The Lord created human beings with an innate spiritual hunger. Our search for satisfaction and fulfillment takes us in all sorts of directions, as evidenced by the way "Jesus" is defined and depicted through the smorgasbord of spiritual experiences that attract millions of followers. In essence, the world has created a "Jesus" (actually many "Jesuses") in its own image. Although the name may be revered, it is little more than a "dumbed down" version of the God who stepped into history to redeem sinful man. Ravi Zacharias is one of the great Christian minds of our day. "Why Jesus?" is a well-reasoned and clearly-stated Christian apologetic that takes aim at the "New Age/New Spirituality" of this postmodern era. The author is not afraid to name names, exposing the fallacies of such self-proclaimed gurus as Deepak Chopra and Eckhart Tolle, and cautioning readers to be wary of the "spiritual testimonies" of media darlings like Oprah Winfrey. Zacharias' arguments are based on a strong biblical hermeneutic, as he implores us to return to the time-tested Scriptures. His eastern background gives credibility to his insistence that much of the "new spirituality" that has taken hold in the West has its origin in eastern thought, especially Hinduism. Therefore, it is not "new" at all, but is as old as the serpent's deception of Eve in the Garden of Eden. Some readers may tend to get lost in the middle of the book where the author traces the development of eastern religious thought. One is urged to remain with it, however, because in the end he exposes the emptiness of striving to find the "god" within each of us, and makes an appeal to trust the Lord Jesus Christ (and Him alone) instead. The book is well written and not a difficult read. It would be worth passing a copy along to college or graduate students who are struggling with matters of faith and/or the firming up of their own world views.
We all have deep spiritual hunger. We long to escape the world around us and have peace within. We are offered a spiritual smorgasbord. Ravi reviews the most popular forms of the New Spirituality and their marketing techniques. He reveals their underlying worldviews. He then looks at the message of Jesus, the one and only hope for mankind.
He notes that New Age Spirituality has displaced inductive reasoning with personalized mystical revelation as the basis for truth. (30) He reviews the impact of Oprah and Chopra, including their spiritual journeys and their success. He reveals the eastern roots of the "new" Western Spirituality, identifying the Hindu and Buddhist links, and describes the designers of the east to west movement. He addresses the "...bizarre twists of truth offered by proponents of the New Spirituality." (230)
He explains how the west lost its way and stumbled into the New Spirituality. He reveals the decline of the Word, the Son, and Truth. He also shows how many have reshaped Jesus to suit our prejudices.
The is a great book for people wanting to understand the successful offerings of spirituality by people like Oprah and Chopra. Ravi was born in India and from that background is able to clearly explain the eastern basis for their spirituality. He also includes evaluations of authors like Eckhart Tolle, Neale Donald Walsch, and Elizabeth Lesser.
This book would be helpful in approaching those who have been leaning toward any of the New Spirituality gurus.
Ravi's conclusion is that spirituality is not enough. We need Jesus.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review. The opinions expressed are my own.
This book is a good book for those who are questioning their faith or would like to rediscover their initial enthusiasm for Christianity. Ravi Zacharias takes the issues of today and weaves the truth through them.