August 12, 2020

Recommendation: New Birth or Rebirth? Jesus Talks With Krishna by Ravi Zacharias

Ravi Zacharias continues his Conversations With Jesus Series with New Birth and Rebirth: Jesus Talks With Krishna. (Other available titles in the series on on the same order page.)

Those of us who appreciate Ravi Zacharias as a mentor and teacher have enjoyed these books even as we realize the limitations of each one. The conversations are created from texts and teachings of Christianity and the religion/philosophy being examined. The little books aren’t great literature, but they are a clever way to get to the heart of another worldview and the claims of Jesus. Keep your expectations low if you are looking for a comprehensive discussion, but you will be surprised at what useful apologetic tools each one can be.

What I have appreciated about each book is that Zacharias creates a portrait of Jesus that is relevant to the discussion at hand, but that goes beyond that discussion to the questions of every person. Some readers may not like the idea of Jesus as a fictional character, but I think Zacharias does a great job of anticipating what Jesus would say and how he would relate to every person.

This book explores the teachings of Hinduism and so is the most complex of the series so far. Even Zacharias’ own Indian background as a guide, Hinduism is still a daunting and confusing set of beliefs that are completely alien to the western mind and heart. Prepare to read several things twice and to be puzzled at much of Krishna’s teaching.

But the book does communicate what it is about the eastern worldview that does appeal, and particularly what it is that Christ offers to that distinctive way of understanding life.

It is Hinduism’s complexity, legalism, violence, contradictions, mystery and antiquity that have drawn many westerners to it or its various new age variations. New Birth or Rebirth presents the reader with the clear superiority of Christ, not only on the level of apologetic questions, but as is so true of Zacharias’ apologetic method, also on the level of experiential longing and true humanity.

This book will likely not convert any Hindus that you know, but it could provide a wonderful way to open the door to curiosity about Christ with the many Indians now living in the west. It is, as is the rest of the series, readable, humorous, and brief enough to use in a small group or class.

I recommend the entire series. (And I lament that the conversation with Mohammad was not published, though I understand why.)

The reviewer received a copy of the book.

Comments

  1. weathersbe says

    So we pray… JC… which comes first… the chicken or the egg?

  2. Steve Rowe says

    I have known Ravi and his mission for years and to a certain extent I understand his appeal. How ever as I grow older I have found is his apologetic method incessingly reminds me of Noam Chomsky. Like Chomsky he is able to ferocity devour alternative world views but if he were to apply his critique to his own positions they would fail almost as easily. At the core of the Christian message are a number of concepts such as the tension between Gods Sovereignty and Man’s free will, the Trinity , the incarnation and the exact nature of Biblical revelation that seem to me to defy rational explanation or even analysis. My suspicion is that as the culture of post modernism skepticism grows even more perverse the very analytic apologetic method that Ravi promotes will become increasingly less effective.

    Peace

    Steve in Toronto

  3. I recently purchased, from iTunes, an audiobook of Ravi’s biographical work Walking from East to West: God in the Shadows.

    It was inspiring and informational, when I began to listen to it, the other evening, and again when I did so, last night/this morning.

    Some a link to this page appeared on my internet browser, in a new window. I don’t know how exactly that happened, but I looked on that list, and noticed that Ravi has a new book, which came out just this summer. I did a web search on it, and that’s how I arrived at this entry of yours.

    When I first became a Christian, people referred be to Ravi’s works, but I found them difficult to understand. I recently listened to him on the radio however, and I think that, now that I am more mature in my faith, I will get more from his writings and speeches.

    I think that, due to my background, some of his writings will be especially pertinent, to my situation.

    Thank you for blogging about his latest book. I think it should be placed on my reading list.