What Sets Christianity Apart from an Eastern Worldview?

Hank Hanegraaff
Hank Hanegraaff

While it has become increasingly popular to merge Eastern spirituality with biblical Christianity, the chasm that separates these worldviews is an unbridgeable gulf. First, in an Eastern worldview God is an impersonal force or principle. In sharp distinction, the God of Christianity is a personal being who manifests such communicable attributes as spirituality, rationality, and morality (John 4:24; Colossians 3:10; Ephesians 4:24).

Furthermore, in an Eastern worldview humanity’s goal is to become one with nature because nature is God. In this sense, the Eastern worldview is pantheistic—in other words, “God is all and all is God.” Conversely, Christianity teaches that man is created in the image and likeness of his Creator and as such is distinct from both nature and God (Genesis 1:26–27).

Finally, in an Eastern worldview truth is realized through intuition rather than through the cognitive thinking process. In contrast, Christianity teaches that truth is realized through revelation (Hebrews 1:1–2), which is apprehended by the intellect (Luke 1:1–4), and then embraced by the heart (Mark 12:29–31).

“They exchanged the truth of God for a lie,
and worshiped and
served created things rather than the Creator.”

Romans 1:25 

For further study: see James W. Sire, The Universe Next Door: A Basic Worldview Catalog, 5th edition. (InterVarsity Press, 2009); Charles Strohmer, The Gospel and the New Spirituality (Wipf & Stock Pub; Reprint edition, 2004).

 

 
Originally published November 19, 2013.

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