I have just started Dennis Prager’s ‘The Rational Bible: Genesis’
I had already read his ‘The Rational Bible: Exodus‘ which I think is the best commentary on Exodus that I have ever read, and I have read quite a few.
The title of these books on the 5 Books of the Torah is based on Prager’s contention that reason alone is sufficient to believe in the God of Israel, the God of the Bible.
Prager states that:
“Exodus contains the Ten Commandments, the most important moral code in world history.” My theological mentor Frank Selch always argued that the Ten Commandments were the Moral Code of the Universe.
More than anything He (Yehovah, the God of Israel & Creator of the Universe) wants from us moral behaviour.
He follows this up with the statement that if the Torah wants its readers to know one thing, it is that
“God’s essence is goodness.”
Prager cites Exodus 33:18, when Moses asks God to “let me behold Your Presence.” God responds, “I will make all My goodness pass before you.”
“That God chooses to define Himself as good constitutes one of the most important statements in the entire Bible,” and he adds the idea that may not sit well among many believers and non-believers alike. “God does not say, ‘I will make my love pass before you.’
In fact, the expression, ‘God is love,’ is not to be found in the Hebrew Bible.”
Prager has taken to writing these commentaries on the 5 Books of Moses, the Torah because he argues that the West has lost the great wisdom and message of truth and morality found in the Bible.
“The lack of wisdom—certainly in America and the rest of the West—is directly related to the decline in biblical literacy. … In the American past, virtually every home, no matter how poor, owned a Bible. It was the primary vehicle by which parents passed wisdom on to their children.”
“My realization is the most important book in American history has become an unimportant book, and for most Americans. And this is a major tragedy for the country.”
Prager contends that the Bible remains profoundly relevant—both to the great issues of our day and to each individual life. It is the greatest moral guide and source of wisdom ever written.
Do you doubt the existence of God because you think believing in God is irrational?
Prager’s books will give you many reasons to rethink your doubts.
Do you think faith and science are in conflict? You won’t after reading this commentary on Genesis.
Do you come from a dysfunctional family? It may comfort you to know that every family discussed in Genesis was highly dysfunctional!
To repeat the reader of Prager’s books on the Torah is never asked to accept anything on faith alone. In Dennis Prager’s words,
“If something I write is not rational, I have not done my job.”
I think this is a great argument. This is also how I see my faith. My faith is based on reason. As a trained Physicist I have confidence in logic and reason; as a teacher of teenagers I see daily the need to have sound, well-researched and articulated reasons with which to defend my faith in a God who cares and calls us into right relationship with him.
Prager also has an interesting theory behind the shocking rise of secularism and socialism in Western society.
He argues that it began in the 19th century:
“Why did it begin? In large measure, to get a Ph.D. in the late 19th century, you had to go to Germany. The Germans had already established socialism and secularism as the intellectual ideals. So they were shipping over Americans with Ph.D.s who believed in socialism and secularism. And the college, even then when few people attended, is very influential on the societal thinking. And that’s where I believe it began.
But I also hold a lot of religious people responsible.
They forgot how to make the case for religion, and it just became faith alone, which is lovely faith, but it’s not enough. God gave us reason, let’s use it.”
I strongly recommend these books:
The Rational Bible: Genesis https://www.amazon.com/Rational-Bible-Genesis-Dennis-Prager/dp/1621578984/>
The Rational Bible: Exodus https://www.amazon.com/Rational-Bible-Exodus-Dennis-Prager-ebook/dp/B075Y3X51R/