Shari Brown’s excellent new book, The Seven Commandments, could not have come at a more crucial time, with increasing hostility against Muslims in the U.S. and Europe; Islamist extremists targeting and killing Christians in Syria and Iraq and the perennial tension between Israeli Jews and Christian and Muslim Palestinians. The book brilliantly shows that the essence of the three Abrahamic religions is the same. But unnecessary and harmful theology that has separated the faiths. The message of the book is that God unites people, and theology separates them. God cannot be studied the way a science or art can. We cannot intellectually know God, the books says. We can only experience him. We also cannot follow the combined Commandments of Judaism, Christianity and Islam on our own, but only with grace. And we can attain grace not through a complex intellectual efforts but solely through humility and prayer to an invisible God that is the love that lives within us. Tolerance of other’s religious traditions and beliefs is essential to breakdown the barriers that theology has set up to divide people. The book is also an impassioned critique of political and religious authorities throughout history who have used theology to enforce unequal societies and to wage war against people of other faiths for the sole benefit of political leaders and their ruling cliques. I strongly recommend The Seven Commandments for a world in much need of a principled understanding of the history of religion, and of a spiritual guide to help anyone live peacefully in a violent and deceptive world.
author and former Wall Street Journal United Nations correspondent.
“The Seven Commandments for Happiness and Prosperity is such an interesting perspective on God and faith. Being a baptized and confirmed Christian for my entire life I never considered the challenges people would have in accepting God if they have lived in and tried to practice multiple disciplines and religions. This book helped me understand my own faith and also understand some of the similarities of Judaism, Christianity and the Muslim faith. I admire Shari’s determination to find the common commandments and to continue her pursuit of living a life filled with God.”
–Johanna K. Lubahn
Managing Director, Call Center Services
Reading Shari Brown’s well-researched book, The Seven Commandments for Happiness and Prosperity, will take you on an historical ramble through some of the major faiths and religious traditions. The volume is unique in providing essential points of doctrine and color without getting so immersed in the detail that the reader is suffocated by the scope of the review.
Along the way Ms. Brown manages to distill seven quintessential principles key, life-enriching principles that are of practical value to believers and non-believers alike. While the author uses historical lives as examples, she does not degenerate into narrative for its own sake, always keeping an eye on the motivating goals or events that make the illustrations alive and apt. Nor is this yet another feel-good read, or an effort in pop-psychology. The author is not sparing as to the consequences for those who do not strive to align their lives basics that supersede cultural norms and ephemeral social dictates.
There is no doubt about there is much of the author’s heart in this book, but Ms. Brown does not stop there and imbues the pages with real scholarship and historical excavation of ideas. The scope of the analysis is momentous and it is plain that the author has sifted through large segments of history, both secular and sectarian, in order to support the synthesis she presents for the reader. The work is a wonderful illustration of focus and of concise presentation. While so much we read seems directed at the capillaries of our lives, this book goes right to the main arteries. It is a work of substantial thought and eminently readable in the bargain.
–Don Howarth is a graduate of Harvard College, the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, and the Harvard Law School. He is a Founding Partner of the Howarth& Smith firm in Los Angeles, and is a Visiting Fellow at Oxford University in England, where he lectures on law and policy issues.
Shari Brown shares an interesting journey within the three Abrahamic religions discovering her own seven commandments that resonate and bring clarity to her in the middle of so much confusion and separation between religious affiliations.Shari finds the similarities outweigh the differences in all religions and shares the history of these religions as well as the history of modern day concerns in the middle east and worldwide when the religions have been altered according to political ideologies. READ THIS BOOK to have a better understanding of the progression and evolution of religion and political systems and how they work for our benefit or our decline in human values. Shari’s book is unusual because she has absorbed many of the infinite potential of the Abrahamic religions and is able to reconcile the differences to find inner peace and love for all… Beyond religion, commandments for a good life!
–Sheryl Glick, RMT is the host of Healing from Within
Three religions in one life story… A powerful book, and so timely, when we as a country and a world are so bitterly divided yet so closely intertwined. The way author Shari Brown unites the three Abrahamic religions – through their overlapping commands – is a pure invitation to unity. Moreover, her credibility is unchallengeable, with a life story intimately comprehending the three religions. Her book infuses the subject with an unabashed positive message – the prospect of “happiness and riches.” She makes it clear that all of us – each one of us as an individual – can make a choice to live according to the commandments or not; in fact we all make scores of such choices every day. She urges not strenuous life change first, but a daily set of individual choices that inevitable lead to a new life. Her chapter on the Birth of Democracy might surprise many who believe they understand that history. And many will find the most eye-opening section to be the one on The New Prophet. A cogent, easy-to-read, very personal exploration of one of today’s most pressing matters.
–Ann Cain, Ann Cain Communications
I love the tone and style of the writing which is conversational and makes for such an easy read. I really never thought of the religions in the historical context that Shari Brown puts them in and I am a lover of History and religion so this book is perfect. In the end what impressed me was how she showed the growth of the major religions, one from another. Really eye-opening.