Friday, February 19, 2016

Book Published: "Top Down To Jesus, Book 1: Pascal Was Right"

This is the cover of my new book*.   It's just been published on   Here's a cut from the preface to let you know what it's about:

"At a relatively advanced age (four score and somewhat more) I’m jumping into the shallow end of the authoring pool by writing several books. This project may be as optimistic as that of the 99 year old buying green bananas, but one can but try.
The Title, Top-down to Jesus, reveals the thread that ties them all together: “Faith seeking understanding”, as put by one of my heroes, St. Anselm of Canterbury. And, as one of my other heroes, Pope St. John Paul II, wrote
Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know himself—so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves.” Encyclical, Fides et Ratio

In Book I, Pascal Was Right, I write about my conversion to the Church. It came about, not as a vision of Our Lord or by the sound of His Voice, but by a rational process. In discussing “Pascal’s Wager”, why the prudent person should believe, in God, I’ll explain whence the subtitle for this book. I should add, there have been moments in which the Holy Spirit has come to me more directly, moments aided by music, and I’ve written about those also.

The book is divided into four parts, which reflect my road to faith and how the Catholic Church sustains me:
Part 1—My Road to Faith, Part 2—Being a Catholic Jew, Part 3—My Moral Choices, Part 4—Loving Our Enemies.
Twenty-five years ago I became interested in the Church because of its anti-abortion, pro-life stance, so this first Book includes chapters on the moral stance I take as a concomitant of my Catholic faith. I came to the Church as an agnostic Jew, so I also explore the differences and the similarities between Catholicism and Judaism. Many Catholics, including those in the Church hierarchy, recognize that the two faiths are linked, as a recent article in Our Sunday Visitor shows.
The reader will notice there are lots of quotations. I love quotes—there are so many people who have said things more eloquently and more to the point than I could, that it seems a shame to let them remain hidden. And it is easy now to get an appropriate quote: just google the subject and see what comes up. So, please bear with me if you get tired of looking at all that italic type; if you remember some of these, you may be able to amuse your friends and confound your enemies by the appropriate quotation."
Thanks for looking.

* Revised, 5th February, 2016

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About Me

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Retired, cranky, old physicist.   Convert to Catholicism in 1995.   Trying to show that there is no contradiction between what science tells us about the world and our Catholic faith.   Intermittent blogs and adult education classes to achieve this end (see   and

Extraordinary Minister of Communion volunteer to federal prison and hospital; lector, EOMC.
Sometime player of bass clarinet, alto clarinet, clarinet, bass, tenor bowed psaltery for parish instrumental group and local folk group.

And, finally, my motivation:
“It is also necessary—may God grant it!—that in providing others with books to read I myself should make progress, and that in trying to answer their questions I myself should find what I am seeking.
Therefore at the command of God our Lord and with his help, I have undertaken not so much to discourse with authority on matters known to me as to know them better by discoursing devoutly of them.”
St. Augustine of Hippo, The Trinity I,8.