Buddhism/Part 12

By: John Ankerberg, John Weldon; ©2000
A chart comparing Buddhist Enlightenment and Christian Salvation.

Buddhist Enlightenment vs. Christian Salvation Chart

Buddhist Enlightenment Christian Salvation
Man’s nature remains fundamentally unchanged; the individual Buddhist accomplishes “enlightenment” but this is only a new perspective on life undergirded by carefully cultivated altered states of consciousness (the experience of “nirvana” in meditation) Man’s nature is changed forever. This is accomplished wholly by God and constitutes an inner change of one’s nature (regeneration) a new legal standing before God (justification) and, logically, a corresponding “outer” transformation (sanctification)
Eradicates “ignorance” of the truths of Buddhism and ostensibly, in the end, suffering Eradicates sin
History is irrelevant; salvation is experientially based and possible through mysticism. Inner experience supplants historical concerns. The person of Buddha irrelevant to process of enlightenment Historically based; salvation is objectively based and impossible apart from the person of Jesus Christ of Nazareth
The believer is saved from life; sin is not forgiven The believer is saved from divine judgment; all his sins are forgiven
Humanistic: man instituted Theological: God instituted
Escapist (salvation from the world) Realist (salvation of the world, i.e., of all believers)
One cannot be reconciled to an impersonal nirvana, one can only “realize” it or “achieve” it; technically, one cannot even experience it. Reconciliation to God
Eternal existence allegedly constitutes an ineffable existence somewhere in between (i.e., not comprising either) total annihilation or personal immortality Eternal life constitutes personal immortality and fellowship with a loving God
Derives from a finite source of change utilizing the power of self-perfection Derives from an infinite source of change utilizing the power of divine grace
Ultimate Reality is the experience of emptiness or ineffable impersonal “existence.” Ultimate Reality is the infinite personal triune God
Faith is denied or placed in Buddhist gods plus works Based on faith in Christ alone apart from works

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