Books Culture

From Buddhist monk to Christian pastor

A review on Ellis Potter’s 3 Theories of Everything

The year was 1976. He got off the bus in front of a large chalet in the Swiss Alps and wondered if here, of all places he would find what he was looking for. He read a carved wooden sign at the end of the driveway: LAbri.” 

A Buddhist monk from California, Ellis Potter was out of his element, to say the least. His challenges were just beginning as he was introduced to a compelling man named Francis. He soon realized that his Buddhist convictions were lacking intellectual comprehensiveness as well as peace that Francis not only discussed, but also possessed.

Potter’s dramatic conversion to Christianity came about as a direct result of several intense, personal discussions in the turbulent 70s with Francis Schaeffer, the theologian, philosopher, and Presbyterian pastor who founded L’Abri, Christian study centres: where answers are asked and sought after about God and the significance of human life.

3-theories-of-everything-big-1After his conversion, Potter worked at LAbri where he counselled, lectured, taught and encouraged hundreds of students from all over the world. He has since travelled extensively all over the world, teaching and preaching in churches, camps, conferences, and universities.

It is from this vast array of experience and personal knowledge that Potter wrote 3 Theories of Everything. In it, he contrasts Monism, Dualism, and Trinitarianism to equip readers to ask loving questions that open up windows of perception for their neighbours and for themselves.

What most find captivating about this book is its respect for each worldview it discusses. Potter is not afraid to engage readers with deep, hard-hitting questions about how they identify themselves and how they look at and understand the world. 

In this simple volume, Potter explores three major worldviews that propose radically different answers to eternal questions. In clear and compelling language, Potter shows us that the three worldviews, and the unique hope that each offers to humanity, have profoundly different consequences for how we see everyday reality and the ultimate purpose of our lives. This book is a concise, reader-friendly look at three basic ways of seeing reality from the East and the West.

3 Theories of Everything can be purchased on Amazon.

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