Sara's Reviews > The Lotus and the Cross: Jesus Talks with Buddha

The Lotus and the Cross by Ravi Zacharias
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Nov 15, 10

bookshelves: first-reads, religion
Read from November 12 to 14, 2010

I received a copy of this book through the Goodreads First Reads program.

I didn't really enjoy this. I suppose it's my own fault, though--I didn't really know what I was getting into, and I had never heard of Ravi Zacharias before. What I was expecting was a comparison of Christianity and Buddhism, maybe focusing on celebrating the similarities while illustrating the basic differences. Nonjudgemental comparative religion, in short. That's not what Zacharias's book is.

The idea of a dialogue between Jesus and the Buddha is an interesting one (especially if you've read Christopher Moore's Lamb). Except it's not really a conversation--it's the Buddha talking himself into corners. Jesus always gets the upper hand. Zacharias says on the introductory page that "Jesus and Buddha can't both be right," and makes it obvious from the beginning how he feels about which is the correct path. I was also uncomfortable about the inclusion of the character Priya. Instead of being just a conversation, it was a struggle over a person's soul. That just sat oddly with me. Additionally, it's been a while since I took World Religion in college, but the depiction of Buddhism seems off.

This book is short, and many pages have single quotes on them. Don't expect any real depth on either Christianity or Buddhism. It's definitely a one-sitting book. I'm glad. I enjoy comparative religion, and I do happen to be a Christian (although I don't attend church very regularly), but I dislike attacks on the beliefs of others. This book really disappointed me.
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