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Beyond Belief
A.L. De Silva



If what has been written so far has stimulated in the reader the desire to know more about Christianity and Buddhism, we will briefly recommend some books for further reading.

A popular and easy to read book exposing many of the fallacies in Christianity is Jesus - the Evidence by Ian Wilson, 1984. Wilson examines the history of the Bible and shows how scholars have demonstrated beyond doubt that it is an untidy compilation composed over several centuries. He also shows how the man Jesus gradually came to be seen as a god.

Another good book is Rescuing the Bible from the Fundamentalists by John Spong, 1991. Spong is a Christian bishop and scholar who freely admits that most of what the Bible contains is either mythological or erroneous, and he gives abundant evidence for this.

Perhaps the most scholarly and thorough critical study of recent times is Is Christianity True? by Michael Arnheim, 1984. This outstanding study examines every major Christian doctrine and exposes each of them to the cold light of reason - and none of them survive the exposure.

Many excellent books on the teachings of the Buddha are available.

A good introduction is The Life of the Buddha by H. Saddhatissa, 1988. It includes a well-written biography of the Buddha and a clear account of basic Buddhist concepts.

What the Buddha Taught by W. Rahula, 1985 and The Buddha's Ancient Path by Piyadassi Thera, 1979 are good introductions.

A Buddhist Critique of the Christian Concept of God by G. Dharmasiri, 1988 is an excellent but highly technical examination of the modern Protestant concept of God from the Buddhist point of view.

A most interesting book is Two Masters One Message by Roy Amore, 1978. In this study the author demonstrates that much of what was taught by Jesus is likely to have been derived originally from Buddhism.

Fundamentalist Christianity poses a real threat to Buddhism, and while we can never hope to match the aggressiveness or organizational abilities of its proponents, we can very easily counter them by becoming familiar with Christianity's numerous doctrinal weaknesses and Buddhism's many strengths. If the Christian challenge stimulates in Buddhists a deeper appreciation for the Dhamma and a desire to live by that Dhamma, then that challenge can be to Buddhism's benefit.

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Updated: 1-5-2000

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