Professor Reuben David has dedicated his life and ministry to a reasoned defense of the gospel and a broader understanding of the historic Christian intellectual tradition. A journalist by profession, he has spoken in Europe, Asia, and America, and to university audiences around the world. He has addressed media and religious leaders in several venues, including a remarkable session entitled, “Understanding Islam: Challenges to Democracy and Diversity,” organized by the Association of Muslim Social Scientists in Washington, DC.A former Visiting Scholar with The Wilberforce Forum, the Christian worldview think tank founded by Charles Colson, Mr. David has written extensively on world religions. Born and raised in India — home to Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism — Reuben is well versed in the practical realities of comparative religions today. His first-hand knowledge of religions, cults, and the competing philosophies and ideologies of our day has made him a popular lecturer and seminar leader with university students and adult audiences alike. Reuben David holds masters’ degrees in mass media, psychology, and religion from Regent University in Alexandria, Virginia, and from Bangalore University in India. He is currently a professor of journalism at the North Central University in Minneapolis, Minnesota.View all articles by Prof. Reuben David
In The Third Jesus, Chopra writes there is not one Jesus, but three. First, there is the historical Jesus, the man who lived more than two thousand years ago and whose teachings are the foundation of Christian theology and thought. Next there is Jesus the Son of God, who has come to embody an institutional religion with specific dogma, priesthood and devout believers. And finally, there is the third Jesus, the cosmic Christ, the spiritual guide whose teaching embraces all humanity, not just the Church built in His name. He speaks to the individual who wants to find God as a personal experience, to attain what some might call grace, or God-consciousness, or enlightenment.
Chopra is arguing for a syncretistic Christianity, a mix and match, a pot-luck faith where we all feast on different foods. The question is: how sure are we that we are not feasting on contaminated food, even worse food that can poison our soul?
This is classic postmodern inclusivism, a kind of Hegelian dialectic, which argues there is no right or wrong thesis but a synthesis of two opposing ideologies.
It’s the tragedy of western Christianity that in many churches and institutions Jesus has been deconstructed to become a laconic teacher, a pagan Christ, a Gnostic revealer, a de-enlightened male, a magician, a cynic philosopher. Put simply, He has been transmogrified. It’s a fascinating word that American Heritage dictionary says, “To change into a different shape or form, especially one that is fantastic or bizarre”.
Chopra is reducing Jesus to be another eastern mystic and not as the incarnation of God. Jesus is certainly eastern, precisely middle-eastern, but the geographical origin of His birth doesn’t reduce His deity. Jesus still remains who He is: the only incarnate God who lived on earth. The world’s calendar divides on His birth, AD and BC.
Chopra is teaching nothing more than pagan Eastern Mysticism which says that we are all “God”. “God” in Eastern Religions is all creation. It says that everything in creation, the rocks, the stars, the planets, bugs, fish, animals, human beings all inclusively make up this single holistic “God consciousness”. Eastern philosophies make no distinction between holiness and sinfulness. The idea that man is a fallen human being is considered to be an affront to human dignity. It accepts that mankind is inherently good and that we all can experience God within without ever having to place faith in Christ as our redeemer.
The essence of Chopra’s argument is that Christianity needs to overcome its tendency to be exclusionary and refocus on being a religion of personal insight and spiritual growth. In this way Jesus can be seen for the universal teacher he truly is–someone whose teachings of compassion, tolerance, and understanding can embrace and be embraced by all of us.