A writer explores the connections between Christianity and various concepts of reincarnation.
Hook (Yankee Gone Home, 2017, etc.) believes that the Judeo-Christian Scriptures fully support a more or less standard view of reincarnation—that human souls migrate from body to body and time period to time period, with or without clear recollections of their previous lives. Traditional theological stances have tended to hold the opposite line, taking the key cue from biblical verses like this one found in Hebrews: “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the Judgment.” In counterargument, Hook goes straight to the heart of the matter, citing the Gospel of John, in which Jesus famously says: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” When, later in John, Jesus asks his disciples who the people say he is, they report one rumor that claims he’s Elijah reincarnated. The author is a true believer in reincarnation, asserting that “all pain and human sufferings are not due to mere chance, but rather to the consequences of misbehavior in past and sometimes current lives.” Hook seeks to convince readers that the doctrine of reincarnation represents a “path to union with the divine” that runs straight to Jesus (“The best news ever given to mankind”). The author believes that science will eventually be able to prove all of this empirically. This enthusiasm occasionally leads him to overreach, as when he declares that the scientific evidence for reincarnation has grown to the point of being “almost overwhelming” when in fact no impressive mounds of solid proof exist. But readers familiar with reincarnation literature will expect such overstatements, and the tone here is charmingly avuncular: The author includes friendly anecdotes as well as clear discussions of human physiology. Hook’s reading is extremely wide-ranging and energetic; Christian researchers and New Age fans alike should be captivated.
A thorough and largely convincing argument for the validity of reincarnation in the Christian worldview.