• A Brave New World Article by Robert Rothwell

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2008

    On September 14, 2001, as the United States was still coming to grips with al Qaeda’s assault on New York and Washington, D.C., dignitaries gathered in the national cathedral to memorialize the dead and show forth the country’s resolve to stand united against its attackers. Though ostensibly a Christian house of worship, the clergy leading the service did not all represent the Christian faith. In fact, a rabbi and an imam both had roles in the “worship,” which was opened with an invocation calling upon the “God of Abraham and Mohammed and Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ … View Resource

  • Eastern Bankruptcy Article by Dan Iverson

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2012

    My son, Danny, came home from his Japanese baseball practice exclaiming, “Dad, coach is making us worship the ground.” The coach had required them to bow toward the ground in worship. I called a Japanese pastor who said that this was indeed false worship. He reminded me that Japan is pantheistic, like Eastern religions generally. Everything is “god.” There is no distinction between the Creator and creation. In that worldview, it is proper to worship your playing field. This later became a problem for Danny at practice when he would not bow.The first error in Eastern religion is that … View Resource

  • Eastern Idolatry Article by Peter Jones

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2012

    C.S. Lewis gets many things right. Years ago, he concluded that there were only two possible answers to the religious search: either Hinduism or Christianity, which are ultimate, contradictory expressions of religion—that is, either One-ist pantheism or Two-ist theism (Letters of C.S. Lewis, pp. 479–80). Pantheism is the “very spiritual” belief that “god” is in everything. From this conviction derives the phrase “all is one and one is all.” This part of God in everything joins everything together. Since human beings are inherently spiritual, pantheism is the original default button of the rebellious creature. God is not above … View Resource

  • Enlightenment Article by J. Nelson Jennings

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2012

    Many Westerners’ impressions of Eastern spirituality have been shaped by gazing at puzzling statues of Buddha or by hearing George Harrison sing “My Sweet Lord” to Krishna. Those impressions can range from something unproductive to plain weird to strangely attractive and fashionable. By “Eastern spirituality,” we basically mean Hinduism and Buddhism. However, both of these traditions are extremely diverse and hard to describe. Hinduism is a folk religion that developed in the Indian subcontinent long ago. Buddhism is an offshoot of Hinduism and has sprouted numerous branches in its twenty-five-hundred-year history. “Enlightenment” is the shared goal of Hinduism and Buddhism … View Resource

  • Philosophical Taoism Article by Michael Gleghorn

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2012

    Philosophical Taoism, often represented by the yin-yang symbol, originated in China with the teacher Lao Tzu (604–517 BC ). Although we do not know much about his life, he left his teachings behind for posterity in a brief work called Tao Te Ching, that is, “The Way and Its Power/Virtue.” The term Tao is typically translated as “way” or “path.” The chief goal of philosophical Taoism is to conserve life’s vitality by not expending it in the useless ways of friction and conflict. One does this by living in harmony with the Tao (way) of all things: the way … View Resource

  • A Rose Is a Rose Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | April 1998

    A rose is a rose is a rose. This dictum reinforces the adage that a rose by any other name is still a rose. The idea is that the essence of the rose is not conditioned by what name is attached to it. It is its res, not its nomina, that determines what it is. In different languages, the same flower is known by different names, but it is still the same flower. When we apply this idea to theology things get a bit more complicated. Indeed the rose adage has been transferred indiscriminately to religion in order to create … View Resource

  • The Temptation of Idolatry Article by Robert Barnes

    FROM TABLETALK | April 1998

    The temptation to pursue a new way of salvation, a new path down the road to righteousness, is an eternal struggle. The Puritans experienced it and warned us of the vanity and shear arrogance of creating our own custom-fit cult, which is codified clearly in various false religions. Question 108: What are the sins forbidden in the second commandment? Answer: The sins forbidden in the second commandment are, all devising, counseling, commanding, using, and any wise approving, any religious worship not instituted by God Himself, tolerating a false religion, the making of any representation of God, of all or any … View Resource

  • Where East Meets West Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2012

    I cannot count the number of times I’ve heard, “I believe there’s a little bad in all that’s good and a little good in all that’s bad.” The problem is not the number of times I’ve heard this but that I’ve heard it most often from professing Christians. While I assume most are unaware, the statement is deeply rooted in Eastern mysticism and strikes against the very heart of the Christian faith, which asserts unequivocally that our triune God is altogether righteous and the sovereign Judge over all that’s evil. The Yin-Yang (y─źnyáng … View Resource

  • Why Are Eastern Religions So Attractive to So Many? Article by Winfried Corduan

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2012

    Recently, I was talking to a Buddhist nun. Originally from Hanover, Germany, she had studied Buddhism in a course on religions, read a few more books, and left home and family to join an order in Taiwan. I asked her on what basis she had decided that Buddhism was true. She responded that there was no firm measuring stick but that as you observe the positive traits in the lives of people who pursue a certain set of beliefs, you may find yourself inclined to adopt their principles as well. Her answer was subjective and pragmatic. It also implied that … View Resource