion, so to speak, that it has 'exclusive truth'.

That, however, is the whole purpose of the book, and the dialogues have been created to show this.

Although there's nothing wrong with that, it struck me while writing this review that I have frankly never seen an article written by a person of another religion or spiritual belief in which they attempt to refute Christianity. It always seems to be the Christians who try to prove that all the other religions are wrong and possess no truth.

This little book (90 pages) has broached a big topic in an interesting but fanciful way. Regardless of one's own beliefs, it's still worth a read.


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