Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Called To Controversy by Ruth Rosen

"I was only seven years old when it occurred to me that my father might be famous. I considered this a possibility because people that I didn't really know or care about sometimes told me how lucky I was to have him for my father."

And so begins Ruth Rosen's story of her father Moishe Rosen, the man best known as the founder of Jews for Jesus. Moishe was a hero to some people, a villain to others (including his parents) according to his daughter who shares her father's belief that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah and Savior of the world.

Described as a man with ordinary feelings and failings, strengths and weaknesses he was a controversial man whose biography is meant to reveal "how God uses imperfect people to bring about great things."

His critics called him a traitor, saying that he was not really Jewish (he was) and that his message was to make money, some believed he was evil. Others called him a self-hating Jew.

Moishe's early years were lean and at times he went hungry, his home was strongly influenced by Jewish values, but not a strong Jewish faith. He was taught that family takes care of its own; holidays are to be observed; dietary rules strictly adhered to. He was by all accounts in awe of God. But like his father he eventually grew cynical toward religion, yet these feelings did not compromise his Jewish identity.

His world, however, was changing. Moishe began attending church with his young wife and their child.

One day he was summoned home, a highly unusual request. His father wanted to know why his son was telling people he believed in Jesus. Grabbing the family Bible, Moishe tried using scripture to convince his father, mother and brother. His father, however was having none of it. Believing that Jesus is the Messiah was not an option, and unless Moishe gave up being a Christ lover his father was determined to disown him. Ben Rosen would try to get his son fired from his job.

But Moishe felt God calling him and he was determined to respond. This book is the attempt to set his record straight. The book seems longer than its 360 pages.

This book was provided by the publisher, Thomas Nelson, in exchange for a written review.

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