Why have the monotheistic religions failed to produce societies that live up to their ethical ideals? A prominent rabbi answers this question by looking at his own faith and offering a way for religion to heal itself. In Putting God Second, Rabbi Donniel Hartman tackles one of modern life's most urgent and vexing questions: Why are the great monotheistic faiths--Judaism, Christianity, and Islam--chronically unable to fulfill their own self-professed goal of creating individuals infused with moral sensitivity and societies governed by the highest ethical standards? To answer this question, Hartman takes a sober look at the moral peaks and valleys of his own tradition, Judaism, and diagnoses it with clarity, creativity, and erudition. He rejects both the sweeping denouncements of those who view religion as an inherent impediment to moral progress and the apologetics of fundamentalists who proclaim religion's moral perfection against all evidence to the contrary. Hartman identifies the primary source of religion's moral failure in what he terms its "autoimmune disease," or the way religions so often undermine their own deepest values. While God obligates the good and calls us into its service, Hartman argues, God simultaneously and inadvertently makes us morally blind. The nature of this self-defeating condition is that the human religious desire to live in relationship with God often distracts religious believers from their traditions' core moral truths. The answer Hartman offers is this: put God second. In order to fulfill religion's true vision for humanity--an uncompromising focus on the ethical treatment of others--religious believers must hold their traditions accountable to the highest independent moral standards. Decency toward one's neighbor must always take precedence over acts of religious devotion, and ethical piety must trump ritual piety. For as long as devotion to God comes first, responsibility to other people will trail far, far behind. In this book, J
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Many scholars find the legal metaphor of an Oath of Innocence inappropriate, though for different reasons. Some liberal scholars opt for an aesthetic, not a moral, resolution of the question of evil in the world. They find a sublime beauty in God's review of the animal and physical worlds, Behemoth and Leviathan. But that is all they find. They find no suggestions of moral purpose in God's creation and control of evil. Indeed, they feel none could be forthcoming. God is beyond good and evil so no moral resolution is possible. Since no moral resolution is possible, a legal mataphor such as a lawsuit dramatizing the moral question is inappropriate. They interpret Job to understand that position. And they interpret him to retract the lawsuit in its entirety. This author feels such liberal scholars miss a moral resolution for five reasons. (a) First, they fail to give adequate weight to Satan's first speech in heaven setting out the moral solution. (b) Second, they misinterpret Job's struggle with God to be a request for a restoration of his former position, rather than a request to know the reason behind evil in the world. (c) Third, they fail to appreciate the moral restrictions under which God has to operate. God cannot reveal any moral answers directly without defeating his very purpose in the creation and control of evil. As a result, they miss the suggestions of moral purpose in God's two speeches and the inferences God would have Job draw. (d) Fourth, they fail to fully appreciate the legal dynamics of the enforcement mechanism of Job's Oath of Innocence. In particular, they fail to appreciate the distinction between causal responsibility and moral blameworthiness. Thus, they do not understand God's comments concerning vindication and condemnation in his first speech to Job. And they do not understand Job's hesitation to proceed beyond his own vindication to a condemnation of God in Job's first speech to God. Ultimately, they fail to see Job's adjournment and con
- Author : Seymour Rossel
- Publisher : Rossel Books
- Release Date : 2018-01-04
- Genre : Religion
- Pages : 450
- ISBN : 0940646455
The Essential Jewish Stories contains more than 300 stories selected from every period of Jewish history and from every Jewish teaching tradition -- narratives, anecdotes, metaphors, analogies, folktales, and fantasies. Every story is elegantly retold to emphasize its relevance for our times. The Essential Jewish Stories is arranged thematically for easy access. It includes three indices that make it conveniently simple to find just the right story. Sources are provided for every narrative and many are accompanied by special notes. Perfect for clergy of all faiths, for teachers, for storytellers, and for parents -- for all who wish to initiate discussions of tradition and values with children, friends, and community -- and certainly for those of us who simply love to share a good story. Second Revised Edition with Preface by Dr. Henry Roubicek, author of So, What's Your Story? Discovering the Story in You "The Jewish tradition, perhaps more than most others, has relied on the power of its narratives to maintain the continuity of its peoples at least since the Diaspora. Rossel, in this substantial anthology, has brought together the stories he has used as a rabbi, drawing from scripture, Midrash, folktale, and literary sources. Indexed by festivals, characters, and concepts, this is a rich resource. VERDICT For readers and preachers in both Jewish and Christian traditions." -- LIBRARY JOURNAL "For thousands of years, Jewish scholars have used stories and legends, Midrash, to interpret and explain core religious texts such as the Torah and the Talmud and to impart values to their students. Rossel, a Reform rabbi and educator who loves these stories, has collected more than 300 of them for this book. He has "re-imagined and rewritten" each of the stories to make them accessible to a contemporary audience. He has also done extensive research to track down the original sources of each tale. The notes and the bibliography at the end of the book provide these references fo
A book that explains the spirituality and meaning in today's B'nai mitzvah. This book describes the origin of the ceremony, explains the Shabbat morning service, and offers suggestions of ways to incorporate non-Jewish family members into the celebration.
In the second half of the twentieth century, a profound shift took place in how we think about preaching. We moved away from a vertical focus on the preacher who hands down the authoritative teaching, to more relational, narrative, and conversational models. Yet common to both of these understandings, says Paul Scott Wilson, is the idea that preaching is primarily about teaching, that it mainly conveys information about God.Important as this emphasis on “preaching as teaching” has been, Wilson believes that the time for a new approach has arrived. That new approach, which he names “preaching as proclamation,” has begun to arise from a variety of Euro-American and African American sources. Its primary aim is not to convey information, but to engender an encounter with God’s grace in Christ. More than guiding people to say “Yes, now I understand,” it hopes to lead them to proclaim “I am redeemed; we are saved.” More than telling the gospel story, it renders the gospel’s claim on human lives, leading to conviction of sin, repentance, and transformation. Pulling together the disparate strands of this new homiletical school, Wilson constructs a comprehensive introduction to preaching, focusing on its character as proclamation of the sovereign grace of God.
- Author : International Association for Liberal Christianity and Religious Freedom
- Publisher : Unknown
- Release Date : 1955
- Genre : Liberalism (Religion)
- Pages : 231
- ISBN : UOM:39015074731814
After many years of searching, John Houston found his way home—his true home. Now, he wants to help you do the same. John Houston has spent the past sixteen years building for others what he didn’t always have for himself growing up: a family home. Today, John is one of the premier custom home builders in Texas. Throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area, you see signs proudly presenting “John Houston Custom Homes” that paint a picture of the kind of home life John would have done anything to have as a child. From a young age, home was not a place where John wanted to be. After his parents divorced and his mother moved out, his father remarried and moved in with his new family. John and his older brother struggled to adjust and began living by themselves with little to no adult supervision at the ages of 11 and 15. They helped support themselves financially by working long hours running a lawncare business before and after school. The years that followed were challenging but also marked by God’s protection, even when John didn’t realize it, as he overcame hardships that could have permanently derailed his life. He met and married the woman of his dreams, completed his education and became a respected and successful business owner. And he isn’t confused for one second about who’s ultimately responsible for his success: God. In Finding My Way Home, John Houston reflects on a life of trials, hardships, and painful mistakes through the lens of gratitude for God’s enduring faithfulness. He explains, “God created a story with my life that puts a spotlight on His mercy and grace—a story of my anger and His forgiveness; of the broken family I grew up in and His restoration; of my demanding ‘leadership’ as a husband and father and His model for me to lead with love.”
The suspicions of three cousins about a possible theft at a building site lead them to prevent a crime and experience the meaning of the commandment, "You shall have no other gods before me."
These powerful strategies for living a life characterized by significance & impact have given men greater meaning in the most vital aspects of their lives.
Countless stories. One incredible ending. A major league baseball player. a Tennessee pastor. A reality TV star. a single mom. A multi-platinum rocker. What do these people have in common? They’ve all hit bottom. And none of them stayed there. Famous or unfamiliar, these are the stories of real people who reached the end of their strength, the end of their control, and found the most surprising truths. It taught them not to rely on self or substance but to lean on the only completely reliable source of love, hope, and freedom: the God who created them. Shocking in their honesty, inspiring in their courage, these testimonies are critical reminders that no one is too far from God to find him. Join these and thousands more who have discovered the lifechanging power in putting God first and proclaiming, “I am Second.”
This devotional for teens and their parents is packed with 260 devotions based on the books of Matthew, Luke, John, Acts, and Revelation. Each features a Scripture passage, a story, questions, and a daily challenge.
- Author : Jeffrey K. Salkin
- Publisher : U of Nebraska Press
- Release Date : 2018-08
- Genre : RELIGION
- Pages : 24
- ISBN : 9780827614444
Bere'shit (Genesis 1:1-6:8) and Haftarah (Isaiah 42:5-43:10): The JPS B'nai Mitzvah Torah Commentary shows teens in their own language how Torah addresses the issues in their world. The conversational tone is inviting and dignified, concise and substantial, direct and informative. Each pamphlet includes a general introduction, two model divrei Torah on the weekly Torah portion, and one model davar Torah on the weekly Haftarah portion. Jewish learning--for young people and adults--will never be the same. The complete set of weekly portions is available in Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin's book The JPS B'nai Mitzvah Torah Commentary (JPS, 2017).
"Putting God First 52 Week Planner 2nd Edition" is a life tool which provides a guide to effectively plan our goals with God first. This second edition reminds us to better take care of ourselves while allowing God to lead, so we may fulfill our "Royal Purpose". This planner contains: action steps, self inventory, monthly budgets, monthly calendars, weekly planning, affirmations and so much more.
The Eve Factor explores the specific struggles that women encounter in their pursuit of a closer walk with God, true peace and happiness, and a life of significance. This book will help you to: • Recognize when you are being tempted • Identify which temptations you are susceptible to and why • Determine your temperament and how it makes you vulnerable to temptation
- Author : United States. Congress. House. Committee on Agriculture
- Publisher : Unknown
- Release Date : 1978
- Genre : Agriculture
- Pages : 231
- ISBN : CORNELL:31924084777055