A New Earth – Part 2

Continuing a page by page critique of Eckhart Tolle’s book “A New Earth”, which Oprah is promoting. Christians should be aware of the unChristian theology and heresy that is being presented throughout this book.

 

A New Earth: Critique on Chapter Two

 

Page 25:          Tolle suggests that words are mere labels, and totally ineffective when it comes to knowing something truly. It fascinates me that Tolle insists in using words to describe this. I think he is beginning to use this for a later argument that the words we use to label God are useless because God is totally unknowable.

 

We know something of this from scripture: God’s ways are mysterious, yet because His thoughts and ways are not our own, He uses scriptural words and sacred history to reveal Himself to us. Tolle also forgets that God (Genesis 2) gives man the gift of naming animals, thus the source of these ‘labels” comes from God.

 

Tolle is using this line of argument to show us that there can be no absolutes, i.e. we only know the tip of the iceberg, so therefore we cannot be certain of anything.

 

Page 26:          Tolle talks about the Source of all life (this is an oblique form of Deism), however he then talks about objects pointing back to this Source, to God, to yourself. This is new Age stuff…of equating ourselves with God ( which, BTW, was the original sin in the Garden of Eden).

 

Talks about essence being communicate from all types of objects. Tolle should perhaps read Isaiah 46!

 

Uses an illustration of Van Gogh feeling the Beingness of the Chair in his painting…but the painting is about VG’s genius and artistic talent, not the chair!

 

Tolle talks about us becoming obsessed by thoughts and words, and losing our transformational spirituality in the process…but the intricacy of our language is what makes us distinctly human!

 

Talks about our essential self, which can only be discovered if we disentangle ourselves from all labels and images….this sounds very like Buddhism.

 

Page 27:          Tolle insists that labels make us shallow; we may know words but lose wisdom. This is absurd. Almost all of human wisdom has been saved with words. Without the words of previous generations, we would have lost wisdom! E.g. Renaissance occurs when Greek literature is rediscovered.

We also establish relationships with others through the knowing of our names.

 

Tolle is beginning to say that we are imprisoned by words…he’s going to use this as a means for rejecting scripture. He also says that the human mind does not amount to much…as compared to the mind of God perhaps, but to other planetary species, the human mind is amazing.

 

Tolle starts to talk about the “primordial error,” which is too much of a focus on “I.” This is what we would call original sin.

 

Page 28:          Tolle quotes Einstein and follows his thoughts upon being isolated from the whole of existence – that we are aware of everything around us as part of an optical illusion of consciousness. But the writer of Psalm 8 went there before Einstein and Tolle – “when I consider that stars & the heavens, the works of your fingers, what am I…?” It’s called ontology – why do we exist?

 

Tolle suggests that everything is an illusion and that when we recognize this, the illusion will cease to exist. This is classic Buddhism – Nirvana

Paul however would suggest that now we see through a glass darkly, but then face-to-face…the illusion will not dissolve, but that which we poorly see will become more real. Calvin talks about this with regard to sunflowers – people look at them and see the glory of the flowers, but they forget to look above and see the actual sun!

 

Tolle continues to insist that using the book will lead to enlightenment – I can hear Obi wan Kenobi saying it: “Use the Book, Luke!”

 

Tolle suggests that when we use the word “I” we are not talking about ourselves – then who are we talking about? This could have moral consequences of personal disassociation e.g. George Washington: I cannot tell a lie, father. It was I (but not really who I am)????

 

Page 29:          Tolle begins to talk about the I-thought as something separate from ourselves. This may be something similar to Martin Buber’s teaching in I-Thou.

 

Tolle states that we built up our identities through the things we claim as our own. This is called materialism. Jesus would teach against this as follows: “Where your heart is, there your treasure lies.”

 

He talks about our I-dentity as being precariously bundled together to form an illusory sense of self. But this is not precarious at all; all of this is natural.

 

Page 30:          Tolle talks about a new awakening, a deeper sense of “I” – this is self-centered spirituality, which once again displaces God for ourselves.

 

Talks about materialistic “I” superseding the deeply, spiritual “I.” There is almost something Jungian in this. Thought begins to possess the mind, heart, and soul. The “I” takes over everything – Greek Orthodox mysticism has something similar – the eo?

 

Tolle writes about the process of dis-identifying from your thoughts. Instead of being thought-entangled, you experience peace. This is Buddhism, compartmentalism, or border-line schizophrenia. I’m beginning to wonder if Tolle suffers from this.

 

Pages 30-33:   After arguing against being identified with the ego “I,” Tolle then proceeds to give an autobiographical account of an event in his life…isn’t he arguing against himself here?????

 

Page 33:          Tolle writes about experiencing a detachment from his mind. “Life isn’t as serious as my mind makes it out to be.”

 

Jesus would say: Come to me, all of you who are burden and rest in me.”

 

Tolle talks about three years of anxiety, depression, and suicidal tendencies….uh oh! He becomes free of compulsive thinking and of the false, mind-made I. This could be psychologically serious, folks.

 

Page 34:          Tolle doubts the absolute validity of the human intellect – here it comes: there are no absolutes. Thinking is only a tiny aspect of the consciousness that we are…???? And yet, isn’t Tolle using his tiny thinking capacity to write this book?

 

Egoic mind conditioned by the past – subtle implication that if religion drives the mind, then it is out-dated too.

Page 35:          The mind unconsciously wants to identify with something other than itself – whereas Christians would say that we strive for completion, but will only find it when we discover God.

 

Tolle writes that people do perceive the success of themselves through the objects they possess. True.

 

Page 36:          We buy things to enhance our identity – build our esteem…true. The egoic mind unconsciously wants to identify with structure (Tolle will use this to reject institutionalized religion).

 

Ego-satisfaction is short lived – keep looking for more, something better: but couldn’t the same be said for Tolle’s followers? Aren’t they looking for something better than the past? Is it the novelty of this philosophy that is driving millions towards it? He’s arguing against himself.

 

Page 37:          Each thing has beingness and origin in the formless one Life – Buddhism. Again, read Isaiah 46, Tolle.

 

Most people don’t inhabit a living reality, but a conceptualized one. This is Buddhism – why doesn’t he call it this?

 

The unchecked striving for more, for endless growth is a dysfunction and a disease. Anti-materialistic. Also Hinduism. Christians would call this the sin of avarice and greed.

 

Pages 38-41: Tolle’s first person story about the Lost Ring. Letting go of the things we possess, or that posses us.

 

Page 40:          Tolle now calls beingness “I AM-ness” This is highly controversial. “I AM” is the sacred Name of God. Tolle is discarding God for himself. Christians should understand what is happening here. God is being replaced totally. Instead of being Christo-centric, Tolle is, funnily enough, urging his readers to become ego-centric!

 

Page 41: Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness…Paul would say that troubles lead to endurance, and in turn to faith in Christ. Tolle is advocating that our life experiences are meant to give us a higher spirituality, whereas, for the Christian, we go through experiences to lead us closer to Christ. It’s not about us; it’s about glorifying Jesus.

 

Page 42:          Tolle insists that the ego isn’t wrong: it’s just unconscious. He is absolving us from accountability and responsibility for our sins. We’re all absolved from our greed…this isn’t Christian. This is self-centered pandering to our pride which doesn’t want to be humbled by any divine absolutes.

 

Page 43:          Tolle suggests that on our death bed everything falls away and that no thing has anything to do with who we are/were. However, to Christians, this is not true. It’s what we do with what we have that is very important to who we are to God. NB – Christ’s Parable of the Hidden Talents.

 

Tolle again quotes Jesus and insists that the poor in spirit are those with no internal baggage, no “identifications.” Once again he is twisting Christ’s words to suit his theory. When Jesus mentions the poor in spirit he is referring to those who are spiritually poor and sincerely faithful – it’s nothing to do with what Tolle alludes. He also describes the kingdom of heaven as being the “simple but profound joy of Being” – this is so trite and diminishes what Christ means by the Kingdom of God – once again it’s not about us or our existence, it’s about God.

 

Page 44:          Tolle states that the egoic mind patter sees itself as right and others wrong. He is trying to disarm his opponents, whilst at the same time bolstering his followers with the old argument of  “they’re out to get us” type of cult mentality.

 

Mentions absurdity of land ownership & talks of the “white” settlement – isn’t this racist? Also, how much “land” does Oprah possess? And what about Tolle himself with the success of his books? Is this a barb of land-envy, or will it lead to a one world, one belief, one path viewpoint?

 

Page 45:          Ego = the more I have, the more I am…Oprah: the more I have, the less I need to believe in God????

 

Collective delusion and chasing after things…anti-materialism, Buddhist??? Christian vow of poverty???

 

Page 46: “I am the awareness that is aware…” ego-centric theism. Tolle should read Daniel 4 – Nebuchadnezzar’s awareness story….

 

I don’t have enough yet…= I am not enough yet. Parallel with Christ’s parable about the successful farmer who wants to build bigger barns.

 

Ownership is a fiction – delusion which is Buddhist. However, you could argue Psalm 24…”the earth is the Lord’s and all that is contained therein”

 

Greed is an addictive need – but people like Tolle can also be spiritually greedy – I want more than Christ can give me…

 

Page 47:          Tolle has a few good paragraphs about bulimia – is he trying to connect with women who have eating disorders? Is this a sincere example or a way of exploiting the problems of his readers????

 

Unfulfilled wanting leads to unease, restlessness, boredom, anxiety, and dissatisfaction. Paul would counter these with the fruits of the Spirit from Galatians.

 

Page 48:          Tolle rants against the large corporations which is ironic because his patron, Oprah, has managed to market herself into becoming a corporation….

 

He talks about the egoic structures never satisfying you…will he transfer this onto the Church???

 

Page 49: gender = identity: fulfilling our gender identity is the means of fulfilling our lives. Talks about good looks, strength, and appearance…and how we have become obsessed with such. Appealing to his readers and the pressure they put themselves under????

 

Page 50:          Talks about Bulimia and anorexia addicts having egoic dysfunction…healing can only come from within. Self transformation.

 

Tolle starts to express his view of the body not being important…this is both Buddhist and Gnostic.

 

Page 51: As the body weakens, the light of consciousness begins to shine – Buddhism and Gnosticism again. Also Hinduism. Whereas Christianity – the resurrection of the Body.

 

When ego finds an identity, it doesn’t want to let it go…same could be said about Tolle’s philosophy & Oprahism.

Page 52:          You can go beyond body-identification – this is classic Gnosticism

 

Body is just an appearance – our outer forms are intensely alive energy fields. Too much Star Trek here…NB genesis – we have the breath of God within us…not on the outside.

 

Tolle does the hand imagining thing…Sci Fi writer Frank Herbert wrote about this in Dune decades ago. Tolle is borrowing from Herbert!

 

Page 53:          Inner body & life energy are the same. When we are in touch with the inner body, we move away from form…we are no longer imprisoned by the body ( Gnotsicism). This awareness strengthens our immune system…this is dangerous for anyone who is seriously ill. Also, this is like theories practiced by Church Scientists.

 

Ego causes us to lose ourselves…Christ asks us to lose ourselves in order to find God.

 

Page 54:          Tolle talks about other forms of consciousness – but there is no scientific data for this…it’s his ideas, something similar to what Uri Geller described about 20 years ago talking about Brahams.

 

Page 55:          Tolle talks about Descartes “I think, therefore I am.” If there were nothing but thought in you, you wouldn’t even know you are thinking…C.S. Lewis writes something similar in either mere Christianity or the Problem with Pain.

 

An emerging new dimension of consciousness…but how can it be new if it is already there????

 

Page 56:          Tolle ends the chapter with a discourse on peace – an elusive, ethereal, transformational peace.  He backs up his opinion by quoting Paul, but he only half quotes the verse (Philippians 4:7)…Tolle calls this transformation a peace that passes all understanding, using Paul’s words, but what he deliberately cuts from the verse is the following phrase…the peace of God which passes all understanding…will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus!…in other words, Paul is talking about a peace that leads us to Christ, not Tolle’s transformation consciousness! This is one of the worst usages of scriptures in the book.

 

Page 57: Spirit is released from the its imprisonment through death….Buddhism & Gnosticism together. This leads us to this great self-awareness, this I AMness which is the peace of God. But this is not what Paul states…this peace of God can only be found in Jesus Christ.

 

Talks about the old ego becoming contracted, more rigid, impenetrable, bitter and resentful. He’s laying the groundwork for identifying Church and Christianity with this ego. Clever move by Tolle.

 

Page 58:          Resistance means you are closed to the transformation and that the universe will not be on your side. Has Tolle suddenly become God? How does he know what the universe will or won’t do?????

 

Starts to talk about creative intelligence…is this back door theism/ Deism????

 

You rest in God when you surrender. God = peace. There is no need for confession or conviction, judgment or absolution – just the right transformational awareness. For Tolle, this is the equivalent of being justified through faith…but not faith in Christ, faith in our own awareness, beingness, and I AMness.

 A New Earth Part 1

 A New Earth Part 3

 

 

 

About Stushie

I'm originally from Scotland and have been a Presbyterian pastor for over thirty years. I live in Knoxville, TN. I enjoy art as a means of therapy, but also as a creative way to strengthen my spiritual connection to God.
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66 Responses to A New Earth – Part 2

  1. Pingback: Chapter By Chapter Critique of “A New Earth” « Bruce’s Blog - The Christian Journey

  2. Pingback: A New Earth - Part 1 « Stushie’s Stuff

  3. memama says:

    Wonderful condensed discussion of Eckhart Tolles book “A New Earth.” I am amazed that a person who is trying to convince others, they are filled with “christ-counsiousness” already(this would have to be since birth!) would then quote partial verses of Jesus Christ, which he actually believes is NOT the Savior, or Deliverer, and the Biblical account, LESS divine then Eckhart Tolles newest book. His book is promoting the idea, that he is more “smart” than God, that he has become more evolved and needs to lead us away from Scripture to his ideas. And that he is more skilled than the Trinity, and the Words left by God, in providing a way to live your life.He seems to be stating that to not accept his book isa “unenlightened”, “unawakened”, way to bring less harmonious vibrations in your “being”, and thus destroying his followers “good vibrations” in bringing about “The New Earth.” Any other criticaal thinking, or discussion of wrong in his teachings is deemed a “projection problem” inside of YOU, and not a REAL problem with his book.This stops any discussion, or sound philosophical ideas, and debate.He grants no unfiltered interviews, and answers no unfiltered questions. If he had nothing to hide and is truly bringing about “A New Earth”, why then , does he always seem to be hiding?….Thank you for these postings, they are one of the few places to see a Christian viewpoint, discussing “The New Earth” and its content.

    • Stephanie says:

      Haha when did he say he felt like a more smart God…do you not understand there are a lot of paths to God not just one? Why do people take the Bible so seriously if it is “the inspired” Word of God, not the ACTUAL Word of God. C’mon people wake up and stop being judgmental just live life! Isn’t that hard..instead of judging the entire book go out and smell some flowers

      • stushie says:

        Sorry, Stephanie, even Jesus believed that there is only One Way, Truth, and Life. Eckhart is a fool, but feel free to join him into the oblivion where he is headed. As for me, I’ll follow Jesus who died for my sins and is the Savior of the world.

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  5. thekingpin68 says:

    For Tolle, this is the equivalent of being justified through faith…but not faith in Christ, faith in our own awareness, beingness, and I AMness.

    Our own ‘I AMness’ is one of sin and finite nature in contrast to the Biblical God’s holy and infinite nature. Oprah and company have once again missed the boat as humanity cannot save itself from sin nature and ignorance as limited beings. Persons need to be saved from sin in Christ and provided with true divine guidance in life.

    Cheers:)

  6. beyondfaith says:

    I totally missed the “I AM” refference…rats! LOL Good catch.

  7. stushie says:

    Wait until you read chapter three. he upgrades it to “I Am that I Am” – there’s no missing or mistaking it there…

  8. Inclusive says:

    Stop thinking only in dichotomies. People aren’t sinful, or inherently ignorant, people are people. A lifetime of compounded circumstance and ingrained prejudice creates a false-self we come to identify with. Tolle isn’t renouncing the idea of God at all, he’s just releasing it from the conceptualized prison you’ve built for it inside your head. God is infinite, most certainly, far more infinite and complete than any idea of him could ever convey. You cling to the scriptures, so you feel that anyone’s attempt at teaching you is an attack against God’s word. My best advice to everyone here, since I can’t possibly BEGIN to penetrate through the accumulated beliefs, is to stop thinking, and start living. Stop thinking about all the ways that Eckhart’s words conflict with the Bible’s. Let go of your fear. You don’t have to be afraid of everything new. Your not going to hell if you believe what Eckhart says. That idea of what God is is in your head, and so it is imperfect. The only sin that man has ever committed is the sin of self delusion. Stop lying to yourself, start seeing the truth.

  9. stushie says:

    Obviously Eckhart has become your Messiah and he has brainwashed you into non- thinking. He is not Jesus Christ, though looking and reading his words, it’s obvious that he considers himself to be.

    Stop looking at the Emeperor’s new clothes. Eckhart’s thinking ( because that’s what his philospohy is) and his use of words( because that’s what he does when he writes a book( has penetrated the voice in your head ( because that’s what you hear when you read his words). You’ve been brainawashed and have become delusional in your thinking and self-serving in your beleifs.

    Read the Gospels and throw away this New Age heretical book. Jesus Christ can save you from this sick stuff of Tolle’s.

    • Stephanie says:

      Ha ha ha your post is just hilarious. In no way does this man think he is Jesus Christ why are you judging him aren’t you a Christian, Catholic whatever the difference (who really cares) so shouldn’t you not judge and aren’t you supposed to love all (INCLUDING MR.TOLLE?) Yes I believe you are, since you take the Bible so seriously when it wasn’t even written by God, don’t you remember “Love thy neighbor as thyself?”. Gotta love hypocritical religious people who believe their way is the only way. God bless your miserable souls.

      • stushie says:

        Stephanie, love does not mean to tolerate fools and their false philosophy. Love means to show where they are going wrong. If you took time to really read the Gospels, you would come across plenty of events and situations where Christ in love points out the mistakes other people make and then He leads them back to the right and only path.

  10. Pingback: A New Earth - part 3 « Stushie’s Stuff

  11. Jim says:

    Why do people feel threatened by Tolle? All he has done is taken some good ideas in Christian teaching and integrated them with good ideas from Eastern Philosophy. One of the things that most inspired Jesus to teach was that he believed the Jews of his time had gotten caught up in rigid dogmatism and had lost sight of the true principles of the Jewish faith. Ironically enough, 2000 years later Christian fundamentalists have come to personify the very thing Christ opposed most vigorously: dogmatism. Only now they are dogmatic about the teachings of Jesus. I believe Jesus today would endorse Tolle’s book, and would spend a lot more time hanging around with people that would never dream of going to a “Christian” fundamentalist church than he would any of the pastors we see on TV on Sunday mornings.

  12. stushie says:

    It’s not about rigid dogmatism or fundamentalism, it’s about quoting what Christ actually said, as opposed to what Tolle would have liked Him to say. Read my notes for chapter three Jim. As usual, Tolle half quotes Christ’s sayings and then uses them to squeeze an entirely different message from them. Tolle is enforcing his own “egoic mind” upon Christ’s words…Tolle is not even practicing what he preaches!

    And Jim, Jesus would not endorse Tolle’s book because He would have to repudiate His own teachings.
    He died for the truth that He taught. I doubt very much if Tolle would ever do the same.

    Tolle’s book is heretical – it’s a deviation from Christ’s teaching. You can delude yourself all that you like and place Tolle way up there with Jesus; but Tolle is no messiah, nor is he a Christ.

  13. Jim says:

    Stushie–

    It is interesting that you accuse Tolle of “Half Quoting” Christ to suit his own purpose, because you seem to be doing the same to Tolle.

    You seem to have a habit of paraphrasing a section of the book, giving it a label (like “Buddhism”) that you seem to think automatically calls the quality of the idea into question, then coming up some a catchy punchline like “Instead of “A New Earth”, he should have called his book, “A New Wonderland for Alice.”” This does not strike me as an intellectually rigorous way of treating the ideas in this book.

    You seem to be opposed to any effort to integrate the teachings of Christianity with those of other religions. Tolle is not trying to steer people away from Christianity; rather, he is merely pointing out that there are fundamental truths that run through all major religions and spiritual practices (Buddhism included). This is why he quotes extensively both from the Bible and makes references to Buddhist teachings.

    I don’t consider Tolle a “messiah,” and am quite sure neither does Tolle. But I do believe he has done a brilliant job of illuminating what is probably the most important spiritual teaching: the concept of unity. The idea that all life forms are connected to the same whole–to the same “presence,” “God,” “being,” or whatever other term you want to use is essential to understanding and internalizing Christ’s message of love. It explains why we should “love thy neighbor as thyself”: because on a fundamental level, thy neighbor IS part of thyself. Separateness is an illusion, and Tolle articulates that idea better than any other author of which I am aware.

  14. stushie says:

    Sorry Jim, but you’re working under a universalist delusion and following in his heretical path to wherever it ends.

    I’m not trying to influence millions of people with a new transformation by quoting Christ incorrectly. I’m pointing out the fact that many people today, like yourself, are actually Biblically ignorant and so when someone like Tolle comes along, he can use half truths to lead them astray. It seems that you have bought into this and sadly will end up in Tolle’s wonderland.

  15. Jim says:

    I don’t expect that the two of us will ever agree, however, as it seems to me that you regard a form of Christianity in which only certain interpretations of the English translation of the Bible are counted as “accurate” as the only “true” religion. In contrast, I believe Christianity is but one of many possible expressions of the same fundamental spiritual truths, and every human is and should be free to identify the beliefs and values that work best for them. The human experience is a growth journey, not a competition to see who can do it “right.” There are many paths that can be taken, and the only test to see how well we have travelled the path exists within, not outside of us.

  16. Jim says:

    Well, all I can say is that I am much happier after having discovered and lived in “Tolle’s wonderland” than I was before I read his book. I guess in your world that means I have been “suckered” by that egomaniac Tolle and I’m going to hell. Oh well. Better that than to create hell on earth while trying to make some people right and others wrong based on how or whether they read the Bible, Koran, Torah, or any other religious work. Everyone has to find their own truth, and Tolle makes this point brilliantly, which is why I will continue to recommend this book to everyone I know (Christian, atheist, Muslim, Jew, and on and on).

  17. stushie says:

    It seems Jim that you’re letting your “egoic” mind get the better of you. Maybe there’s hope for you yet.

    God bless.

  18. Jim says:

    If I am letting my “egoic” mind get the better of me, Stushie, it seems that makes two of us.

  19. stushie says:

    Yes, Jim, but I’m not a devotee of Tolle who believes in letting go of the egoic mind. I don’t have a problem with it, but you seem to do. Seems strange for someone who is so into Tolle’s works.

  20. Jim says:

    Say not, “I have found the truth,” but rather, “I have found a truth.”
    Say not, “I have found the path of the soul.” Say rather, “I have met the soul walking upon my path.”
    For the soul walks upon all paths.
    The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed.
    The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals.

    Khalil Ghibran, Christian poet/writer.

  21. stushie says:

    I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life

    Jesus Christ, Son of God, Messiah, and Savior of the World

  22. Jim says:

    “My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple… To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow my self to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice… And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows . For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.” –Adolf Hitler, 1922

  23. stushie says:

    1922, Jim…and then he drew away from the Church by believing in an evolutionary transformation which is similar to Tolle’s.

    Perhaps you should read the Barmen Confession of those Christians who refused to join the majority of the German Church in following the Nazis down the same eugenic transformation trail that Tolle has recently uncovered.

    You can find it at
    http://www.creeds.net/reformed/barmen.htm

    The following section is perhaps most apposite for what you are advocating…

    8.10 – 1. “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.” (John 14.6). “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. . . . I am the door; if anyone enters by me, he will be saved.” (John 10:1, 9.)
    8.11 Jesus Christ, as he is attested for us in Holy Scripture, is the one Word of God which we have to hear and which we have to trust and obey in life and in death.
    8.12 We reject the false doctrine, as though the church could and would have to acknowledge as a source of its proclamation, apart from and besides this one Word of God, still other events and powers, figures and truths, as God’s revelation.

  24. Jim says:

    At FACE VALUE Jhn4:16a:
    … I am THE WAY, THE TRUTH, and THE LIFE …

    One might think Jesus claimed to be THE ONLY WAY TO GOD! However, the Greek these words came from suggests otherwise:

    I AM: hodos [hoh-DOHS] (a manner of thinking); aletheia [ah-LEH-theh-iah] (objective truth (e.g. The Gospel ACCORDING TO); zoe [zoh-AY] (vitality).

    The Article -THE- makes t/English appear DEFINITE (e.g. the ONLY way, the ONLY truth, the ONLY life). But IT IS NOT PRESENT n/t original Greek.

    The point is that Tolle’s interpretation of the Bible–that Christ is in all of us–is more than entirely reasonable: it is the more accurate representation of the original meaning of the Bible.

    “No one comes to the Father except through me.” This means that access to “the Father,” (ie heaven) comes through imitating, rather than worshipping, Christ. And to imitate Christ means to be loving and tolerant of alternative points of view…exactly what Tolle advocates for in his books.

  25. stushie says:

    Sorry Jim. Once again you’re just proving your heretical beliefs. You’re putting forward your own ideas about what the scripture means and not how the Church interprets it. In fact, you’re walking down the same path that Marcion and Pelagius covered centuries ago. I guess as far as heresy is concerned, there is nothing new under the sun.

    Tolleism is an old heresy, there’s nothing new about his new earth at all. And it seems that your egoic mind is causing you to pound your beliefs against mine. Maybe you should read Chapter 4 again…better still though, read John chapters 3 & 14. I’ll pray for you.

  26. Jim says:

    Jesus was a “heritic,” too…that’s why he was crucified. So thanks for the compliment.

    Why is it every time a Christian fundamentalist starts a sentence with “Sorry,” I get this weird feeling in the pit of my stomach that I’m about to read a load of BS?

    The reason this discussion is important to me is that so many people live their lives as if heaven is some place to “get to” after they die. So they deny themselves so many of the joys in life in order to avoid an imaginary negative consequence in the future. THERE IS NO “FUTURE” IN REALITY. The time to live is NOW. Heaven is right here, inside of all of us, right NOW. And if we are present and conscious enough, we can bring that heaven out of ourselves and into the world, just as Jesus taught (and Tolle now reminds us).

  27. stushie says:

    I find this intriguing Jim. You can’t seem to let go. And you just did the archetypical heretic thing: you called Jesus a heretic, trying making Him out to be just like you.

    Perhaps you should go back and re-read p77 of Tolle’s book which you esteem: do you want peace or drama?

    However, if you really want peace of mind about this , Jim, because I truly believe that you are sincerely seeking to be enlightened, then simply open your heart to Jesus, not Tolle, and take time to discuss your issues with Him in prayer.

    May God bless the desires of your heart, Jim, and may He also enable you to fulfill your plans.

  28. Jim says:

    I appreciate the good wishes and will do the same for you. Simply because I like Tolle’s work doesn’t mean I advocate for or practice everything he has ever written. Whether that works to my advantage or detriment really isn’t for others to judge; just as it isn’t for others to judge whether I am a “heathen” or “heretic” or any of the other names people get called in order to try to frighten them into line.

    My concern is that you seem to have a misconception about Tolle: you believe he is advocating a belief system. He is not. Tolle is advocating an EXPERIENCE. He really doesn’t care what your religious beliefs are. He would be as comfortable in your presence as a member of any other religion. He is simply describing a way to access the precious stillness that is inside all of us. He isn’t trying to convince anyone he’s right or get “buy in.” He just wants you to feel what he has experienced.

    You say “open your heart to Jesus, not to Tolle” as if the two were mutually exclusive. This is a false choice. The two are not in competition with one another. Jesus puts forward a series of teachings that can be interpreted in a number of different ways (ie a belief system), while Tolle shows how ordinary humans can access the same inner tranquility Jesus appears to be talking about (an experience).

  29. Judy Cozzens says:

    Thanks for all your comments. I am using them in a book club to help defend
    Christianity. They are most helpful.

  30. stushie says:

    Thanks Judy. It’s an awful book to read, but well worth the exercize in Christian apologetics. God bless your ministry at the Book club.

  31. luis says:

    Both of you should do some sinergie and use all your inteligence and faith to construct a middle point of agreement.

    🙂 both are great smart people

    Love and peace from Venezuela 🙂

  32. minishorts says:

    Jim, I have a feeling that this pastor isn’t quite aware of the rich diversity in Christianity. History tells us that the mystics would disengage themselves from the world and they did come up with their understand of what or who Christ was like.

    There will always be people who idolize Christ, there will be those who Worship Christ and separate the meaning of worship from ‘follow’, and there will be peope who must classify someone worth worshipping only if that someone has performed magick. Others will consider worship to automatically include, or to define ‘worship’ as imitate Christ. Truth way and life for you and me, might be defined as ‘imitate the way christ lived’. But some people will believe otherwise.

    Who is right, who is wrong? I don’t know. I do honestly know that it is not in our place to put labels to the omniscience that we know is God. And I don’t want to confine God to one version only, because I’ve always experienced Him as unpredictabe, and always awesome. Even Eckhart is a creation of God, and I know as a Christian I am called to love him.

    Stushie, unfortunately,I don’t experience you loving Eckhart at all.

    And btw, I find it interesting that Eckhart Tolle shares the same name as the Christian mystic Meister Eckhart. I hope that Stushie knows who Meister Eckhart is. Whatever Tolle says is NOT new age at all: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meister_Eckhart

    The central theme of Eckhart’s German sermons is the presence of God in the individual soul, and the dignity of the soul of the just man. Although he elaborated on this theme, he rarely departed from it. In one sermon, Eckhart gives the following summary of his message:

    “When I preach, I usually speak of detachment and say that a man should be empty of self and all things; and secondly, that he should be reconstructed in the simple good that God is; and thirdly, that he should consider the great aristocracy which God has set up in the soul, such that by means of it man may wonderfully attain to God; and fourthly, of the purity of the divine nature.”

  33. stushie says:

    You stated: Who is right, who is wrong? I don’t know.

    This exercise is called Christian apologetics and in every generation, Christians have to stand up against culutural gurus and false philosophers like Tolle who would lead the faithful away from the faith.

    As Paul warned Timothy in the first Christian century:
    1 Tim 6:20-21

    20 Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, 21 which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith.
    NIV

  34. minishorts says:

    Stushie: we both know that God made us in different shapes and sizes. Some physically, some mentally. Peeking through the pages of our own Christian history gives us an insight into the diversity of beliefs of what and who Christ is. Jesus is personal saviour and Lord, and Jesus reaches out to each and everyone of us in ways that only Jesus knows how. Do you not believe that it is far too arrogant for us humans to impose a version of Christ unto another? How do we qualify Salvation? How Christ saves in Ethopia will amaze us, or how Christ touched souls in South Asia over a hundred years ago, should equally inspire.

    If Tolle’s ‘a new earth’ will initiate an interest among non believers to discover more of Christ’s message, it should be seen as a blessing. How to discern what is right and wrong, how to guide all these people, well, Stushie, isn’t that what trusting the Holy Spirit is all about.

    May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you, and I pray that you will learn to love your neighbour, even the heretic neighbour (such as Tolle) as your own.

    Quoting from the Christian mystic Meister Eckhart:

    ‘Man never desires anything so earnestly as God desires to bring a man to Himself, that he may know Him.

    God is always ready, but we are very unready; God is near to us, but we are far from Him;

    God is within, but we are without; God is at home, but we are strangers… ‘

  35. stushie says:

    You are sadly misguided and personally wrong. You are heading away from the truth by convincing yourself that you are more open and generous hearted, more tolerant and truth fulfilled than Christ expects of His followers. This is how heresy begins – within the Church itself.

    Tolle is a blasphemer – you probably don’t like that being stated bluntly either – because he twists Christ’s words and corruptly interprets His intentions.

    Feel free to follow Tolle and placate his teachings all that you like, but be aware of the consequences:

    Proverbs 14:12
    There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.
    NIV

  36. minishorts says:

    Brother Stushie:

    My burden has always been this struggle to learn to be gracious towards the fervent in Christ, and because of that I have always made it a point to walk away and avoid from being engaged in conversations with a fellow believer whose understanding of Christ is so different from mine.

    I loved the Wisdom Books, and it is interesting that you have quoted from Proverbs. Last year my focus in my bible studies was the Wisdom books and so, I would like to appreciate you for pointing out how wrong I am. I struggle not to be stubborn, because the Bible says:

    Blessed are those who have a tender conscience, but the stubborn are headed for serious trouble.

    Proverbs 28:16

    Only a stupid prince will oppress his people, but a king will have a long reign if he hates dishonesty and bribes.

    Proverbs 29:1

    Whoever stubbornly refuses to accept criticism will suddenly be broken beyond repair.

    ….

    I wonder if you struggle the same? I am not saying that I believe in Tolle. I am just saying that Christians are not called to condemn Tolle. We are called to be like Christ so that blasphemers like Tolle will not prevail over Christ. Why are you so adamant on ensuring that anyone who called himself Christian must believe in Jesus the way that you do?

  37. stushie says:

    I believe in Christ the way He asked me to. So should you, mini. Tolle is dangerous. As Christ Himself warned us:

    Matthew 7:15

    “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves
    NIV

    • Kerry says:

      Stushie,

      If there was a Jesus, and if there is a god, …..you are earning yourself a nice little ticket to the place they call hell. have comfort in knowing that jesus and god do not love nasty people who don’t show love and compassion for others, such as you do not. Jesus and God would not need wankers like you preaching on their behalf. If they are real, then they ARE, and your silly little arguments make you look like a complete moron embarrassing them. Try shutting up and pray for forgiveness. I forgive you.

      • stushie says:

        Wow! Seems that self-righteousness is alive and well across the pond. Obviously you haven’t bought into Tolle’s stuff either…all those negative vibes. I can’t hold a candle to your kind of hypocrisy. And the use of ‘wanker”…I haven’t seen or heard it used since I was in primary school. Have a nice day…

    • Stephanie says:

      Oh wow if you are such a devout Christian I do not understand how you do not know neither God nor Christ wrote the Bible. The Bible is the inspired word of God, not the ACTUAL WORD!

      • stushie says:

        Stephanie, since the Bible is the inspired word of God, would God have inspired false teaching? You obviously have still to read the Bible, especially the New Testament. I’ve studied and translated it from Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic for over 30 years. Why not take some time out of your own busy life and sit down to read it some time. I can guarantee you, it is far more worthwhile than reading Tolle’s empty and misguided philosophy.

        God bless you in the name of Jesus Christ, the Only way to actual salvation.

  38. minishorts says:

    I believe in Christ that He is ever faithful and He will guard me from evil. This really isn’t about you righting my Christianity or me telling you how you should preach. But its really about me wondering why is it that I sense so much hate in a fellow Christian?

    Tolle may be dangerous, and so are many other people like him, some yet to be discovered. But don’t forget that we have all fallen short of grace, all even Tolle needs saving. There really is no need to spread the hatred.

    Peace be with you. I pray it continues to resonate through you also.

  39. stushie says:

    What you call hate, I call truth. What you call peace, I call syncretism.

  40. Sam says:

    Stushie, Jesus Christ doesn’t need a defender, your beliefs and conceptions do. Obviously you defend your interpretation of Christianity. You may call it the truth. I call it a pack of interpretation. Well, that kind of orthodoxy really needs a defender. Eckhart Tolle’s unChristian theology is a threat only for that.

  41. stushie says:

    Check your history, Sam. The Church has defended the truth of Christ in every generation.

    You can call it what you like, but it doesn’t diminish the truth of Christ. I take His statements for what they are, not for what I’d like them to be. Christ is meant to shape us – we are not supposed to shape Him.

  42. Sam says:

    Orthodoxy is a strange thing. Its whole existence depends on heretic. It needs heretic to be alive, hmm, interesting…

    Your truth of the Christ (His statements) cannot be modified. It means that His words and conceptions are univocal. Are they? How can you know His exact meaning or will? The bible told you that, I know. Really? Which one? The bible is full of words. The meaning of words and conceptions is a contractual thing. Oh, I forgot, obviously not for you. 🙂

  43. stushie says:

    Sam, if you want to play a theological tennis game of snarks and smirks, feel free. What you think doesn’t change the truth.

  44. Sam says:

    Stushie, you are right! The truth is… and for you within His words. Even the word “truth” means a different thing for us. It is meaningless to talk about the truth of the Christ.
    You are right, my thoughts don’t change the truth, nor do yours or Echart Tolle’s. No reason to worry. 🙂

    Thank you for your time.

  45. stushie says:

    You just don’t get it, Sam. Pity.

  46. rg says:

    Eckhart Tolle’s book is not a book on Christianity so why the need to critique it? Ah yes I remember now! Christian Fundies believe that only they are right and wish to convert the whole world. TAlk about one world religion!

    • stushie says:

      It was Eckhart who chose to attack Christianity in his awful book. I have only pointed out his biblical mistakes. Christ be with you.

  47. Bee says:

    Can one of you christians tell me where in the bible it states anything about dinosaurs???

  48. stushie says:

    I’m talking about the same things…:)

  49. Bee says:

    What same things? Dragons and hippopptamus?

    • stushie says:

      Bee, that’s just one interpretation of something that no one knows what the original writers were describing.

      .Anyway, the word ‘dinosaur’ was coined in the 19th century. If it had been in use 4000 years ago, it would have appeared instead of Behemoth, Leviathan, and Rahab.

  50. David says:

    It was suggested that I read this critique of Tolle as I am looking for one but find this seriously lacking. Stushie you make me feel ashamed to call myself a christian – you have done the cause not one ounce of good.

    • stushie says:

      David, apologetics is confrontational and weak minded Christians don’t like it. Read the Gospels and find out how many times Christ was confrontational when it came to believing who he was. Tolle undermines Christ’s Messiahship and divinity. Jesus would have called him out on this in much the same way.

  51. Jose Carlos says:

    You know, it’s so funny how you have to intercede for God to let us know how we atheists or Eckhart’s readers. Poor Almighty God, he hasn’t have the power to let us know personally, he created us, he made the world, he created such complexity here, but he needs you to tell us because he should be busy in other planets in the Universe. God will become less powerful as science gets stronger, it’s an inevitable law.

    • stushie says:

      The more we know, Jose, the less we understand. Each time we learn more about the universe, God gets even bigger…

      • Kevin says:

        As you proceed on your path, the glory that will come to you cannot be put into words. However, this total fulfillment can come only as you totally surrender to the will of God, with out any reservations, in every large and small aspect of your life and yoru being. How difficult this remains for most of you. You keep holding back. You still have your little corners of holding out, of believing that your selfwill knows better than God what makes you happy, Yet Jesus Christ is here to give you eternal life, safety and total fulfillment, if you only you trust Him and give yourself to Him. You will be sustained with all the juices of life and joy in a constant flow of renewal.
        You cannot eliminate your fears and your distrust of others unless you constantly renew the practice of total surrender to the highest within yourself. For you cannot subsist alone. No creature can. All created beings hang together on a chain of interdependence—physically, emotionally and spiritually. When the weight of dependence is put where it belongs— on God, on God’s personalized aspect who is personally near you– then you can create a healthy center of gravity anchored deep within your soul, for that is where to find Him. His presence merges with your higher self. You truly become one.
        So, my beloved friends, make it your business now to deepen your desire for personal contact with Christ. Strengthen your commitment to Him, to give over all of your life to Him in the total trust that He deserves. Your human fears can never be assuaged otherwise.
        Eva Pierrakos (Surrender to God Within) Chp 19 after the principles of evil)
        It’s real Thomas

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