Being a Christian, I knew that there would be some things that I would not agree with Rabbi Kushner in his book. I was surprised to find how many things I did not agree. For starters, Kushner uses the story of Jacob wrestling with an angel throughout his book. I have no fault there. However, Kushner views the story in a total non-literal point of view; suggesting that Jacob didn't actually wrestle with the Angel of the Lord, but instead just had a struggle with his conscience. He doesn't consider or suggest once that maybe Jacob actually, literally wrestled with the Angel of the Lord.
The book also talks alot about duality, the duality between one's "regular" or "commercial" life and one's "spirtual" life. Kushner ignores the idea that there is no difference between the "two" lives; that they are both one and the same. Reading these parts in the book I was reminded of the Apostle John and how much of his writing and preaching was aimed at eliminating the dangerous duality of Gnosticism.
Finally, this is a warm and fuzzy book. It is not challenging in any way. It stirs very little emotion and presents God as a grey-beard man sitting on His throne who only mixes with His people when necessary. The book suggests that even though Rabbi Kushner is a Jew, Judaism isn't the only religion that will lead one to Heaven (a view that contrasts with what God spoke to the prophets). The book ends on a note of feel good happiness and universalism. Though those things in themselves are not bad, they are dangerous when discussing matters of eternal importance.
Overall, what disturbed me the most about LIVING A LIFE THAT MATTERS is that it lacked emotion. There was no passion. I don't mind reading a book and disagreeing with what the author writes. In fact, I enjoy that. It makes us better readers, thinkers, and people. However, when an author presents a viewpoint and is very politically correct about the whole thing and shows no passion or emotion, fearful someone may become upset with what has been written, it irritates me. Have the courage of your convictions.
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