My mother-in-law gave me this book years ago when I was still transitioning from Christianity to Buddhism. I found it to be a marvelous exercise of introspection at a time when the author was having some unanswered questions about his Christian faith. He wrote down his questions then tackled them one by one in a kind of dialectical process. First he reflected deeply on the Christian tenet he found problematic (thesis), then considered how Buddhism responded to the same matter (antithesis, sort of), and finally, considered how the interjection of a living God synthesized the two views.
I’m writing this from memory, so I might be off on the specifics, but I remember my reaction. I found him to be quite fair and reasonable in his presentation of the two views (insofar as I understood Buddhism at the time), but I always found the synthesis completely unnecessary (and for that reason I only got through about half the book). By the time he’d stated the Christian view and the Buddhist view for each issue, I personally thought the addition of God was totally arbitrary.
As we all know, HHDL is deeply ecumenical in matters of Buddhism and all religions. I have heard him say that he enjoys discussing with his friends in Christianity and other religions. They can debate specific tenets, but only up to a certain point. When he is speaking with a theist and the discussion turns to emptiness or the existence of God he says, “No, no. This is not your concern. Ha ha ha!” He believes that people can practice more than one religion at a time, but again, only up to a point. At a certain level of understanding and realization, one eventually must choose definitively. He calls himself “a staunch Buddhist”, but he reminds people of how deep their ties are to the religion of their birth. He cautions people not to change religions lightly.
So, in light of HHDL's perspective, I guess I could say that without Knitter's reflections, I might not have separated myself from Christianity in favor of Buddhism.
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva