Book Review - A Good Look at Evil, by Abigail L. Rosenthal

We cannot live without evil. We cannot work our way through the challenges of life, interacting with other people, engaging on the day to day without encountering some kind of evil in one way or another. While we may think of evil as a large, ominous presence, a devastating specter that looks to destroy all, a cartoonish devil, evil can and does occur in small and subtle ways. This is one of the aspects of Rosenthal’s book that is engaging and enticing, that evil is seen as that which gets in the way of the “good life.” Such a view of evil does not label one individual as completely fallen or looks to some kind of divine being constantly wrestling with a divine being of good in an eternal Manichaeism conflict. Evil is the moment that we all participate in that restrict others from living the good life. There are gradations of evil. There are levels of severity and part of our challenge is to minimize the evil we inflict on others as much as possible.

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You Don't "Got" This

(With apologies to Wonder Woman) When someone says, “I’ve got this,” they are claiming all the space for themselves. They are closing out others and saying that their input is not vital or essential. But what if in response to the macho marking of territory someone else says, “Ok, and who else has this?” This is inviting others into the space and sharing the power.

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For Audible Version, Press Here

         We are, by in large, a visual culture. We look first. We gage our environment by what we can see. We also listen, caught by the many audible cues that tickle our attention, that draw us from one point of focus to the other, but primarily we see. The visual comes before the audible. What do we lose when we fail to listen?

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Certainty and Unknowing

We need a theology of uncertainty. It is a theology that does not look for answers, but looks to question, to muse, and to play, with a deep reverence and respect and awe towards the relationship with God. It is a theology that celebrates a freedom in that relationship to do so. It is a theological approach that fundamentally holds to the idea that we are called to question and grow in our relationship with the divine.

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A Prophetic Message of Comfort to Those Disappointed About the Outcome of the Presidental Election

President-elect Trump called for unity between political parties and the racial divide. However, although the president should champion unity, he does not have the moral authority nor the knowhow to bring peace to a fractured world. The church has a major role to foster peace and unity. The Bible gives us a road map for unity. America must look to God to obtain genuine love, unity, and peace. The church and religious institutions are the vehicle through which God works in the world.

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Read and Know and Understand

The sharing of one’s experience will never be full or complete. It will be imperfect as we see in many poorly written memoirs. No matter how much the author opens up, or anyone opens up and shares we can never fully know the other. No matter how much we strive to understand the plight and life and experiences of someone we can never presume to know what kind of hope they may embrace or desire. It will be imperfect, but that should not keep us for striving, with humility, to know and understand someone else, and then to listen for the hope that they desire.

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The Good Work of Doubt

 It is not easy to allow ourselves to doubt. In the realm of faith it means looking closely at what we believe and asking we can really embrace that faith. It means questioning many of the basic assumptions of our faith and that can be scary and challenging especially if it is a faith that we grew up with. Yet it could mean a deeper and mature hope on the other side.

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