Chapter 7, God Can’t Do Everything, but He Can Do Some Important Things
Chapter 8, What Good Then, Is Religion?
Ultimately the answer to the last question is, “Not much.” He gives the conclusion he has come to.
“Let me suggest that the bad things that happen to us in our lives do not have a meaning when they happen to us. They do not happen for any good reason which would cause us to accept them willingly. But we can give them a meaning. We can redeem these tragedies from senselessness by imposing meaning on them. The question we should be asking is not, ‘Why did this happen to me? What did I do to deserve this?’ That is really an unanswerable, pointless question. A better question would be ‘Now that this has happened to me, what am I going to do about it?’” page 136Although I don’t disagree with his positive spin as an alternative to despair, I am curious about how he concludes that the entire meaning of life and the big questions comes down to us having a positive attitude and pulling ourselves up by the boot-straps. Notice that the meaning is imposed by us and has no relation to the eternal. God having a purpose is rejected. This is a curious position for one who is employed full time as a Rabbi who is supposed to be a minister of God and teach about the things of God.
Contrast this Old Testament leader with the message of the New Testament.
(Romans 8:28 KJV) And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
(Philippians 1:6 KJV) Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
(1 Corinthians 13:12 KJV) For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.His position seems to me to be a total rejection of the God of the Bible. It substitutes the belief that man is the pinnacle of evolution and stands on his own two feet. It is up to you to amount to something. God is just a side-show for the weak and foolish.
Okay. I am weak and foolish. I have read the book and I have read the Book. I prefer the one that teaches about an eternal, all powerful, loving, holy, personal, God.
Kushner, Harold S. When Bad Things Happen to Good People. New York: Schocken Books, 1981.
homo unius libri