This book introduces Christian worldview apologetics. It applies worldview principles to engage Advaita Vedanta Hinduism with the biblical responses of Christianity. The Christian worldview focus is as much theological as philosophical.
Chapter one introduces the biblical mandate for apologetics, reviewing the historical and contemporary apologetic scene. It highlights diverse methodological principles in worldview apologetics, laying the groundwork for the method employed.
Chapter two introduces Vedanta Hinduism through the teachings of Sankara, Ramanuja, and Madhva. This is a primer for those unfamiliar with Advaita.
Chapter three examines Christian rapprochement and antithesis with Vedanta Hinduism. The apologist applies worldview apologetics in understanding the access points and biblical dividing lines when these two worldviews confront one another.
Chapter four commences the apologetic engagement with proof. The Advaitin presents the monistic worldview and the ultimate reality, otherwise known as Brahman. The foundational Christian worldview is represented with the scriptures, God, man, and his salvation in Jesus Christ.
Chapter five addresses the offense part of apologetics. The adherents of each worldview contrast their viewpoints against the viewpoint of the other system. Vedanta's monism, impersonal reality, inclusivity, and rationality are contrasted with Christianity's historic self-revelation of God to man.
Chapter six handles apologetic defense through the lens of experience, epistemology, and correspondence with reality. The Hindu worldview has transcending experience, supra-rational epistemology, and deep coherence. The Christian admits a transitory universe, which has no existence as a contingent creation, apart from God.
Chapter seven reviews worldview apologetic practice under metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics. These deal with the ontology of reality in its manifestations and our understanding of the truth....
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Dialogue between Christianity and Hinduism.
I liked that the author (who is from India) was immersed in Hindu culture and respectfully explains Hinduism and its strengths. He then outlines its weaknesses. He gives a Christian response to each perceived weakness followed by a Hindu defense. Finally, he ends with a Christian summary. This book helps one understand both Christianity and Hinduism better.
This is a non-fiction book, so there are no characters per se. This book does review three Hindu philosophers and give a summary of their ideas. The three philosophers are Sankura, Ramanuja, and Madhva.
No, this is the first book by L & H that I have listened to.
Introduction to Hinduisms Major Philosophers and a Comparison of Their Ideas to the Ideas of Christianity.
In a scholarly work of this sort, it is nice to have the footnotes. In this book the footnotes are read in the text very quickly. I think this is helpful, although you have to get used to it at first. This is a very good book and an important resource for apologetics.
Very Useful Work
I am a busy pastor who does not have much time to read anymore. So I have found audio books to be very useful. For some time now, I have been wanting to study Hinduism from a rigorous philosophical perspective. This book does not exactly do this, but it has provided me with a good platform from which to research other books that will hopefully get me closer to my goal. And yet I wouldn't have had the time to read it. Thus the audio version is very valuable. If everyone would put their Ph.D. dissertations on audio books, the world would be a better place!
With this said, the audio could have been better. The narrator gets the content across just fine, but he does so in a strange manner. His voice is very odd. It is almost as if he intentionally has imitated a computer voice.
What does work very well, though, is his reading of the footnotes. It was essential to get the footnotes into the book's audio performance. But how to do this? The footnotes are read a bit faster than the main text. And it works well. I absorbed all the content just fine. Also, the modest amount of simple music between sections or chapters worked well. It's not overdone. It's simple. It gives you time to absorb what has just been read. Bravo.
On the basis of different philosophical beliefs, I would differ with Pradeep Tilak's overall approach. He is trying to take a well rounded approach to apologetics but, in my opinion, ends up falling prey to eclecticism, in the worst sense of the word. If there is one school of thought towards which he seems to gravitate, it is "Reformed epistemology" (Plantinga et al.). I would take a classic approach to apologetics and ground it in an Aristotelian-Thomist realism. So I would have liked to see the author address more directly the Vedantan denial of creation. Wouldn't it be great to engage Vedantan monism by way of the classic arguments for God's existence? If creation ex nihilo in fact can be proven through some version of the cosmological argument, then I would imagine this would open up all sorts of insights into the exact nature of the error of Vedantan monism. But the author does not get that deep. Also, what about laying out a sound philosophical anthropology? If that was done, then the exact nature of the error of the idea of reincarnation could be addressed in fascinating ways. But again, this is not done. I also found his pulling Kierkegaard in at the end of his work to be less than helpful. It's this sort of eclecticism that, far from providing different view points that complement and reinforce each other, only tends towards philosophical confusion. The most useful sections of the work were chapters 4-7.
At any rate, the author provided me with enough food for thought and footnotes to get me headed in the right direction. He has no doubt put a lot of time and energy and love into this book, and it shows. It's well researched and well organized. I don't doubt, moreover, that it could help the thoughtful Christian engage the sincere Hindu on the most important questions in life, thereby opening his heart and mind to Christianity.
- Rev. David Tedesche