OPENING OBSERVATIONS

  1. The similarities (ultimate truth, longing for the holy) are greatly outweighed by the differences (God, goal, salvation...)
  2. General Revelation & Special Revelation
    1. Special
      1. Scripture (Bible)
      2. The person of Jesus Christ
      3. The history of Israel (OT)
    2. General
      1. Nature
      2. Conscience
      3. Wisdom of the elders
      4. Spiritual counsel
    3. Sunlight and moonlight
  3. Eastern and Western attitudes towards scripture
  4. Jeremiah 23 — power of self-deception (religious experience)
  5. Interactions: observant and respectful.
  6. Humility in interpretation: everyone interprets

WORLD SCRIPTURES 

WESTERN (monotheistic)

  • Judaism —Tanakh (Torah + Nevi’im + Kethuvim)
  • Islam—Qur’an
    • Sound may be more important than content
    • Missing narrative / borrowing from OT and NT
    • Hadith – authorized records of words and deeds of Muhammad
    • Imperfectly copied
  • Christianity—Bible

 EASTERN (polytheistic)

  • Hinduism — Many: all is one. Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita
  • Jainism—Angas, Upangas
  • Buddhism — Many: all is nothing. Tripitaka, Sutras
  • Zoroastrianism—Avesta
  • Confucianism—Analects. Not really a religion — although there are temples.
  • Taoism—Yin & Yang, Nature, Balance. A lot of magic, and Shamanism. I Ching, Dao de Jing
  • Shinto—Kojiki, Nihongi, Yengishiki.
  • Sikhism — Feels both Hinduistic and Muslim. Granth
  • Baha’i — All roads lead to God? Writings of the Báb, Bahá'u'lláh, `Abdu'l-Bahá, Shoghi Effendi and the Universal House of Justice, and the authenticated talks of `Abdu'l-Bahá

 FROM CHRISTIANITY

  • 19th C. 
    • Mormonism—Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, (Modified) KJV 
    • Jehovah’s Witnesses—New World “Translation” + Watchtower literature
  • 20th C.
    • Christian Science—Science & Health with Key to the Scriptures
    • Scientology— SciFi writing of L. Ron Hubbard
    • Unification Church, or Moonies—The Divine Principle
    • Other
      • Christian Gnosticism—various
      • Messianic Judaism
      • Rastafarianism—Gospel of Ras Tafari

BIBLE: 7 reasons to trust it

  1. Correctly analyzes human predicament. A true story.
  2. Coherent
  3. Checks out (with history etc)
  4. Checks out in our lives, too
  5. Honest about failings of characters.
  6. Copied well
  7. Christ: in the Word we see the Word