When I first heard about Beyond the Book, I knew that I wanted to participate. The only question was, what book?! I was told that it needed to be current nonfiction on a topic likely to spark enough interest to bring people to both the LearningLife website and a face-to-face book discussion.
As an avid reader, numerous books came to mind. However, what caused me to settle on You Don’t Have to Be Wrong for Me to Be Right: Finding Faith Without Fanaticism by Brad Hirschfield was that it had already prompted me to reach out. Indeed, some of you reading this post may recall receiving some rather breathless emails or seeing Twitter updates extolling the wisdom it contains.
What reaffirmed the aptness of this choice was that at a reading by Rabbi Hirschfield, the gentleman introducing him concluded his opening remarks with the very quote that had moved me to broadcast my delight at discovering this book:
When faith simplifies things that need to remain complex, instead of giving us strength to live with complexity, when it gives answers where none exist, instead of helping us appreciate the sacredness of living with questions, when it offers certainty when there needs to be doubt, and when it tells that we have arrived when we should still be searching–then there is a problem with that faith.(p. 9)
My aim is to start a conversation about the value of holding opposites such as these in a creative tension; of embracing that which is appealing and joyful as well as that which is worrisome and painful in ourselves and in our traditions. Thus I invite you to join me over the next few weeks for a discussion exploring :
• being wrong and being right
• safety and certainty and discomfort and doubt
• believing and questioning
• giving and taking
• commitment and openness.
Let You Don’t Have to Be Wrong for Me to Be Right kickstart your journey toward a faith and a way of living that arises from acceptance and wholeness, not denial and division.