Hinduism

I have a few co-workers who are from India and are Hindu. Can anyone recommend some good apologetic resources? I mean, I know they dont eat red meat because of the reincarnation thing, but its completely different than talking to a Protestant…

Thanks,
Matt

Hi Matt, I was a former Brahmin (read my conversion story here). What sort of apologetic resources are you looking for?

Thanks for this thread. I guess I dont know much of anything about Hinduism, so I was looking for maybe books or tracts or something. I imagine talking about the contrast between reincarnation and resurrection of the body would be a large gap for a Hindu to understand, maybe you could shed some light on what about the Faith is attractive and what is more difficult.

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Hinduism varies massively by custom and practise by area in India and the surrounding countries where it is mainly practised. If you think the gap in doctrine between the Catholic Church and say Baptists or Mormons is large at times it infintinesimal compared to the variation in Hindu practises.

For example some schools of Hinduism hold that Christ was an incarnation of Krishna, some that he was simply a ‘great soul’ such as Gandhi, others that he was the prophet Elisha etc. etc.

Well, to be honest, most Hindus are paranoid of Christians. For a start, you can explain to your Hindu friends about Israel, its history, culture and people. Many Hindus are ignorant that Israel was the birthplace of Christ. They think of it as a “western” religion. Mostly due to the British who left a very bad impression of their lifestyles and bigoted acts against them. That is why even today Bollywood portrays the Brits as demonic people.

Develop a close bond with them. Talk to them, and let them know you can be trusted. We are well known for our hospitality but we also appreciate it in return. If you were to go head on with a Hindu (i mean to start preaching about Christ), it will definitely turn him/her off. Hindus love talking about their religion, so ask them questions.

Questions on rebirth (Hindus have various interpretations on it - and you can explain to them about the God incarnate, Jesus). Hindus offer sacrifices to God (in forms of pooja, breaking of a coconut or ritualistic fire-walking ceremonies, etc). Explain to them about our Eucharist. Ask them about the different manifestations of God; of why Hindus have different manifestations of God in the forms of statues and icons. Explain to them how Catholics are similar, but adhere strictly to the teachings of the Bible. Last thing you want to do is to call them idol worshipers, so you have to choose your words carefully.

Contrary to popular western beliefs due to misinformation and egoistical minds, Hindus actually believe in a monotheistic God. But definitely not the God of Israel. Hinduism is a primitive religion but not as “primitive” as some western authors paint them to be. Primitive in the sense that in the beginning of Hinduism, people wanted to know who God was, and how God looked like and how God was interacting in their daily lives. That is why the statues are there in temples even today.

I have to go for now but i will post more tomorrow. Do keep the questions coming and i will try to help as much as i can. :slight_smile:

Christian Apologetics Handbook by Kreeft (Peter) and Tancredi has some good info on how to adress the fallacies of karma, reincarnation, atman, etc…

Hi Cath yes I know that effectively Hinduism generally is not polytheistic in the sense that some religions in the past or present are and that the various ‘gods’ are only aspects and not all -powerful in their own right.

My own country was under British rule for the longest time of all British possesions so I can relate to the feeling of it’s yet more attempts to convert us/convince us our culture or religion is ‘wrong’.

Where are you from? Whats your religious affiliation? If you don’t mind me asking. :slight_smile:

Introduction to Hinduism
The link above is the easiest site i can find in respects to understanding Hinduism from their perspective.

Hi Cath, I’m Irish and Catholic. One of my own personal heroes growing up was Gandhi who I was moved to read about originally as a young kid as I read an article where Gandhi refered to Irish hunger strikers in writing about passive resistance been a valid tool and ultimately more powerful than the sword. I wouldn’t claim to be an expert on Indian history as it’s a huge subject but coming from another country which both aided in colonising and was itself a colony I find the parallels between India and Ireland interesting.

I work with two Hindus at present, the lady co-worker of mine who is Hindu has just has serious miscarriage and she didn’t seem too upset with my colleauge who is Spanish and myself when we said we had prayed for her. Then again she is by nature a tolerant open minded person and yes I have read articles by extreme nationalist groups in India where christianity gets a bashing to illustrate the other side of the coin.

Ah yes. Ireland (a Catholic nation - founded by a Catholic saint) often had to tolerate the oppressors sometimes in a very harsh way. I am well aware of the Orange Order, Ian Paisely and the likes. I’ll chat up later mate. Got to have some rest. :slight_smile:

Excellent site for understanding Hinduism.

Thank you all for your insight, very helpful.

So in general a Hindu would perceive the Catholic church and the Anglican church as basically the same thing? Similar to how I do not know the difference in the branches of Hinduism?

Cathopologist, thank you for sharing your truly beautiful conversion story.

Yes, that’s correct.

You’re welcome, Jonathan. Glad you liked it. :slight_smile:

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