Why Faith Matters

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Overview

Why Faith Matters is an articulate defense of religion in America. It makes the case for faith and shows its relationship to history and science. Refuting the cold reason of atheists and the hatred of fanatics with a vision of religion informed by faith, love, and understanding, Rabbi David J. Wolpe follows in a literary tradition that stretches from Cardinal Newman to C. S. Lewis to Thomas Merton?individuals of faith who brought religion and culture together in their own works. Wolpe takes readers through the ...

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Why Faith Matters

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Overview

Why Faith Matters is an articulate defense of religion in America. It makes the case for faith and shows its relationship to history and science. Refuting the cold reason of atheists and the hatred of fanatics with a vision of religion informed by faith, love, and understanding, Rabbi David J. Wolpe follows in a literary tradition that stretches from Cardinal Newman to C. S. Lewis to Thomas Merton—individuals of faith who brought religion and culture together in their own works. Wolpe takes readers through the origins and nature of faith, the role of the Bible in modern life, and the compatibility of God and science, concluding with a powerful argument for the place of God, faith, and religion in today's world.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Rabbi Wolpe (Making Loss Matter) joins the throngs of authors responding to the new atheists with defenses of faith. Yet rather than tense up about atheism, its defenders and their dismissive attitudes about people of faith, Wolpe answers these challenges with such kindness and thoughtfulness that even the heart of Christopher Hitchens might find itself warmed. Wolpe does not make his case for faith by hiding the darkest moments of Western traditions. Rather, he shines a light on religion's deepest scars-for instance spending a good deal of time discussing the relationship between religion and violence-while at the same time showing how religions have also (almost) always been a force of good in the world. (Take Christianity's extraordinary response to the tsunami in Indonesia, Wolpe explains.) With gentle, wonderfully engaging prose, Wolpe scrolls through history and shows how faith traditions don't offer easy, simplistic answers for the intellectually weak, as the New Atheists imply. More often than not, religion sparks believers to ask even more difficult questions, while at the same time building a platform on which to live under a canopy of hope. (Sept.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061633355
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/1/2009
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 252,140
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Named the #1 Pulpit Rabbi in America (as reported in Newsweek), David J. Wolpe is the rabbi of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a teacher of modern Jewish religious thought at UCLA. Rabbi Wolpe writes for many publications, including The Jewish Week, Jerusalem Post, Los Angeles Times, and Beliefnet.com. He has appeared as a commentator on CNN and CBS This Morning and has been featured on the History Channel's Mysteries of the Bible. He is the author of six previous books, including the national bestseller Making Loss Matter: Creating Meaning in Difficult Times.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 15 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 22, 2009

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    I Also Recommend:

    On par with the Rev. Dr. Timothy Johnson, FINDING GOD IN THE QUESTIONS

    After watching a Sunday afternoon minor league baseball game, I searched a Barnes & Noble sales table for a good book. I do not remember if if was the red dust jacket or the foreword by the Rev. Rick Warren that first caught my attention. As a prior student of Rabbi Harold Kushner's 8-10 books, I wanted to see another view outside my Christian religion. Once I started reading I could not let go. Rabbi Wolpe is a good writer with a jest for scholarship. In his faith based book, he cites passages from the Koran as well as the New Testament to better outline PEOPLE OF THE BOOK ideas re GOD. An inman who desires to promote peace can learn from this book. A priest or pastor on retreat can reinforce his beliefs as well as gain sermon ideas. An unbeliever now has the road map available to become a person of the book. A rabbi has a tool to improve community support for peace. An adult bible class has an excellent text to search for greater knowledge and truth necessary for salvation. Presented in a modern way Rabbi Wolpe was truly inspired in his work by GOD. I will reread this book as issues of Katrina,humanism or evil reappear in this world. This book may not outsell WHEN BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE or the PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE, but is truly one of the best faith driven books this century. I have ordered 2 copies of the tradeback edition due out this month to give to my children. I look forward to reading Rabbi Wolpe's next book. This truly is a book for all who desire to learn about the People of the Book and GOD's answers to life.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 12, 2009

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    I Also Recommend:

    My favorite read this week is a book written by David J. Wolpe titled "Why Faith Matters". Whether holding the hand of a friend or holding God's hand to lead us on our journey, it is our unseen faith that sustains us.

    Faith alone never seems to be enough for most people. We cannot see faith, so we question something that can't be seen. We get caught up in the world of religion and somehow believe that problmes don't happen to good people or Christians. This of course is so far removed from the truth. We are never promised that life will be perfect or without sorrow or problems. We must face that truth and live our days with the constant knowing that God is present. Rabbi David Wolpe so describes in his book his own sorrows and sufferings and explains so clearly "Why Faith Matters." We doubt God because He can't be seen, but what about the many things in life that cannot be explained. The nonphysical things in life that are the real stuff of life...All of our lives are driven by the non-material: ideas, emotions, imagination, memory, relationships, intuition, suffering, joy, and faith. According to David Wolpe to believe only what you can see seems a peculiar form of blindness. I choose not to be blind, instead to continue with the unseen faith and trust in our God.

    So my journey continues with faith in one hand and God holding the other. They both continue to sustain me and give me the peace I seek and a promise of a wondrous tomorrow.

    The book will give you reason to pause and think about your own beliefs and walk you into the unssen faith that we all desire. A great read...

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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