I mildly remonstrated against Shokai about saying "Jesus is a Boddhisattva," because of the import of that statement to Christians...
However, of course, the real issue, for Buddhists, is that Christians frequently misrepresent Buddhism...
Here's a few pointers for would-be Christian apologists:
- The founders of Buddhism knew about self-referentiality. So "the permanence of impermanence" applies to impermanence. They thought through this stuff.
- When we speak of "The Four Noble Truths," these are truths as experienced. Maybe, the Christian apologist does not apprehend life as suffering, but I do, and also apprehend the cause and remedy to transcend suffering. They may or may not be permanent. I don't care, and neither did the Buddha- the arrow's owner's brand of shoes is kind of irrelevant to the poison coursing through my veins...
- Regarding meditation, the Christian apologist asks, " how does Buddhism account for the belief that the future will resemble the past if its concept of impermanence were true?" Meditation is not a way to "get rid of our problems," but rather to watch from a vantage point to be able to either solve them or at least discover how to live with them. Perhaps, to argue the above, going to that vantage point won't give me "a view," but that's irrelevant. I may, if I'm playing tennis, not hit the ball between the lines and give my opponent the point, but if I don't play, if I just stand there, I lose anyway.
- Re: "Nirvana is an illusion." Again, you have to remember the guys who thought about this thought this stuff through: Illusion is an illusion. Nirvana is not simply an "impersonal void," - it is not multiple, and not one.
- Finally, don't rely on Christian apologists to describe what Buddhism is like; Buddhism and Christianity are in many ways "perpendicular" or "orthogonal" to each other, and speak languages that don't really exist in the other. That is why many Christians do have no problem practicing Buddhism, and many Buddhists don't have a problem proclaiming Jesus as boddhisattva.
- One final snarky comment: Buddhism is not a landlord, and thus does not have "tenants." It is arguable (see Stephen Batchelor's Buddhism without Beliefs) whether it has tenets, but Buddhism the religion clearly doesn't get rental income.