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Thursday, June 19, 2008

How Jesus finds his way into Oprah's book club?

I just finished reading Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth and I am peeved. What am I upset about? Well it is definitely not his take on spirituality. I am not upset about his thoughts on peace and not having a war mind set. I am not upset about ending suffering in the world or even the very humanistic purposes of the book i.e. a better way of life, personal happiness. What I am upset about is this: Twisting Jesus words and the the words of the Bible and misrepresenting and employing scriptures to his own advantage. It is one thing to have a thought or idea but this book is in Oprah’s book club and I am upset that mainstream America thinks this is cool. That’s where I have to write and let out the fire “shut up in my bones” and I’m not talking about last night’s veggie burrito :)

So here are the specifics that stood out to me:

On page 9 he says sin is to miss the point of human existence. Sin is not about missing the point of human existence. It is missing the mark of God’s righteousness

On page 13 he says goodness lies within us. We do not have any goodness innate within ourselves. It lies only in God and what goodness he brings to our lives

On page 16 He supports Gnosticism as a valid form of Christianity when for the first two centuries after Christ Gnosticism was one of the opponents of Christianity because it denied Jesus physical incarnation and resurrection

He says on page 56 that the peace of God that passes all understanding is a letting go of the ego and realizing that you are I am. The peace of God that passes all understanding comes when we pray and give our requests to the I am

On page 71 he says that Jesus was saying that everybody is truth by stating I am the way, the truth and the life in John 14:6. Jesus was not talking about everybody or he would have said everybody. He was speaking of himself

On page 234 He says Jesus in Luke 17:21 was speaking of people searching for inner space. The context says he was speaking on the Pharisees expectation of a messianic king to restore Israel.

On page 303 He says when Jesus claims he can do nothing of himself he is speaking of enthusiasm. Jesus is not talking about enthusiasm he is saying he depends on God the Father.

I think this upsets me because this book is being read and devoured by mainstream America-church and unchurched. Do we burn the book? No. Do we string up the author? No. I think my concern is more on educating people in churches to be more discerning and more biblically literate. Is anybody else with me on this one?

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