If you want to delve into all the similarities and differences between Hinduism and Christianity, there are many thick, laborious theological works that will aid you on your quest. But if you want to understand the core differences in an easy-to-follow, brief format, Ravi Zacharias’ New Birth or Rebirth? Jesus Talks with Krishna fills the need.
Zacharias’ brief book (less than 100 pages) is part of his Great Conversations series in which he scripts out conversations between Jesus and historical figures. Previous books had Jesus face off with Buddha and Hitler, and now Krishna steps forward to debate Jesus. The conversation style proves very effective and allows Zacharias to develop his points without sounding preachy or getting bogged down in complex theology.
In New Birth or Rebirth?, Zacharias employs two other characters, Subramaniam (Subra) and Richard, who discuss Hinduism from a practitioner’s viewpoint while traveling together. They also eavesdrop on the conversation between Jesus and Krishna from behind a veil, and Subra eventually enters the discussion and asks questions of both speakers to clarify points he does not fully understand.
Hinduism is a very complex religion, so the early part of the conversation lets Krishna give a brief but succinct explanation of how he came to exist and the role he was to play. Zacharias does a commendable job of giving enough information without getting too deep. The dialogue covers such Hindu topics as the caste system, the reliance on works and not grace, and the philosophy of one’s life merely being a play or drama on a universal stage. Jesus clearly maintains that such reliance on man’s works are worthless, and states: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
Zacharias’ comparisons between Hinduism and Christianity allow readers from both sides, and all other religions, to better understand the basic tenets and see the stark differences between the teachings of Krishna and Jesus. -- Jeff Friend, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Ultimate truth. The destiny of souls. The individual heart. Can Krishna and Jesus agree on anything?
This is what Subramaniam, a real-life Hindu of the twentieth century, wonders as he enters a fictitious conversation between two religious figures who have changed the lives of millions. As Jesus and Krishna respond to each other’s view of life and the afterlife, they speak words straight from the texts of Christianity and Hinduism and straight into the soul.
Subramaniam asks Jesus and Krishna hard questions about faith. Meanwhile, a fictional character, Richard, eavesdrops, asking himself the most important question of all:
Does it really matter what I believe?