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4 Stars Out Of 5
March 1, 2010
Mark Herringshaw has a candid, polite conversation with one of his students who is a professed believer in Karma. After class, the student and Mark engage in a conversation about New Age beliefs, Karma, Hinduism, and Jesus. The conversation will take root in you as it honestly seeks answers most of us have had in our lives. Many Christians, who scoff at the idea of Karma and Jesus being pushed so closed together, may not want to read this book. If you are open minded, you will feel each emotion that Andrew expresses to the author, you feel what Jesus felt as others have questioned him two thousand years ago. You will begin to look into your own relationships and ask yourself: Am I an Andrew or a Mark Herringshaw?As you delve further into the book, Mr. Herringshaw lets you peek into his own life and his own battles he had in the past and at the end of his conversation with the student, he admits to Andrew he has learned something new as well.This book surprised me because I was not prepared for the spiritual answers or emotions. The parables he used and the examples from literature, TV, and music touched me deep inside and tears welled in my own eyes when he told Gregs story.I encourage everyone to pick up this book and really glean from it, the love Christ has for us because if it were up to Karma we would have injustice due to us, but Christ bestows Grace and favor. Id rather have Christ.
I appreciate Herringshaw's attempt to articulate an apologetic of grace against the Eastern understanding of karma. I found the illustrations helpful in his endeavor to help us, as Westerners, to begin to understand what we have for so long ignored or avoided. Upon further study this book does not completely reflect the full scope of Eastern religious beliefs and how we me might form a helpful dialog, but that is not the intent of this book. I feel the intent is, at the very least, to introduce the conversation and to that end Herringshaw was successful. I did find the book educational, but I would do more study if I wanted to have a well informed discussion with someone from an Eastern Religion. I do appreciate his willingness to help us understand a culture that is by and large defined by beliefs that are pieced together from various religious belief systems. It is a reminder that we need to be careful with our beliefs. We need to understand them and accurately present them.
A great apologetic, Herringshaw blends humor, theology, philosophy, and personal memories to an interesting analysis of the concept of karma and how it relates to Christ and salvation. It was thought provoking and full of insight on how Jesus negates karma with his one act of selflessness. You can expect to be pleased throughly with this book as it intellectually challenges you to consider the cause/effect justice system of the universe, faith, forgiveness and salvation. I personally enjoy apologetics and I am glad I read the Karma of Jesus.
The Karma of Jesus Begins with Pastor Mark Herringshaw recounting a conversation he had with a young postmodern who had attended one of his talks at the behest of his mother. The young man had recently been in rehab, where he discovered Eastern religion and became a believer in Karma.The format of the book makes it both tedious and frustrating to read. It is normal in a nonfiction book for the author to begin with propositional statements and then give evidence to back up their claims. Herringshaw does not do this. As he puts it, "it's a conversation" (p 183). The chapters ramble on with tidbits of his conversation mixed with his own thoughts and stories. By chapter 5 I was ready to throw the book across the room in frustration as he had yet to make a point. By looking at the title one might expect him to open the Bible and prove that the Eastern idea of Karma can be found in Scripture. Or perhaps he might use the idea of Karma to illustrate how our faith should be evident in our lives by the good works we do. He does neither. There is very little Scripture used. I was left completely unconvinced that there is any Biblical evidence for Karma. If you can make it to chapter six, you will be rewarded as he begins to bring Christ into the "conversation." Chapter seven begins with the comment by Andrew, "You're making Karma out to be what you usually call sin." and with that I breathed sigh of relief - sort of. While the verbal slight-of-hand involved in switching "sin" to "bad karma" is disturbing, it does lead to a discussion of the atonement. I would have loved his treatment of the blood atonement if he talked about SIN, not Karma. Pastor Herringshaw, you are a pastor at a prominent Lutheran church. I beg you, return to the Reformation doctrine of Scripture Alone. All that we need to know about God is contained in His holy Word. Preach the gospel as it is in God's Word and people will be converted and will receive the atonement they need.
As with most people, the question that comes to one's mind at some point in their life is, do things happen for a reason?You might also ask the questions:Do we reap what we sow?When you do good, does it come back to us?Is it true that what goes around, comes around?Most people know these sayings and have even used them in their life. Would you call it Karma? In a way, these karma ideas are also mentioned in the Bible. For example, we've heard of an eye for an eye. Or the Golden Rule of treating others the way you want to be treated. So do Karma and Jesus go together?The author explores this idea which all started when he was questioned by an individual at his church about things happening for a reason. At first, the author wasn't sure how to answer this in-depth question. After much research, the author comes to a very interesting conclusion with a well-researched argument.As a Gen X-er, or in otherwords a late twentysomething, I enjoyed this book. Sure it's written to what many in my generation would find compelling with our use of language. Perhaps many in our generation or younger ask more of these sorts of questions. Think about Hurricane Katrina and the aftermath of questions that came about as people wondered the reason behind such a catastrophe. Or even the event of 9/11 brings up many of these thought processes.Furthermore, the history the author has researched is also helpful for any age. I enjoyed the information about the Magi, which I never really read in to before. This was an interesting book and I was glad I was able to read it.