Skip to comments.In light of the Brit Brawl, here is a quick comparison... (diff btn Christianity and Buddhism)
Posted on 01/09/2010 3:05:16 PM PST by NYer
... of some essential differences between Christianity and Buddhism:
In his Fundamentals of the Faith, Peter Kreeft writes that "there have only been two people in history who so astonished people that they asked not 'Who are you?' but 'What are you? A man or a god' They were Jesus and Buddha."From the essay:
He then contrasts the striking differences between the two men: "Buddha's clear answer to this question was: 'I am a man, not a god'; Christ's clear answer was: 'I am both son of Man and Son of God.' Buddha said, 'Look not to me, look to my dharma [doctrine]': Christ said, 'Come unto me.' Buddha said, 'Be ye lamps unto yourselves'; Christ said, 'I am the light of the world.'"
It is presently common to find Christ brought down to the level of "philosopher" or "great teacher," just as Buddha is sometimes elevated to a state of divinity. Yet there remain profound differences between the two.
- Christ claimed to be the one and only true God who came to suffer, die, and rise again, establishing a unique and everlasting covenant with man. Buddha is believed to be one of many thatãgata (thus-come-one). The historic Buddha is just one of several thatãgata who come in various ages to teach man that life is an illusion and to strip away human desires and attachments.
- Christ taught that He is "the Way, the Truth, and the Life." Buddha teaches that every person must find their own path to enlightenment, or nirvana, the extinction of self.
- Christ preached the reality of sin, the nature of God the Father, and the need for repentance and salvation. Buddha preached the untenable nature of existence and the means to escape suffering.
- Christ taught that God is completely Other, but also taught that God wishes to share His divine life, given through the Son by the power of the Holy Spirit. Buddha taught individuality must perish and that everything is One.
- Christ established a Church, with a structure of authority, based on His words and Person. Buddha left a teaching in which each person must find his own path.
- Christ rose from the dead, once and for all, and is returning as King of Kings. He claimed divinity by saying, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am." (John, 8:58). For Buddhists, Buddha is a model, regardless of whether or not he was a historical person. Buddha suggests that, "There is no 'I'; there is no 'self'." At his death, when he experienced pari-nirvana, or "final extinction," he stated that the question of the afterlife was, "not conducive to edification." What's important is that man escapes desire by being extinguished.
Very interesting points, thanks.
The other day I was feeling Buddhist and asked the burger joint to make me One with Everything.
Here’s a curve ball for ya;
I know two Chinese immigrants who are both Buddhist and Christian! They say there are many like them. They also say that both work quite well together.
Great post! Thanks.
One (Buddhism) is a philosophy; the other (Christianity) is a faith. Philosophy and faith often bump into each other on the road through life.
In my youth I read everything — I wanted to understand the meaning of life. It seemed to me no decisions were possible without knowing what was important.
I read the Bible, the Koran and Buddhist sutras.
Dante begins: “Midway upon the road of our life I found myself within a dark wood...”
It seems to me now that Buddhism is useful when there is no hope. When one attempts existence in a world of chaos, no hope of justice, security or improvement. One then steels oneself to endure.
Christianity spends a lot of time instructing on ways to live in harmoney with others and developing the self in interaction with others in the greater world.
Islam is a set of rationalities to liberate the conscience
of a warlord to maintain total, humilitating dominance over weaker members of society.
Well, I hear tell that various Caribbean islands are 96% Catholic and 100% voodoo. Seems to happen that way, even in quite remote parts of Europe if the exorcists are to be believed.
. . . walk into a bar?
Like you I also read Buddhist literature and the Koran when I was quite young, before my conversion to Protestant Christianity and then to Catholicism. I agree with each of the religious assessments in your post. I certainly hope, however, that you can now see that your accurate characterization above about the Buddhist world view is based upon a false premise they hold.
We live in a world of meaning, hope, and love which is only temporarily masked by the consequences of our own free will. An even greater good will be made from it by a loving Creator and Redeemer. Once this is understood, the Buddhist desire to eliminate suffering through the annihilation of self is tragically cynical. Although Buddhists are generally very kind and peaceful, they need our prayers for the grace for them to experience the theological virtue of hope and the happiness and salvation that comes from it.
Thank you for your thoughful reply.