Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Karma of Jesus: A Review

The Karma of Jesus is an engaging, conversation-like exposition of the Karma belief system all mingled alongside a personal memoir of Mark Herringshaw's journey to formulate his belief on the subject. For Herringshaw, this journey started after one of his speeches to young college-aged adults. After his speech, Herringshaw engaged in a discussion with one of the students who had some distinct questions about Christ and the validity of the Karma system. The book follows the natural pattern of their conversation, as well as borrowing from other similar conversations in Herringshaw's life. The book meanders pleasantly through many of the popular functional beliefs in the Karma system all while explaining what Christ "has to do with it."

I was profoundly affected by the book's topic as it was engaging, culturally relevant and personally riveting. My reading, and subsequent thinking, lead to several long conversations with my husband about our beliefs on the issue.

One of Herringshaw's talents is not pushing you to his belief. He presents the facts, states his assumptions and biases, and openly admits his personal beliefs on the subject. For me, this approach was perfect as it allowed me to digest his thoughts along with my own with no pressure to actively "resist" his view. He wasn't pressuring me and as such, he was a non-threatening guide on this journey.

In the end, my conclusion was that the system of Karma may be real, but it is extensively, even infinitely complicated (what with past lives and intent vs. outcomes). And besides that point, and more importantly, it is outdated - Christ died to save us from imprisonment under any and all of the world's systems, including Karma. Whether or not it is real, it imprisons many, and the point is that Christ already died to free them from their self-imposed or society-imposed oppression.

Herringshaw's book forms a beautiful picture of the wide-reaching power of grace - both to those imprisoned by Eastern culture and belief as well as those imprisoned by Western religiosity. Bravo, Herringshaw, Bravo. This is one of the most relevant Christian books I have read in a long time. Five stars!

Note for Full Disclosure: While I do not receive any monetary compensation for my book reviews, I am provided with free complimentary copies of each book. That being said, this review is completely my own, and free from the influence of Bethany House Publishers.

1 comment:

Tiffani R said...

You convinced me to sign up for Bethany House, too - even though I totally don't have time to read more books. I couldn't resist after your review of the karma book. :)

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