We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

"Christian" Samurai"?

It seems like people want to syncretize just about everything with the Christian faith. The latest thing that has come down the pike is the book "The Way of the Christian Samurai," and rest assured it will be one more mine in the minefields known as "Christian" book stores. It is another attempt to blend Eastern religous practices into Christianity in subtle ways. Whatever happened to "His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence"? (2 Peter. 1:3 ESV) Has the Bible become insufficient for our spiritual education? The Berean Call has a very good article about this new book at http://www.thebereancall.org/node/6297

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sorry to comment on such an old post, but judging a book by its cover is hardly a credit to your fellow Christians.

I suggest you consider at least reading a review from someone who has read the book:

http://christianbookreviews.net/?p=238

Great pains were taken to express that the Samurai's teaching were in no way on par with the Christian Way or the scriptures.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Hello Anonymous,

I did not judge the book by its cover; did you read the link I posted to The Berean Call? I have read that review you linked to and I find no reason to change what I said. I guess there are a couple questions I have to ask about this book:

1. Why do we need it? Can we not have a book discussing what the Bible says about the same attributes the author holds in such esteem with the Samurai?

2. As much as the author takes pains to distance the Samurai from Christianity, does not the title of the book itself make the link implicit?

What if someone wrote a book titled, “The Way of the Christian Mormon”? Let me quote the review you cited only change the word “Samurai” to “Mormon.”

“Consisting of excerpts from noted Mormon prophets with commentary noting applications to the Christian life, the book demonstrates how much modern society has lost in its quest for unrestrained egalitarianism. The Mormons may not have been Christian but they did understand concepts that are applicable to the Christian life - often better than we. Integrity, loyalty, honor, service, courage, and self-sacrifice are all things that the Mormons were instructed to live. Naturally, many failed in their personal lives but that is as true of Christian clerics as of Mormons. The important thing was that they understood the standard for which they strived while in many cases we in the postmodern world are oblivious to the existence of standards. To the author’s credit, he constantly emphasizes that the Mormons are not in any way Christian and the Mormon way is infinitely inferior to the Way of Christ. The Mormon way is at times at odds with the Christian way and in these instances we are to reject the Mormon teaching.”

Now, what would you say to a book like this? The idea of using Samurai ideals to teach Christians is inane, and it opens up the whole realm of syncretism with Eastern religious teachings. The Church at large has gone too far down that road already - why encourage it?