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eBookMountain and Mountain, Volume 1 eBook • $8.99
A reverend and a rabbi start a blog… (stop us if you’ve heard this one before). As it happens, not long ago Baptist minister Michael Smith and Jewish rabbi Rami M. Shapiro actually did initiate the blog conversation “Mount and Mountain.” The blog recorded a long-running dialogue between Mike and Rami in which the pair interpreted, argued about, and interrogated two key texts drawn from the canons of their respective religions: the Ten Commandments from the Torah, and the Sermon on the Mount from the Gospel of St. Matthew.
This book, focused on the Ten Commandments, represents the first half of that dialogue. In Mount and Mountain, Volume One, Mike and Rami discuss the nature of divinity, the power of faith, and the necessity of doubt. From the beauty of myth and story to the achievements, failings, and future of religion, above all they both wrestle with the struggle to live ethically and in harmony with the way of God.
Reading along, we are invited to take part, to add our own voices and experience to the task of interpretation, and to craft our own meanings from the text of Exodus. And if, as readers, we take that text in our own directions, we move toward a richer understanding not only of Scripture but also of God and godliness.
What a treat! Two intelligent and articulate people from different faith traditions engage in a healthy dialogue around key writings in their respective scriptures. The result is both informative and encouraging. Here is a model not only for theological dialogue but for doing life together, something that is needed in our divisive times. We have so much to learn from each other if we are willing to take the time to engage one another as these writers have.
— Ircel Harrison,
Site Coordinator, Central Baptist Theological Seminary
Tennessee Coaching Coordinator, Pinnacle Leadership Associates
Reading Mount and Mountain was a moving experience! Not only does this creative dialogue of a Jewish rabbi and a Christian minister yield much new insight into the scriptures, it also points in the direction God beckons for our relationship with one another.
— E. Glenn Hinson,
Author of A Serious Call to a Contemplative Lifestyle
In a Southern Christian culture that tends to prefer public idolizations of the Ten Commandments over actually listening to and heeding them, a Baptist minister sits down with a rabbi—in the heart of Tennessee—to help each other better hear and understand. While remaining true to their respective (and in this case overlapping) traditions, Rev. Michael Smith and Rabbi Rami Shapiro demonstrate humility, honesty, and respect as they plow together the always fertile soil of this most sacred ground. Come. Sit. Listen in. And learn to trust the Divine Author, as do the minister and the rabbi, to water and nurture in you a deeper understanding and appreciation of these ten words to His children.
— Bert Montgomery,
Author of Psychic Pancakes & Communion Pizza and
Elvis, Willie, Jesus & Me
The authors of Mount and Mountain invite the reader to learn from and reflect on essential issues that come from the well-spring of the Ten Commandments. Their discussions are filled with passion and insight as they both challenge and learn from their own Jewish and Christian traditions as well as from each other. They grapple with Scripture, spirituality, history, and philosophy as they consider how ancient words and tradition continue to move and to confront us today.
— Sharon Pace,
Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible/Judaica, Marquette University
Author of Daniel: Smyth & Helwys Bible Commentary
Dr. Mike and Rabbi Rami have given us a grand theological unraveling of the Ten Commandments from two different traditions. Their insights are shaped by God’s Spirit; their words are shaped by their respective faith stances. While representing with integrity their distinctive faiths, they also model for us that we are indeed brothers and sisters in Jehovah God!
— Bo Prosser,
Coordinator for Missional Congregations
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship