The Gospel According to Moses: What My Jewish Friends Taught Me about Jesus
Athol Dickson
Brazos, 256 pages, $16.99

Novelist Athol Dickson switches to nonfiction in this accessible and provocative book detailing his five years in group Torah study with Jews. He learns that "God loves an honest question" and confronts a lifelong fear of wrestling with the paradoxes of faith.

Dickson neither proselytizes his new Jewish friends nor soft-pedals his Christian convictions to fit in. But theological conservatives, whether Jewish or Christian, are in for some heavy sledding.

Dickson is drawn to open theism ("God has limited his involvement in the cosmos for the sake of human free will and logic … but that limitation is tied to the human inability to combine paradoxical attributes—it implies no similar inability on God's part").

Both monotheistic Jews and Trinitarian Christians will be baffled by Dickson's experimental approach to the Godhead: "It seems to me quite likely that the God is an infinite number of 'persons,' not just three."

Dickson is endearing in his enthusiasm for learning, and he encourages Christians to explore their Jewish roots as a way to grow in their faith. But The Gospel According to Moses is more a thinking-out-loud search for understanding than a guide to sound theology.

Cindy Crosby is a frequent contributor to Publishers Weekly.

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