Christian Response to Buddhism

Excerpts from a paper on Buddhism:

Logical problems with Buddhism:

One challenging aspect for this outsider to comprehend regarding Buddhist belief is the seemingly contrary principles of compassion and stoicism. If one frees himself of desire, how can he then follow the eightfold path or any path? How can any meaningful action be taken without a desire to secure some result? If I act to do “rightly” do I not then intend, or in other words, do I not work to obtain, a desired outcome, the “right” outcome? I imagine the Buddhist would answer that the outcome was less important than the action, but I would still wonder why one would choose to act if he had no desire. Refamiliarizing myself with the Four Noble Truths, I see that there are three specific categories of desire mentioned, and perhaps a Buddhist would say that certain desires, outside of these, are good desires which do not lead to the unfulfillment of Dukkha.

Witnessing to Buddhists:

I find no extraordinary gift within myself of sharing the gospel, but worry that my associates’s suggestions were making the whole thing too complicated. I was inclined to say that we should just speak the gospel and put to rest all other stratagems. In all my life I think I have only met one person who had not heard the gospel—we were both children at the time. In America, most have heard the good news, or think they have, and I am not inclined to push beyond explaining who Jesus is and how we should respond. I sometimes worry it is a heartlessness on my part not to strive with all my secular friends on the issue, and yet I have found no argument which can force anyone to have faith in Christ.

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