Review of The Zen of Jesus Christ

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Nzube Chizoba Okeke
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Review of The Zen of Jesus Christ

Post by Nzube Chizoba Okeke »

[Following is an official review of "The Zen of Jesus Christ" by Carlos O. Santacruz.]
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4 out of 5 stars
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Have you ever heard of the gospel of Thomas? I'm talking about Thomas, one of Jesus' disciples. For regular Christians, Thomas represents doubt and unbelief. However, Carlos O. Santacruz makes us see Thomas in a different light. Also, he tries to find a balance and connection between Jesus Christ's sayings and the Zen teachings. If you are open-minded enough and hungry to know more, get yourself The Zen of Jesus Christ: Discerning The Kingdom of the Tao with The Dragon Eye of Zen.

Being a contemporary Christian, this book's title caught my attention. I have always believed that all religions believe there is a supreme being called God. However, the person through whom God is accessed seems to be an object of contention among these religious circles. You can imagine my fascination with seeing a book with a title that has "Zen" and "Jesus Christ" mentioned together. I'm sure you will also be fascinated if you're like me.

I applaud the author's approach to handling this sensitive matter. He acknowledges that this book can raise some confusion and debate, as other books he has written on similar subjects. However, he intentionally tries to be as simple as he can be. His watchword in this book is "balance." He uses a three-step strategy to communicate his thoughts. First, he quotes some sayings of Jesus and his disciples (some of which are paraphrased, though). Secondly, he follows the sayings with an equivalent Zen teaching. Finally, he makes personal commentaries that balance both statements. He does that in all 114 statements.

I also like that the author credits some Zen masters whose thoughts he uses to balance Jesus' sayings. Readers will read thoughts from Pai Chang, Yoa Ping, Chen Ju, Jim Yo, Hui Neng, Bodhidharma, etc. It shows the author's determination to create an objective balance that isn't just opinionated.

Readers will find the author's submission on enlightenment inspiring. He says, "True enlightenment puts to rest all questions, worries and concerns regarding birth, death and all matters spiritual." It is a subtle call for everyone to seek enlightenment.

My only issue with this book is that the author attached vulgarity to Jesus Christ's sayings. Most Christians, even with an open mind, will find it offensive. The author may not have done that intentionally, as it can result from paraphrasing. However, it should have been removed. Alternatively, the saying should have been quoted verbatim from an established document containing Jesus' sayings.

The book is professionally edited. However, the issue of attaching vulgarity to Jesus' saying is offensive. Therefore, I rate it 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend it to anyone interested in finding a balance between Jesus' sayings and Zen teachings.

The Zen of Jesus Christ
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Post by Catino oracio Oliveri gaona »

In "The Zen of Jesus Christ," Carlos O. Santacruz explores the connection between the teachings of Jesus Christ and Zen, using a three-step structure to present his ideas. While the book emphasizes the pursuit of spiritual balance, a critical issue is the attribution of vulgarity to the sayings of Jesus Christ, which can be offensive. Despite this controversy, the work offers an intriguing and challenging perspective and is recommended for those interested in exploring the convergence of Christianity and Zen. Rating: 4/5 stars.
Last edited by Catino oracio Oliveri gaona on 27 Oct 2023, 10:22, edited 1 time in total.
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Marina Flisvou
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Post by Marina Flisvou »

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate your insights into the author's approach in finding a balance between Jesus' sayings and Zen teachings, as well as his effort to provide objective viewpoints by citing various Zen masters. It's clear that the book aims to foster understanding and discussion on a complex topic. Your review is a helpful resource for readers considering this book.
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Post by Ris Hi »

Thank you for sharing such an insightful and comprehensive review of "The Zen of Jesus Christ." Your exploration of Carlos O. Santacruz's work and its approach to balancing Jesus' teachings with Zen philosophy is thought-provoking. I appreciate your detailed insights into how the book navigates the Gospel of Thomas and the parallels drawn between these two spiritual traditions across 114 statements. It's evident that the book's objective approach, involving various Zen masters and the concept of enlightenment, has the potential to offer readers a unique and inspiring perspective on spirituality. Your review provides a compelling glimpse into the book's content and approach, and I'm grateful for your thoughtful analysis.
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Post by AMARA UJU »

Thanks for the review, Ris. It is very informative. I have looked up the word Zen, and discovered that it is form of worship that is practised in Asia. I think that the author wrote the book with the aim of establishing a connection between Buddhism and the teachings of Jesus. The book is one that I would like to catch up on because it has some very interesting views. I also have to agree when you say that the author should have tried his level best to avoid the vulgarity. Well, religion and spirituality ought to be respected at all costs. Be it Christianity or Buddhism. That aside, I also thank the author for putting together his feelings and thoughts together in one book. It is unique in its way.
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Post by kim farrell 1 »

Thank you for your review. It is solely due to your review that I have an interest in this book. It is easy to feel the sincerity of your review through the tone of your writing. As a Christian woman I have always had some issues with the doctrine and I have found my balance comes from a combination of meditation, earthing, prayers, and doctrine. I and my higher power have had many discussions on this. I have also had many controversial conversations on this. So I am very interested to see what this author has to say on the subject. Great review. I will be looking for your next one.

Kimberly Farrell
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