Bob's Reviews > God in Search of Man: A Philosophy of Judaism

God in Search of Man by Abraham Joshua Heschel
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Jul 16, 12

Read from June 13 to July 16, 2012

I liked this book though at times I had to plough through some sections; here is the opening paragraph;
"Religion declined not because it was refuted, but because it became irrelevant, dull, oppressive, and insipid. When faith is completely replaced by creed, worship by discipline, love by habit; when the crisis of today is ignored because of the splendor of the past; when faith becomes an heirloom rather than a living fountain; when religion speaks only in the name of authority rather than with the voice of compassion--its message becomes meaningless."

There is much to commend in this book, it is not always easy but I believe it is always profitable. There are many thought provoking thoughts & statements throughout this work, just take your time in reading it and you will glean much from its pages. In one place he says, “Hypocrisy rather than heresy is the cause of spiritual decay” he then cites Psalm 51:8.

He sets philosophy on its ear, I believe, he says, “The role of religion is to be a challenge to philosophy, not merely an object for examination. There is much that philosophy could learn from the Bible. To the philosopher the idea of the good is the most exalted idea. But to the Bible the idea of the good is penultimate: it cannot exist without the holy. The holy is the essence, the good is its expression.”

However our author is not telling us to send our brains on vacation for he says, “The employment of reason is indispensable to the understanding & worship of God, & religion withers without it. The insights of faith are general,…Without reason faith becomes blind…” Reading that got me hooked.
The average layperson would not find much here of interest, but those interested in the Bible, theology, philosophy etc. and those who pastor churches I believe will find great value in this work.
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