October 14, 2015

The Lotus and The Cross: Jesus Talks with Buddha

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.

Communion means:

-association; fellowship. 

-interchange or sharing of thoughts or emotions; intimate communication

-the act of sharing, or holding in common; participation.
"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen." 2 Cor. 13:14 

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


  1. This looks like a most interesting book. I like Ravi Zacharias alot, love to listen to him on the radio. Reading all that you have written here, I am sure the research he did makes this book strong in what he has to share, It sounds like a beautiful way to share the Gospel without scaring a Buddhist away from the very start.
    Thanks for sharing and telling that it is part of a series as well.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda @ Being Woven

    1. I've just started listening to Ravi on YouTube and I really enjoy his intelligent and thoughtful way of communicating. I'd like to listen to him more. Thanks for stopping by Linda. : )

  2. Thank you for sharing. Sounds like an interesting book. I'm stopping by from women with intention Wednesdays.

  3. I too like to listen to Ravi Zacharias. I'm glad to learn about this book from you. Visiting here from SDG!

  4. This sounds SO interesting! I would love to read more about the lotus flower and how it's diametrically opposed to the cross. LOVE your reviews!

    1. It was very interesting to learn what Buddhists put their faith in, in comparison to the Christian faith. It's a short read, hope you get a chance to read it. I got it from my library!

  5. Oh, wow! I may have to buy this book...I've have some friends who are drawn to so many of the Buddhist beliefs, but also like some things about Christian beliefs and are torn. Thanks for sharing...I've listened to Ravi give presentations online and he is very personable, yet full of wisdom.

    1. It would be a great resource for your friends to have a look at. Ravi writes with respect and compassion. I loved that about the book.

  6. What an excellent concept for a book! My son used to listen to Ravi Zacharias messages on CD that my hubby had. I was the busy mamma who noticed, but never stopped to listen properly. I knew from what I had heard that it was good teaching and I was glad that my son was listening out of his own interest. Sadly, he's turned humanistic and switched God off, but we are praying for him. Thanks for linking on Amanda's Books and More!

    1. Will keep your son in my prayers, that what he heard in those messages will come back to him and bring him back to the Lord. Thanks for sharing Christina.

  7. This sounds like a great book! I loved the point about communion vs. union. Beautiful truth!
    Blessings and smiles,

  8. Thanks for sharing. I love Ravi Zacharias' children's picture books. I think I need to check this adult one out, too!

  9. This book sounds like an interesting read and a way to cause people who have been pulled in by Buddhism to examine what they really believe and where their beliefs are taking them.

    1. It was a great read. Thanks for stopping by Hannah!

  10. Very interesting! I'll have to check this one out! Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday!


Feel free to leave your own thoughts in the comments. I try to respond to all of them by the end of the week. : )

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