Ben Witherington on Depak Chopra’s Latest

The other day at the book store I was looking at the top 10 hard back bestsellers and sure enough another Depak Chopra book was listed as number one: The Third Jesus. I checked out the dust jacket and it seemed to be as I suspected, another new age-take on Jesus that draws on the love and redemption of Jesus, but sort of skips over the cost of discipleship and the road to the cross.

The language is all spirituality and enlightenment, which can be applied to Jesus in a few ways, but does not capture the complete, orthodox picture the Bible and historic church give us about Jesus.

Noted Biblical scholar Ben Witherington has written up a review of the book at his blog and comes to this conclusion:

Jesus did not, and does not come to take us to a higher spiritual plane, so that we might better get in touch with the little bit of God that is in us all or our own God-consciousness. Indeed, he seeks to lead us to have a relationship with the God he called Abba who is wholly other, and who urges us to recognize the Creator Creature distinction. We are not God, nor is God inherently in us or a part of our being. The end result of navel gazing is that we may well get more in touch with ‘our inner child’, but we do not get more in touch with the ‘outer’ God who created the universe and all that is in it. The former sort of spirituality is a form of narcissism, or at its worse, self- worship. The latter form of spirituality reinforces the Creator/creature distinction and leads to worship of the one true God.

I don’t claim to have Jesus all figured out. I don’t claim that people can’t learn from Jesus even if they won’t become committed followers of Jesus. However, I do not believe Chopra presents an accurate view of Jesus with his Biblical grab-bag approach.  Of course the main difference here is my Christian tradition values the Biblical witness and the traditions passed down throughout Christian history. Chopra is coming from a completely different angle, an angle that I think misses out on the life-changing revelation of God and call to discipleship.

4 thoughts on “Ben Witherington on Depak Chopra’s Latest

  1. lotfali

    It seems that exactly who Jesus was and what he meant has been obscured by time and tide, leaving each of us to decide for ourselves what we believe him to be. To me, that’s the beauty of it.

  2. Lisa Mayer

    Mr. Witherington, you live up to your name as you wither away into the newage lies of Depak Chopra. We were warned about you kind of people by Jesus in the book of revelations. When the anti-christ takes his place on the soon to be throne in Jerusalem, it’s you people that will support and rally around and worship him. Thanks for taking just a little bit more glory away from our saviour. You will both live to regret those words about our KING..

  3. Lisa Mayer

    Your words contradict everything Jesus taught. You don’t worship yourself to know God.
    That is worshipping a creation, not the creator, even the old testament warned of idol worship. Need i remind you of what happened in the Sinai Desert when Moses came down off the mountain and saw the “chosen people” worshipping an idol? We as a created being are considered an idol if we therfore idolize ourselves. Self worship is senseless. Are we as God? Can you do anything he did? Try creating a Universe and a planet, think real hard, meditate on it, will never happen dude…
    Jesus came to put an end to all the crazy rituals and sacrafices that had gotten so out of control on the earth in the name of God. He was the ultimate sacrifice from God to put an end to all other rituals and sacrifices that were unneccessary and polluted by man.
    Jesus was God in the flesh. But because people cannot fathom God in this dimension he came as the only perfect man to walk the earth. You obviously cannot understand the trinity, Father,Son and Holy Spirit. God is the pure Essence, the creator, Jesus was the word of GOD made flesh. The Holy Spirit is that which makes the connection to ‘them’ for humans to this day, Seems not only is Jesus and God getting a bad rap these days, the Holy Spirit is giving up on you that are the spirit of anti-christ, anti-god. I’ll pray for your ignorance viel to be lifted…

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