Friday, August 14, 2009

Cross Purposes, Indeed

The Denver Post has published my letter on Christianity and Buddhism, which responded to a story saying that more people were combining Buddhism with Christianity.

3 comments:

Paul said...

Great! I've added to a note there as well.

pgepps said...

Very concise and clear. For future reference, be aware that the most commonly practiced form of Buddhism both in Japan and in the States, Jodo Shinshu or Pure Land or Amida Buddhism, actually teaches the practitioner's need for and dependence on a form of "grace" (the Vow of Amida, a Buddha who preceded Siddartha, whose basic form is that "if anyone does not receive enlightenment, may I never achieve perfect enlightenment." [ see http://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/48-bosatsu-vows.shtml ]

Your choice of "no subtle self" as a point of differentiation is right on, and certainly the *general* form in which Buddhist/Christian confusion is happenning in the States is the "do-it-yourself" Zen fusion, which can be criticized in the manner you do; but it can also be criticized as being nonrepresentative Buddhism, which underscores your point about incoherent choose-your-own religion.

The very notion that God (or the cosmos, or whatever, for discursive purposes) would be meaningfully interacted with after the manner of our consumerist culture is laughable, and disgusting.

Pastor Jim said...

I found the responses to your letter quite disturbing. Are people really unable to understand such a simple proposition? The majority of the responses really had nothing to do with your point.

I suppose it is simply further evidence, as if it were necessary, that Paul was correct. Fallen man has become futile in his speculations and his heart is darkened.