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Searching for God in Godforsaken Times and Places: Reflections on the Holocaust, Racism, and Death [Paperback]

By Mr. Hubert G. Locke (Author)
Our Price $ 16.58  
Retail Value $ 19.50  
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Item Number 143066  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   120
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.27" Width: 6.26" Height: 0.38"
Weight:   0.39 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 2, 2003
Publisher   Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN  0802860842  
EAN  9780802860842  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
This heartfelt book recounts the author's personal struggles with doubt, uncertainty, and skepticism in the face of three consequential life experiences - the death of his parents, his life as a black American, and his lifelong preoccupation with the Nazi Holocaust. For Hubert Locke, as for many others who share his circumstances or sensitivities, these experiences have presented a serious challenge to conventional Christian teaching. They have forced him to reexamine Scripture, where he has ultimately - and beneficially - discovered a remarkable congeniality on the part of biblical writers with doubters and skeptics. "Doubt is not an act of unbelief," Locke writes. "In fact and ironically, doubt may be a supreme act of faith and devotion. If this is too much to claim, at least doubt and skepticism are stances that Scripture understands and for which the Bible has the utmost sympathy." "Searching for God in Godforsaken Times and Places" is a heart-cry by one person whose honest journey through life has earned him a special kind of spiritual peace, a person who has profound insights to offer others seeking to live Christianly in a confusing, contradictory world. Penetrating and sensitive, questioning and honest, this book is for believers and seekers alike who are looking for a meaningful, real discussion of life's duplicity.

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More About Mr. Hubert G. Locke

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Hubert G. Locke is dean and John and Marguerite Corbally Professor Emeritus at the Evans School of Public Affairs, University of Washington.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Theological reflection that is both inspiring and courageous  Nov 18, 2006
This is a very personal book in which a renowned scholar and thoughtful Christian confronts with honesty and integrity the three biggest challenges to his faith. The text is very well-written and devoid, thankfully, of trite stories or simplistic allegories. As another "doubting Thomas" myself, I found this book helpful for my own struggles "groping" for God.

The eternal questions from a Christian point- of- view   Sep 29, 2005
I benefit in writing this review from having read the review of F. Kurt Messick. Messick's reviews are among the best I know. They are usually careful and often profound readings of the texts in question.
He points out that Hubert G. Locke's title is somewhat misleading as the focus is not on Racism, nor the Holocaust but rather on issues of religious faith and doubt occasioned by Locke's loss of his parents.
I found this work to be a sincere and moving one. Locke writes beautifully about his mother and her religious faith and what this meant to him. The doubts raised in him by her loss are I am sure familiar to everyone who has lost a loved one. In the Jewish tradition a person who has lost a close relative is freed of religious duties before the time of the burial. It is understood somehow that this is a time of tremendous questioning and turmoil.
Locke sets out the story of his own intellectual journey. He seems to an especially sensitive and understanding person. When he speaks about the way he conducted so many funerals without understanding really what the people must be going through(Something he could only understand when suffering his own loss) he shows his modesty and awareness of human failing.
No one I believe can answer the questions raised by the seemingly disproportionate suffering of good people, the questions of the reality of the Afterlife in a clear and decisive way. The great teacher Maimonedes taught us that it does not make much sense to speculate on such questions.
In the end as Locke understands we are left with our need for God and the faith which may not abolish doubt but contends with it and at vital moments overcomes it.
This is a profound book by a very noble and admirable human being.
Certainty and Doubt  Aug 14, 2003
Hubert G. Locke's text, with the somewhat daunting title of 'Searching for God in Godforsaken Times and Places: Reflections on the Holocaust, Racism, and Death,' is an interesting and spiritually engaging text. It is not what I expected from the title. Locke does address the Holocaust, and does address Racism, and certain covers Death, but in fact, I found the primary theme that runs through the entire piece to be the interplay of Doubt and Faith, grounded in a very Christian context.

This context is, like many things in life, a double-edged sword. It is good in the sense that it explains for Christians who may be unfamiliar or uncomfortable with issues like Racism and the Holocaust a way of looking at these historical realities in a way that begins to make some sense, not necessarily from these things themselves, but rather a sensible way of dealing with the way they make us feel about the reality of doubt and faith in God. The down-side of this being so completely a Christian text is that certain audiences (such as Jewish readers) may be unable to engage the material fully.

Locke begins the text by being thoroughly personal in his presentation, talking about his own periods of crisis with the death of his parents, recasting these as periods in which the persistence of doubt and the threat of losing faith were very present for him.

Ironically (given the title), the chapters dealing with the Holocaust and with Racism proper are rather brief additions; though they form interesting examples, I was never quite sure they served as more than primary examples, rather than issues worthy of top-billing in the title, for the important direction of Locke's text. The Holocaust is dealt with again from a very Christian perspective for the most part; Locke speaks of the Hamburg preacher Helmut Thielicke, who was eventually forbidden to preach by the German authorities; his silence enforced from the outside echoed the silence of God he preached upon from the pulpit. Locke's experience with Racism, apart from his personal experience as an African-American, extends to visits to South Africa and research he has done on the wider problems of Racism world-wide.

Locke comes back to the primary focus of his text, the interplay of doubt, certainty, and faith, addressing it from the standpoint of several particular scriptural examples, such as Job, Thomas and Peter. He then comes round to dealing with various Pauline passages, talking about some inconsistencies in interpretation and statement (how can one have the assurance of things for which there can be no knowledge?) and later developments in Christianity.

Overall, this text was not what I thought it would be, given the title, but I was pleasantly surprised by what I did find. Beyond the specific topics highlighted, the broader aspects of doubt and faith are brought together in a manner that does not definitively resolve the difficulties (for such is unlikely if not impossible), but gives the reader a deeper understanding of the relationships of God and humanity, God and individuals, and our relationship to each other. A good text.


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