Chaim Potok, The Gift Of Asher Lev

While the setting is the Hasidic Jewish community in Brooklyn, its theme the coming of age of a Jewish American artist, its importance to me spilled out into my own search for independence from an almost-fundamentalist upbringing. This book was a profound defining moment in my own journey of faith to find both the freedom of grace yet still the anchoring stability of rich roots of Christian tradition. I came to glimpse the astounding power of Torah, not only for Jewish faith, but for the formation of Jewish community. I yearn for the Christian Bible to be lifted up in this way. Early on in my presidency at Seattle Pacific, I invited Rabbi Potok to campus and hosted a large gathering from the Jewish community in our home for a kosher dinner.