Kushner Read by Harold S. Kushner Best Seller. Paperback —. Add to Cart Add to Cart. About When Bad Things Happen to Good People The 1 bestselling inspirational classic from the nationally known spiritual leader; a source of solace and hope for over 4 million readers.
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Download Hi Res. LitFlash The eBooks you want at the lowest prices. Among these are failure to disclose to the public his statement of assets and liabilities, partiality and subservience in cases involving the ex-President Arroyo, etc. While looking at that headline, I recalled this book. Very timely. Rabbi Harold S. Kushner born wrote this very inspiring book, When Bad Things Happen to Good People, as a tribute to his son Aaron, who at the age of 14, died of the incurable disease progeria.
In this book, Rabbi Kushner says that God has no capacity to control everything that happens on earth or to us. Many of what happen to us are due to the choices that we take or things that we do to ourselves and to others. Shame on him for dragging God to the problems that he seems to have created by himself or with cohorts. However, if what Corona says is true, i. Rabbi Kushner aptly titled this book: take note that it is not "Why" but "When.
The reason is that God gave us the free will to decide. So, when tragedy strikes to us, we should not ask God "Why me? Anyway, God has promised not to forsake those who believe in Him. My favorite part is Rabbi Kushner's analysis of The Book of Job where he mentions exactly his treatise above. God is not that all-powerful to control everything that happens on earth. He does not have the power to control what happened in the Holocaust.
He did not will the death of the Jews. Those were the actions of men. Thank you to my friend, Barbara, for recommending this book to me. Very inspiring. Good straightforward narration. Proof that an author does not need to employ big words and vague philosophy to deliver his message.
A worthwhile book! View all 32 comments. Jul 22, Jennifer Lane rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites , nonfiction , psychology. Savvy Spiritual Guidance I often recommend this book to psychotherapy clients because it gives me peace of mind when struggling with the pain of life. Written by Rabbi Harold Kushner, this collection of philosophical wisdom is not tied to a particular religion. Why do bad things happen to good people?
Why does a loving father die of cancer when a murderer lives? How can a young, innocent child suffer a disfiguring injury? This book attempts to answer such questions. Sometimes well-intentioned indiv Savvy Spiritual Guidance I often recommend this book to psychotherapy clients because it gives me peace of mind when struggling with the pain of life. Sometimes well-intentioned individuals say things to the bereaved like "It was part of God's plan" or "God needed her up in Heaven. Harold Kushner tells us that God cannot stop bad things from happening, because everyone dies and because we have free will.
God can't stop the laws of nature. For example, if a man jumps off a tall building, God can't block the law of gravity to save his life. But, God can be there to help us cope with life's tragedies. We can turn to God for support and love when bad things inevitably happen. I read this book before I learned about the noble truths of Buddhism, and the messages of this book parallel those noble truths. My rough paraphrase of the noble truths: 1 Pain is inevitable.
Life is difficult and painful by its very nature, not because we're doing it wrong. Suffering is what occurs when we have difficulty opening to our life experience, to reality. Craving anything is suffering. View 2 comments. Oct 20, Ellen rated it really liked it. I wish I could say that this book answers the question posed by its title.
Instead, it is more of lesson on how "God" doesn't cause bad things - humans do. If this a concept unfamiliar to you then you might find this book mind opening and perhaps relieving. On the other hand, if you already felt this way, then this book might seem a bit elementary and disappointing. However, I give this book four stars for two reasons. One, the author seems like the coolest rabbi around. He seems to "get" it - s I wish I could say that this book answers the question posed by its title. He seems to "get" it - something very few clergy members seem to do.
Seccond, the very end of the book comes to the conclusion that it doesn't really matter why something bad happens, instead it matters how we respond to a tragedy and what we do afterwards. Afterall, what else is there to do? You can squander your life away with angrer, confusion, and isolation. Or you can accept that, yes the world is full of unfair and imperfect events and people, but it is also capable of being full of beauty, love, and great happiness. A little, but the author puts it more eloquently that you actually DO feel a little better at the end of this book.
View all 4 comments. Apr 14, Tom LA rated it did not like it. Honest review: this is a book about the author, not about God. Kushner was crying out against God, just like Job, and - in a contrived way - he expressed his anger by presenting in this book a totally self-made theology, where God is not perfect and all-powerful. In a nutshell, this book is Kushner insulting God for the death of his young son, while pretending to be rational about it. This means that, as a rabbi and a theologian, he comes up with a customized concept of God that, while valid on Honest review: this is a book about the author, not about God.
This means that, as a rabbi and a theologian, he comes up with a customized concept of God that, while valid on the emotional and personal level, is not in line with the Christian God that Catholics like me have faith in. Therefore, here I found heartfelt and genuine feelings, but abysmal theology. Adams Theology Today, October concludes about this book: "Kushner is surely right about the will of God. I, too, am horrified when someone says it must have been the will of God that my own son was killed by a drunken driver.
I want no part of such a God. But neither do I want a limited God. Western theology is going to have to do a better job in solving the problem of evil than Kushner has done. Any more trolling by old and angry Oxford farts and keyboard-warriors will be obviously deleted. View all 15 comments. The best I can do to explain this book is to quote it: "But if Man is truly free to choose, if he can show himself as being virtuous by freely choosing the good when the bad is equally possible, then he has to be free to choose the bad also.
If he were only free to do good, he would not really be choosing. If we are bound to do good, then we are not free to choose it. I think a lot of things come down to choice. And this book explains it really well. I really liked this bo The best I can do to explain this book is to quote it: "But if Man is truly free to choose, if he can show himself as being virtuous by freely choosing the good when the bad is equally possible, then he has to be free to choose the bad also.
I really liked this book and I'm glad I read it, even though the guy who recommended it to me is a giant stupid a-hole and I hope he gets herpes. Mar 29, Jenny rated it it was amazing. God is not all powerful. God does not inflict suffering. Suffering is not a divine means to punish, to test our faith, or to teach us a lesson. These ideas fly in the face of what most every believer has been taught, and the ideology that is embedded and reinforced by the Judeo-Christian folk religion of the larger society.
And yet, read Rabbi Kusher's reasoning and you, too will gain a broader understanding of God and what it means to be human and to endure pain, suffering, and joy. I have come God is not all powerful. I have come to learn that God is love. The world is not fair and life is full of random circumstances; and yet, God is loving compassion, a force for good that grants us free will and provides humanity strength and comfort when we suffer.
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This is short book is written in simple, straightforward language that makes the theology and philosophy easy for everybody to understand. Highly recommended. Oct 01, Elyse Walters rated it really liked it. I read this book when it came out! I heard the author speak. Its an old book.
What to Do When Bad Things Happen to Good People | HuffPost Life
It was one of the books marked for a new friend here on Goodreads. I 'think' the author has a more recent book out -- I'll have to check About this book: It can be valuable to read if a person is going through a loss -a death of somebody close - any tragic situation -- Personal tragedy is the context of this book --then the reader can look at different perspectives and beliefs. The topic of GOD is examined not pushed dow I read this book when it came out!
The topic of GOD is examined not pushed down your throat --just examined. I liked parts of the books more than other parts -- but mostly --I felt it was 'valuable' -- and could be a useful book for the right person at a right time in their life View all 6 comments. I did find parts of this book useful but, because I am a Christian, I had the constant feeling that the Rabbi was only looking at half of the picture.
He bases his arguments entirely upon the God of the Old Testament because of course he does not recognise Jesus as the Son of God. Rabbi Kushner comes to the conclusion that God is not perfect, a little presumptuous I think for a mere mortal and says that it is no use praying to God to take away our suffering as He cannot do so. In the New Testa I did find parts of this book useful but, because I am a Christian, I had the constant feeling that the Rabbi was only looking at half of the picture.
We also have to understand that man lives in a world that, at the moment contains a lot of evil, God gave man free will and that means that we have the choice to be good or bad. God would not want to force us to be good, there would be no point, and there would be no point in Him forcing us to love Him, or bribing us to love Him, that would not be real love. He does however give more and more knowledge to doctors, surgeons and those trying to find cures to some of the dreadful illnesses that we suffer and maybe one day many of them will no longer exist.
As to the 'why bad things happen to good people', I don't know but I do believe that we are all capable of bad and that there are more factors in why someone turns to crime, violence, drink or drugs and we are not in the position to judge. I do know what it is like to lose a child, husband, sister and other much loved relatives and friends before what we would consider to be their allotted time but I cannot see the point in blaming God who had been there throughout my life to comfort me.
I feel that my trust and belief will one day be justified and that I will see my loved ones again. This is not a book written by a preacher who decides just to get up one Sunday and preach on Suffering and give you all the blah blah that you have got memorized by now too well No, this is a man who had to lose his beloved dear son to a genetic disorder and had to wrestle with the issue as a Jewish believing rabbi. I can hear Rabbi Kushner's voice on every page of the book and he is so compassionate.
What is beautiful about him is that he is real and honest and never claims to have the ultim This is not a book written by a preacher who decides just to get up one Sunday and preach on Suffering and give you all the blah blah that you have got memorized by now too well What is beautiful about him is that he is real and honest and never claims to have the ultimate answer to the dilemma of suffering. The most important thing that rabbi Kushner really did is breaking the taboos of bad fate and destiny being all directly from God, and the silly ridiculous consequent statements it entails.
Blaming the victim attitude! Does He never ask more of us than we can endure? My experi The most important thing that rabbi Kushner really did is breaking the taboos of bad fate and destiny being all directly from God, and the silly ridiculous consequent statements it entails. My experience, alas, has been otherwise. I have seen people crack under the strain of unbearable tragedy.
I have seen marriages break up after the death of a child, because parents blamed each other for not taking proper care or for carrying the defective gene, or simply because the memories they shared were unendurably painful. I have seen some people made noble and sensitive through suffering, but i have seen many more people grow cynical and bitter. I have seen people become jealous of those around them, unable to take part in the routines of normal living. I have seen cancers and automobile accidents take the life of one member of a family, and functionally end the lives of five others, who could never again be the normal, cheerful people they were before disaster struck.
If God is testing us, He must know by now that many of us fail the test. If He is only giving us the burdens we can bear, I have seen Him miscalculate far too often. And other ridiculous justifications that all refers to the direct action of God to people! Most of people cope with such statement in order not to let themselves really encounter their tragedy in realistic terms.
They fear they would lose their faith while letting their anger appear. If we're really free and to be ultimately fairly judged in another world by God, then we're probably ready to accept it. The feeling of anger can be directed to the man who inflicted us pain through his bad or evil action. We can develop and upgrade our laws and mechanisms to minimize such human violations. The tragedy and the agony are no question still present but the way to healing and resolution is way easier than natural evil!
For natural evil, rabbi Kushner makes a good encounter through the story of Job, as told in the bible, and he proposes that as long as Job is a good person, like the majority of human beings, then God is all just but He is not all powerful, meaning that He is limited by the laws of nature He created and thus He can't intervene to change the way they act on this world and on everyone of us.
Laws of nature are inflexible, and the relations that form the texture of this natural life is so complex making it almost totally random from our human perspective. A bullet has no conscience; neither does a malignant tumor or an automobile gone out of control. That is why good people get sick and get hurt as much as anyone. Being sick or being healthy is not a matter of what God decides that we deserve. Some are caused by bad luck, some are caused by bad people, and some are simply an inevitable consequence of our being human and being mortal, living in a world of inflexible natural laws.
The painful things that happen to us are not punishments for our misbehavior, nor are they in any way part of some grand design on God's part. Because the tragedy is not God's will, we need not feel hurt or betrayed by God when tragedy strikes. We can turn to Him for help in overcoming it, precisely because we can tell ourselves that God is as outraged by it as we are. But I do not believe the same things about Him that I did years ago, when I was growing up or when I was a theological student. I recognize His limitations.
He is limited in what He can do by laws of nature and by the evolution of human nature and human moral freedom. I no longer hold God responsible for illnesses, accidents, and natural disasters, because I realize that I gain little and I lose so much when I blame God for those things.
I can worship a God who hates suffering but cannot eliminate it, more easily than I can worship a God who chooses to make children suffer and die, for whatever exalted reason. Some years ago, when the "death of God" theology was a fad, I remember seeing a bumper sticker that read "My God is not dead; sorry about yours.
We can't ask Him to make us and those we love immune to diseases, because He can't do that. We can't ask Him to weave a magic spell around us so that bad things will only happen to other people, and never to us. People who pray for miracles usually don't get miracles, any more than children who pray for bicycles, good grades, or good boyfriends get them as a result of praying.
But people who pray for courage, for strength to bear the unbearable, for the grace to remember what they have left instead of they have lost, very often find their prayer answered. We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to end starvation; For you have already given us the resources With which to feed the entire world If we would only use them wisely. We cannot merely pray to You, O God, To root out prejudice, For You have already given us eyes With which to see the good in all men If we would only use them rightly.
We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to end despair, For You have already given us the power To clear away slums and to give hope If we would only use our power justly. We cannot merely pray to You, O God, to end disease, For you have already given us great minds with which To search out cures and healing, If we would only use them constructively. Therefore we pray to You instead, O God, For strength, determination, and willpower, To do instead of just to pray, To become instead of merely to wish.
We need only turn to Him, admit that we can't do this on our own, and understand that bravely bearing up under long-term illness is one of the most human, and one of the most godly, things we can ever do. One of the things that constantly reassures me that God is real, and not just an idea that religious leaders made up, is the fact that people who pray for strength, hope and courage so often find resources of strength, hope and courage that they did not have before they prayed.
Are you capable of forgiving and loving God even when you have found out that He is not perfect, even when He has let you down and disappointed you by permitting bad luck and sickness and cruelty in His world, and permitting some of those things to happen to you? Can you learn to love and forgive Him despite His limitations, as Job does, and as you once learned to forgive and love your parents even though they were not as wise, as strong, or as perfect as you needed them to be?
I hope I could contribute to the cause of the book someday. Jul 14, Holly rated it it was ok Shelves: religious. I only finished this book by Rabi Kushner because I truly wanted to understand the author's position and therefore that of thousands in this world. I enjoyed his logical methodical manner of understanding trials and God's role, there are some points I agree with. God follows the rules and laws of nature. Many bad things happen because of the nature of the world. God is deeply saddened by the pain and cruelty of the world.
But how are people of faith to make sense of them? As Wycliffe Professor of Evangelism Judy Paulsen writes, making sense begins with asking the right question. By Judy Paulsen. Deep down we know this.
The rest of humanity simply offers different shades of grey. To expect it to take note of our particular place on some cosmic moral measuring stick, and adjust its sometimes terrible freedom accordingly, is a pipe dream. The question that interests me is how faith makes any difference when bad things happen to any of us.
How does what we believe affect how we navigate the inevitable suffering that is part of human existence? Now there is a question that has missional repercussions. In his book, The Language of God, the leading geneticist Francis Collins writes about how he was first drawn to explore Christianity because he noticed that his patients who were Christians often exhibited an unusual peace and hope, even when experiencing terrible suffering.
What made them this way? In the birth, life, and death of Jesus of Nazareth, the Word made flesh, we see a God willing to know suffering as we know it; the pain, anguish, heartache, loneliness, and despair. All of it. We Christians worship and follow a Saviour with scars, and those scars are never more precious to us than when we suffer.
When we cry out to God we call and listen to the One who has walked the path of suffering and is a trusted guide who will help us we navigate that path ourselves. He is the brother and friend who never leaves us or forsakes us.
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