Here are a podcast and notes on Hinduism & Buddhism (22 minutes).

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Introduction to series

  • Format: Date / Founder / Scriptures / Where adherents live / Teachings / Worldview in relation to Christianity / Outreach tips
    • The first four facts are provided on the podcast note page.
    • The fifth and sixth, basic teachings and analysis in relation to Christianity, are provided in the audio lesson (only)
    • The seventh section, Outreach tips, is in the notes.
  • Seven lessons
    • Hinduism & Buddhism (this podcast)
    • Judaism
    • Confucianism & Taoism
    • Islam A: Basics
    • Islam B: Jihad
    • Sikhism, Jainism, Shinto...
    • Baha'i and Tolerance
  • This series should help us appreciate what is distinctive about our faith, while enabling us to resist the liberal and relativizing attacks of the world (see 2 Chronicles 32:19).


LESSON 1: Hinduism & Buddhism

Hinduism

  1. c.1500 BC
  2. [No founder]
  3. Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad-Gita
  4. India (about 80% Hindu), Bangladesh, Nepal... Indian communities worldwide.
  5. Basic teachings -- refer to podcast.
  6. Relation to Christianity -- refer to podcast.
  7. Evangelistic ideas -- see below.

Buddhism

  1. c.500 BC
  2. Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha)
  3. Tripitaka and tens of thousands of pages of other writings in Sanskrit and Pali
  4. East Asia
  5. Note: In the audio recording I state that there may be up to 1b Buddhists globally. A more sober estimate is 500m.

Further:

  • Some Popular Hindu gods and goddesses (there are 1000s, if not millions, as some Hindus claim)
    • Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva (the "trinity" of Hinduism, creator, sustainer, destroyer)
    • Ganesha (elephant god)
    • Krishna, Rama (very popular)
    • Lakhshmi, Deva, Kali (goddesses)
  • The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism
    • All is suffering.
    • Suffering comes from desire.
    • Desire comes from a (false) belief in self.
    • To escape this illusion, we must follow the eight-fold path.

Outreach tips for Hindus & Buddhists:

  • Show interest in other person’s background by learning something about his faith. If he or she is from another country, find out what the dominant religion or religions are in that country.
  • Hindus and Buddhists have little trouble believing in the supernatural world. They have many gods and goddesses, and copious miracle stories. The Danger is not that they will reject Christ outright or deny his resurrection, but that they incorporate him into their faith as just one more god or guru.
  • We need to strive for understanding their faith, with graciousness and respect.
  • Don’t soft-peddle the exclusive claims of Christ. In Christianity there is one life, and this determines our judgment—not multiple cycles of birth-death-rebirth. This means that all of us need to live a moral life now.
  • If you are unfamiliar with the doctrine of reincarnation, be sure to listen to the premium podcast on that topic.
  • One is not reborn as human (or other living being); rebirth takes place in this life. And that's good news!


Next lesson: Judaism