Ligon Duncan on the Non-Negotiables of the Gospel

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  • Wednesday, April 30, 2008

    Christian Response to Eckhart Tolle on Death



    Difference between Eckhart Tolle and Christianity on the subject of Death

    Whereas Tolle speaks as if only to come to "accept" death is enough, the Christian "overcomes" death (thorough resurrection & through God ultimately destroying death).

    Whereas Tolle suggests one is fine as long as one comes simply to "admit" guilt; Christianity recognizes atonement must be made. (For example, suppose a murderer stood before a judge and said "Okay, I ADMIT I did wrong. Will a righteous judge respond by saying "confession" alone is enough, you're free to go? No punishment or restitution is in order? If a human judge should not do this, then do you think the righteous judge of all the earth will do so?)

    Whereas Tolle looks life in the past when death arrives (i.e., through surrender the flower "had" happened); Christianity looks to life eternal which continues.

    Whereas Tolle suggests that death no longer matters when the "thought forms die", Christianity recognizes that while one can come to accept death, death still is significant - it separates us our soul from our bodies, it temporally separates us from our loved ones, and death itself is real foe which causes real harm - that's why Jesus did not look upon death as no big deal, but even prayed "If it be possible may this cup be taken from me..."

    While Tolle suggests it's enough simply to "find death before death finds you", Christianity recognizes that simply coming to "accept" death (in Tolle's way of thinking) does not do away with the power, effects or consequences of death.

    While Tolle suggests that man alone can solve the problems of death, Christianity teaches it was necessary for God himself to send his Son to die that we may have victory over it.

    While Tolle suggests one a "few human beings" have come to deal with death victoriously; Christianity points out that all those who have and will believe on Jesus Christ will overcome death.

    While Tolle's position (in this video) appears to be that of annihilation, Christianity consistently recognizes the eternal character of the life found in Christ even through death.
    Christ

    9 comments:

    jazzycat said...

    You mean to tell me that people really listen to this nonsense? Could I sell books if I said things like the following?…..

    It seems that death in perspective to forms dissolving through light that resides in all who want to be involved with a simple desire of purpose will carry forth into the transcendental organic overcoming of the essence of being that humans possess affirms that hope which is the blooming of beauty and then you surrender like a flower.

    Obviously the art of selling snake oil is alive and well!

    Greg Finch said...

    It's astounding how far people will stretch their imagination to embrace the idea of salvation in self. This is a very dangerous time for the millions that are investing in Tolle's teaching. I have some in-depth thoughts and research at http://bigeasyjesus.blogspot.com. I would love to know what you all think about the lineage of philosophers who set the stage for Tolle.

    Undark said...

    "Whereas Tolle suggests one is fine as long as one comes simply to "admit" guilt; Christianity recognizes atonement must be made. (For example, suppose a murderer stood before a judge and said "Okay, I ADMIT I did wrong. Will a righteous judge respond by saying "confession" alone is enough, you're free to go? No punishment or restitution is in order? If a human judge should not do this, then do you think the righteous judge of all the earth will do so?)"

    Can you really compare god to a HUMAN judge? How do you know what, a being you've never met, never spoken to, never had a conversation with... will say or do.. what this being is thinking or how it will act?

    How do you know that just by judging other people and slapping a label like "cult-leader" or "anti-christ" doesn't get you condemned by your god?

    Who are you to judge any other human being? Are you pure from sin? Has god descended from heaven and told you, "Hey, feel free to be my mouth and judge other people?"

    As with the Bible or the Koran, Tolle's teachings have helped many people through some very traumatic experiences in life. I won't knock anyone else's faith in life.. it is not my place for I am human as are you...

    I'm reminded of a story I was told in sunday school about the woman who gave some copper to the church and the rich men who donated several pieces of gold were laughing at her donation. Jesus said she has given more than you because she has given everything she has to give.

    What have you given and what has Tolle or Oprah given the world? Who is perpetuating the truly insane idea that one religion is better than the other? Tolle says in one of his books that there is a truth which is at the heart of all religions. What truth have you found in yours?

    swordbearer said...

    Undark,

    If you were pure from sin, you would not have to worry about atonement and restitution, but could be at peace; but as it is, you not only deny whether God and his ways can be known, but lack the righteousness and peace that only God can provide. If you acknowledged his truth, he would graciously give what you are lacking, and then your boast would be neither in what Tolle and Winfrey or I have given to the world, but that which God himself provides which sets one's heart at rest and leads to peace and joy everlasting.

    Jennifer said...

    undark....right on !
    Amen...
    It is interesting how we human beings
    think we actually can being to comprehend the immensity of god's universe. So much so that we can sit in judgement of others and their beliefs.

    BE present, Live and Love.

    swordbearer said...

    Jennifer,

    Can you explain what you mean by the relationship between understanding the "immensity of God's universe" and the "right to judge others?" I do not see the connection.

    swordbearer said...

    Jennifer,

    Can you explain what you mean by the relationship between understanding the "immensity of God's universe" and feeling like we have the "right to judge"? I do not follow your logic and it appear you may have perhaps confused both the Christian position on the comprehensible nature of God as well as the character of Christian witness.

    incredulous said...

    Wow, Well I guess my chosen name, Incredulous, says it all. All of this pontificating and judgment, condemnation of Eckhart Tolle and Oprah, coming from people whose entire religion is based on...wait a minute, let me get this straight here...the idea of ....A VIRGIN BIRTH!!! BA-HAAAAAAAAAAAAA!! are you KIDDING me? Considering you are the same easily led bunch of sheep that was lured into electing our current president, I guess I shouldn't be so shocked. You're beyond pitiful.

    anhangüera said...

    I agree with undark and I think what Tolle says completely makes sense. And if you guys can't grasp how deeply Christian these teachings really are, I won't judge nor blame you.

    Rather, I would like to acknowledge your guts to keep discordant strong opinions when you could easily wipe then out and leave the weak ones that would "prove your point". This denotes honesty - I think you guys really believe what you say. And I believe this honesty will end up serving you very well.