Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Book Review: Why Faith Matters, by Rabbi David J. Wolpe

Wow, where do I begin to summarize Why Faith Matters by Rabbi David Wolpe? Well, Wolpe begins by sharing how he catapulted out of his religious beliefs in his teen years into despair after seeing film footage of the holocaust. He completely lost his faith in God, and came to the conclusion that God didn’t exist. His journey back to faith grew out of his intense, and what seemed like a desperate relationship with the atheist Bertrand Russell and his writings and philosophy. I was intrigued as I read about his journey back to faith through asking questions out of genuine seeking and curiosity.  
He finds Einstein and his two choices: “You can choose to see everything as a miracle, or nothing as a miracle.”

Wople discusses prayer; “Deep prayer is an experience like music or love—indescribable to one who does not pray.” He writes about Free will, Gratitude, the Bible, What is Religion, and the Mystery, to name just a few topics. He uses relevant quotes, and shares personal experiences of how life is not fair, and examples of his own suffering and pain. He brings his experience of faith to the reader by example, by entertaining perspectives that introduce faith to be strong and true in service to the human experience.

The parable of the twins (Pg. 151) has been used by Rev.Edward at the pulpit in referencing the experience of the Afterlife. Wolpe quotes Milton Steinburg (Pg.131) “The believer in God has to account for the existence of unjust suffering; the atheist has to account for everything else.” 

This book will take you on a journey and will pique your interest in your own insights into the faith you have or the faith you question. I say it is a worthy investment.

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