"Like the prophets of the Hebrew tradition and the first Christian teachers, we imagine a spiritual reformation of Judaism and Christianity a reformation in which these two religions become creative and supportive partners in addressing the personal and planetary spiritual needs of our times," write the Rev. Bruce G. Epperly, an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and author of seven books, and Rabbi Lewis D. Solomon, the Theodore Rinehart Professor of Business Law at the George Washington University Law School and author of five books. They are convinced that the ample resources of both religious traditions can serve us well during this period of great uncertainty, fear, insecurity, and rampant hopelessness. Epperly and Solomon point to the bold affirmations that are at the core of Judaism and Christianity:
• "You are created in God's image."
• "You are the light of the world."
• "Your life is imprinted on the palm of God's hand."
• "God wants you to have abundant life."
• "God has a dream for your life."
The authors point to the transformations that have taken place in individuals who have used pain and suffering as catalysts to personal renewal. They attest to the truth of Martin Luther's observation that "in the midst of life, we are surrounded by death." Epperly and Solomon outline ten spiritual resources that have helped people make the most of the messes and miseries of their lives. This is followed by a soul-stirring chapter on "tools for spiritual transformation" where they discuss the circle of prayer, the path of meditation, the power of imagination, and the perspective of affirmation. Progressive Judaism and Christianity affirm, they agree, that God is "a Gentle Force working intimately in our lives and in history to bring forth goodness and beauty." God is present in "the perpetual white waters of our lives" because "God relates to a concrete world a world that is 'good,' even though it is far from perfect."
Mending the World is a wonderful example of the kind of interfaith cooperation and mutuality which bodes well for the future of organized religion. It is filled with spiritual practices that can enrich and deepen faith in troubled times. The spiritual hope lifted up by Epperly and Solomon is a powerful antidote to the fear, paranoia, and anger of our times.