Eckhart Tolle, Where He Went Wrong

We’ve spent recent time reviewing Eckhart Tolle’s book “A New Earth.” It has been found wanting and thus far, no one has been able to say otherwise on the comments. I say “Thus far” for tomorrow, someone might dare raise an objection. If they do, great. If I’m wrong, I’d like to see it, but I’m going to need more than an experience. I’m going to need a look at what I said and show where I went wrong.

Tonight, I plan to show where Eckhart Tolle went wrong as there is one gaping hole in his worldview.

Tolle has no revealed truth in his religion.

What Tolle has done is begun with man and he has ended with man. He is the source of his truth ultimately and he only uses sources like Christ and Buddha insofar as he thinks that they agree with him. Christ dying on the cross for the sins of the world does not fit into the worldview of Tolle, so it must be disregarded. 

What happened with him is that he had an experience. He used his experience as the absolute point of reference to interpret reality. Now we all have to do this to some extent. We all do have to interpret reality. However, what Tolle did was going to the “great spiritual teachers” and finding those statements that agreed with what he already thought. Instead, it would have been best to have gone to those teachers and seen their experience and see if his experience had led to a false interpretation.

Note this also: We cannot speak of an experience as true or false. For instnace, the Mormons that I have spoken about claim to have a burning in the bosom. It does no good for us to talk about a true experience. It is propositional information that is either true or false and that can come about through experiences. One can say “I had a burning in the bosom upon reading the BOM.” That can be a true statement and I don’t doubt many times that it is. That does not mean that the propositional content connected with that experience is necessarily true. It could be, but you won’t know by the experience itself.

How do you know what is true? You look at reality. Another example:

Last June, readers might remember that I had a sickness. I don’t know exactly what it was, but it struck me and made me incredibly cold. I was out in June remember and I was wearing a coat to go see the doctor because I was that cold. My roommate came home from class one day and I was in my clothes on the couch with a robe on and with two blankets on and I was shivering. 

It was only after I recovered that I learned our town was undergoing a massive heatwave at the time.

I had experienced the world around me as cold. Now you could not come to me and say “You are not experiencing that.” (That is, unless you believed I had some reason to be lying.) However, while I was experiencing the world around me as cold, was it cold? No. It was incredibly hot. There were other factors involved that were giving me a false picture, such as something within my body that was keeping me from interpreting reality properly, much like being color-blind doesn’t mean that that light in traffic isn’t really red.

Is what Tolle experienced giving him true content about reality? Apparently not. We have found numerous problems with his view as well as the fact that it could be demonstrated that he disagrees with the basic facts about Christianity. If someone wishes to ask me if my view is false, I say “Bring it.” I am more than ready to defend historical and orthodox Christianity.

What would I suggest to Tolle? Get past your experience. When I am evangelizing to someone, I do not point to experience except as a secondary. I point to the primary facts. Here is what reality is and I can show it. Jesus Christ is who he claimed to be. He died and rose again. He is Lord and he is God and he will judge the world. He is absolutely holy and no sin can be in his presence.

Tolle, of course, thinks he’s right. Well, he’d better be. Those who follow him better make sure he’s right also. Based on the analysis I have shown, Tolle is in direct opposition with historical orthodox Christianity.  You cannot hold to Tolle’s worldview and the worldview of Jesus Christ at the same time. Choose this day who you will serve. I have made my choice and I have a lot more to back it than an experience. Do you?

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