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Magazine Web Edition > June 1994 > A Point-Counterpoint of Hindu and Christian Beliefs

A Point-Counterpoint of Hindu and Christian Beliefs



The editors of Hinduism Today and Christianity Today collaborated to compose the following sumaries of their respective faiths. These were published in Christianity Today in February, 1993, as an ecumenical gesture for greater understanding between the 2.5 billion members of these two great religions.

Hindus Believe:

1) In a one, all-pervasive Supreme Being who is both immanent and transcendent, both Creator and Unmanifest Reality.

2) That the universe undergoes endless cycles of creation, preservation and dissolution.

3) That all souls are evolving toward union with God and will ultimately find spiritual knowledge and liberation from the cycle of rebirth. Not a single soul will be eternally deprived of this destiny.

4) In karma, the law of cause and effect by which each individual creates his own destiny by his thoughts, words and deeds.

5) That the soul reincarnates, evolving through many births until all karmas have been resolved.

6) That divine beings exist in unseen inner worlds and that temple worship, rituals and sacraments as well as personal devotionals create a communion with the devas and Gods.

7) That a spiritually awakened Master is essential to know the Transcendent Absolute, as are personal discipline, good conduct, purification, self-inquiry and meditation.

8) That all life is sacred and to be loved and revered, through the practice of nonviolence, ahimsa.

9) That no one religion teaches the only way to salvation above all others, but that all genuine religious paths are facets of God's Pure Love and Light, deserving tolerance and understanding.

Christians Believe:

1) In one God in three persons. He is distinct from his creation, yet intimately involved with it as its sustainer and redeemer.

2) That the world was created once by the divine will, was corrupted by sin, yet under God's providence moves toward final perfection.

3) That in Adam's sin, the human race was spiritually alienated from God, and that those who are called by God and respond to his grace will have eternal life. Those who persist in rebellion will be lost eternally.

4) That through God's grace and favor, lost sinners are rescued from the guilt, power and eternal consequences of their evil thoughts, words and deeds.

5) That it is appointed for human beings to die once and after that face judgment.

6) That spirit beings inhabit the universe, some good and some evil; but that our worship is due to God alone.

7) That God has given us a clear revelation of himself in Jesus and the sacred Scriptures. He has empowered by his Spirit prophets, apostles, evangelists and pastors who are teachers charged to guide us into faith and holiness in accordance with his Word.

8) That life is to be highly esteemed but that it must be subordinated in the service of biblical love and justice.

9) That Jesus is God incarnate, and therefore the only sure path to salvation. Many religions may offer ethical and spiritual insights, but only Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life.


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