Post Author: Bill Pratt
Recently I learned that a local church was hosting “Bible studies” based on Eckhart Tolle’s teachings. So, does Tolle agree with the teachings of Christianity? Is it appropriate to promote his beliefs in a Christian church?
First, let me admit that I have not read his books personally, but I have certainly read about them (if anyone would like to correct any errors I make in the following analysis, please do so by commenting). According to Dr. James A. Beverley, in a 2008 article written for Christianity Today, Tolle definitely does not adhere to the essential beliefs of Christianity.
Here is a brief list of anti-Christian beliefs promoted by Tolle:
1. God and man are one (pantheism). Christianity teaches that God is distinct from man, that He created man.
2. The human self is an illusion (Buddhism). Christianity affirms the existence of the human self, but laments its corruption by sin.
3. Death and the human body are illusions (Buddhism). Christianity affirms that both are real.
4. Jesus is not uniquely God, since everyone is God. Christianity denies that everyone is God, and claims that Jesus is the unique human manifestation of God.
All of these teachings directly contradict Christian beliefs. I’m sure Tolle’s teachings contain some wisdom, but his overall worldview is obviously not Christian in any meaningful way. The fact that we have a local church promoting Tolle’s beliefs is another clear indication that Christian education is woefully inadequate (I’m assuming that the persons leading these studies are ignorant, not purposefully trying to undermine Christianity).
If you know of any other links that discuss Tolle’s beliefs in comparison to Christianity, feel free to post them in the comments section of this post.