Kushner on God

My friend and colleague Michael Goldberg pointed me to ‘God Is Like a Mirror,’ a recent sermon by Harold Kushner, the author of “When Bad Things Happen to Good People” and “How Good Do We Have to Be?” among other texts. Kushner is emeritus rabbi at Temple Israel in Natick, down the street from my church (our congregations occasionally share a service). Kushner’s sermon (there’s no direct link; you’ll have to look at the link to recent sermons and scrolll down; it’s the Rosh Hashanah sermon) critiques two recent books, “God: A Biography” and “The Hidden Face of God.” He takes issue with their suggestion that God has disappeared, like a parent we no longer need, and suggests a different way of looking for God in the world. He argues that God is a mirror for us, showing us what we want to be or do.

It’s not an argument that will satisfy everyone (as if that was possible). But for me, it was a nice way of addressing a basic problem of contemporary monotheism: how we can recognize where God acts in the world?

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