Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Hell's Kitchen and Buddhism

"Buddhism is different. It's all about meditation and peace."

I didn't know what to do. All of my supposed knowledge in the area of apologetics suddenly fell flat like a pancake you just dropped on the ground after trying to flip it in the pan like a pro, only to fail and realize that you'll never make it onto Hell's Kitchen (maybe into Heaven's, though). Despite the fact that I had read Ravi Zacharias' The Lotus and the Cross, my memory failed to serve up a tasty rebuttal to his claim that Buddhism was better than Christianity.

"but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame." (1 Peter 3)

The guy wasn't being a toolbag or antagonistic - he was genuinely seeking answers because most of the "Christians" in his life hadn't been able to give him any answers for some very real and tough questions. Granted, the time we spent talking about Buddhism was just a small piece of the conversation, and I was able to give him some answers that he was really interested in, but here's the point I'm getting at:

For the love of all that is holy, please put this verse to work.

I don't want to sound at all prideful or intellectually arrogant in addressing this, but we seem to live in a Christian culture that tells people that the answer to all of their questions is that they just "need to have faith." If I hear that phrase one more time, I'm gonna choke a squirrel. Now, of course, there are some things that require some great faith to accept and walk into, but how do you honestly justify saying something like that when someone asks you to prove that a loving God exists when their father died of brain cancer?

This is what we're dealing with. One of my all-time favorite quotes is, "Behind every question is a questioner." In other words, questions rarely come out of an emotional vaccuum, but are packed with all of the bitterness and rage of the tragedy of life. If that's the kind of thing we're coming up against in our conversations with non-believers, we better be ready.

Apologists like Ravi Zacharias, Paul Copan, and Stuart McAllister are excellent at "helping the believers think." So please, take advantage of the words of these people and arm yourself for battle.


Post a Comment