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Showing posts from May, 2014

The Return of the Kosher Pig

The Return of the Kosher Pig: The Divine Messiah in Jewish Thought by Rabbi Itzhak Shapira
The title at first made me chuckle and also wonder what this book was all about.  How is it that a traditional Jewish rabbi considers the claims of Yeshua and traces the Messiah from the OT and Jewish literature?  In this book, The Return of the Kosher Pig, Rabbi Shapira does that very thing in tracing the line of the Messiah as pointing to Yeshua from many rabbinic and OT passages.  What this book does is open us up to the discussion going on about the Messiah in early Judaism and how there was not one central line of argument from the beginning about the identity of the Messiah. 
In Part III (Evidence) for the Messiah, Rabbi Shapira dives into the interpretation of Isaiah 52-53 from the ancient rabbis to see if some of the teachers thought that these suffering servant passages referred to the Messiah.  “Rabbi Aharon Yaskil comments, “When Messiah the ri…

Confident Faith

Confident Faith: Building a Firm Foundation for Your Beliefs by Mark Mittelberg
Thinking through our beliefs is not an easy task, especially in today’s world where reason is king and any belief in the supernatural is usually deemed pre-scientific.  In his new book, Confident Faith, author Mark Mittelberg seeks to bolster the confidence of believers in their Christian faith by giving them sound reasons for the faith and dispelling other alternatives to that faith.  Doubts are no intimidation factor for Mark, he takes them head on as he himself as a young man how many questions about the Bible’s trustworthiness and its message.  Mark comes out his readers through a plea to do some hard research yourself to see if the Christian faith is worthy of believing.  Also, in the book, Mark outlines six “faith paths” that most people align themselves with at one point or another: the relativistic faith, the traditional faith, the authoritarian faith, the intuitive faith, the mystical faith, and t…

Just Jesus

Just Jesus by Walter Wink with Steven Berry
Many people know the name Walter Wink through his series of books on the Powers that Be, but many people don’t recognize the extreme nature of Wink’s life.  This new book, Just Jesus, is a memoir of Wink’s life through his time at Union Seminary, his nonviolent protests, and his views on practicing the faith of the fathers in the midst of horrible evil.  You get many pictures of Wink as you work through this memoir; social reformer, radical theologian, and constant stirrer of the pot.  You might not agree with everything in this book, in fact you won’t, but you will appreciate the life of a man dedicated to many worthwhile causes. 
After relaying the story of how Walter had decided with his friend to burn up some Christmas trees, the fire marshal came and blamed it all on Walt’s black friend.  Wink writes, “That day I discovered something of what racism is.” (36)  The sting of knowing that someone was wronged when you were to blame, and tha…