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Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

Christianity needs Judaism

Posted by jbharp on January 24, 2007

I heard a commentary on talk radio one day (of course it was Dennis Prager) discussing the desire of extreme Muslims who want to kill Jews and Christians, yet they disregard the fact that Islam would not exist without Judaism and Christianity. Prager went on to remark that Christians at least acknowledge their faith stems from Judaism and they don’t desire to destroy Israel.

I’m not, nor ever have been anti-Semitic or an anti-Zionist, but I didn’t fully recognize the role that Judaism played in my faith. So, this last year I began reading about Judaism and the Jewish lifestyle. I’ve been extremely intrigued by it and the logical, rational thoughts that Judaism offers.

Judaism is not a religion of laws and rules to help you obtain favor with nonrelational God. Judaism is not a cluster of commands to appease an angry God. Judaism is not a ritual of useless customs and traditions that have come from obscurity and nonsense.

Judaism is a lifestyle that faithfully responds to the life and freedom that came from God.

Just as God gave life and freedom in the Torah (Old Testament), He also gave life and freedom, through Christ, in the New Testament. Thus, Judaism and Christianity are about how the Jew and Christian respond to the gift that was given by God. The gift is not earned; rather it is free for the taking.

I want to learn much more about Judaism, as I’m convinced that it will make my faith in Christ more solid. So, I figure what better way to learn than to immerse myself in Judaism. This weekend I will be attending Shabbat services at a Synagogue here in Colorado Springs. I am greatly looking forward to it.

Here are two books that I’ve found helpful. To Be a Jew by Hayim Halevy Donin and Essential Judaism: A Complete Guide to Beliefs, Customs, and Rituals by George Robinson

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The pursuit of a simpleton

Posted by jbharp on January 21, 2007

It seems as though some think of the Chrisitan (religious) community as low brow, middle American simpletons.  Yet I’m convinced that the pursuit of God is one of the most highly intellectual adventures anyone can task of their mind.

I came across this statement in J.I. Packer’s Knowing God, which helps depict the reality of seeking God.

What makes life worthwhile is having a big enough objective, some thing which catches our imagination and lays hold of our allegiance;  and this the Christian has in a way that no other person has. For what higher, more exalted, and more compelling goal can there be than to know God? (ch3 pg34). JI Packer, Knowing God.

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