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God as Rational Creator is a Jewish, Not Christian Idea

Reader comment on item: How Fares Western Civ?

Submitted by Liz Wagner (United States), Jul 19, 2020 at 10:31

When you wrote that Stark argues that "the Christian conception of God as the rational creator of a comprehensible universe ... continually prodded the West along the road to modernity," I couldn't help thinking about what Rabbi Lord Jonathan Saks said in A Letter in the Scroll about the Book of Genesis: "G-d speaks, and the world comes into being. G-d is not in nature, but above it, transcending it and ordering it according to his word. Nature has no will, or set of wills of its own.... If G-d created the world, then it is, in principle, intelligible. The mists of irrationality [of the polytheistic world] have been dispelled." Even though the Jewish G-d could be angry and jealous, he was also a loving G-d that wanted good for his children, which encouraged the people to want to do good for themselves and each other.

Stark's book sounds interesting but, at least as you've described it, it seems to leave out the seminal contributions of Jewish ideas to How the West Won.

Submitting....

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