You Don’t Have to Be Wrong for Me to be Right

Just finished reading Brad Hirschfield’s You Don’t Have to be Wrong for Me to be Right: Finding Faith Without Fanaticism.

Love it!  It is easy to read, but a bit dense (not a novel after all).  Perfect for discussion groups (there are 24 questions included at the end of the book).

Writing through his personal experiences, Hirschfield highlights that is it possible to be deeply faithful and committed to your own faith while leaving room for God to work in other faiths.

The most surprising and reassuring part, for me at least, was that as an Orthodox Rabbi who lives according to the law, he acknowledges the value that others living out their faith do not diminish, but rather empower, his religious life.

The book’s title puts it simply, yet his discussion is extremely helpful in laying out what it really means.

What does it mean to be good friends with someone of another faith and not be out to convert them?  What does it mean to live in a world where others hold different beliefs, some that even seem to completely contradict our own.

I love this book, not because of the dream of everyone getting along together, but rather that it takes a realistic view that this is hard, but doable.  That each one of us, working from the inside out, can make life more peaceful, loving and accepting – something Christ teaches me, while Buddha teaches someone else.

Even if you are skeptical, read this book.  At the very least it will give you a better understanding of what others are thinking when they are of one particular faith, but accept that others confess a different faith.

Bonus!  There are also great insights into marriage, parenting and other relationships.

A few quotes that stood out to me:

“I don’t know if there’s a plan.  I’m willing to admit that there is, or at least that I hope there is.  But I am also willing to admit that I don’t understand it.  To pretend to understand God’s plan is a dangerous thin.  It’s not God or religion or even the idea of a divine plan that is kill us.  People who arrogantly assume that they can understand the full dimensions and meaning of God’s plan are doing the killing.” pg 122

“Perhaps we need to stop pretending that there are positions that will satisfy everyone and get used to simply doing our best while admitting the price of the position that we have taken.”  pg 143

“We retain both the power and the responsibility to determine with whom we talk and under what circumstances…”  pg 210-211

“Tell me your dreams, your messianic vision, and I will tell you about the reality that you’re creating.  I know what it is like to yearn for the end of the story, for closure and completion, peace and wholeness and the certainty that you have arrived and no longer need to struggle.”  pg. 232


About SFriant

I live to walk with others on their journeys - because everyone needs to know that they are loved, that they matter, and that they are doing amazing things. I'm a lot like our two kids: obsessed with learning, and constantly creating.
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3 Responses to You Don’t Have to Be Wrong for Me to be Right

  1. Sarah says:

    Nice 🙂 I am going to recommend it for one or both of the book groups I’m in at church!

  2. Pingback: Holy by God, or by Us? | Sisters Under the Trees

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