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Review: God, Self and Salvation in a Buddhist Context

MacKenzie, R. 2016, God, Self and Salvation in a Buddhist Context, Wide Margin, Gloucester, Scotland

The back cover blurb describes this as a book “for Christians who wish to develop their understanding of Buddhism. Examining key Buddhist doctrines such as non-self, karma and Dharma, Rory Mackenzie shows the reader ways of sensitively engaging with Buddhists.”

This is a challenging book about how to contextually live in missionary encounters with Buddhists. The author weaves a tremendous amount of valuable personal experience into the book, drawing on time spent on the mission field in Asia and working in the UK. The guiding method is Karl Reichelt’s highly contextualised approach. Those who expect a general introduction will be disappointed, however the author’s insightful discussion of God, self and salvation is both deep and practical due to illustrations from Reichelt and MacKenzie’s own ministry methods. He goes rather far in suggesting analogies between Buddhism and Christianity, but they can help the reader form an opinion on how far biblical contextualisation can go. Read with discernment.