Subtitle: The Unlikely Story of Moishe Rosen and the Founding of Jews for Jesus
I didn't know much about Jews for Jesus, or Moishe Rosen, before I read this book, but the synopsis was intriguing and I like biographies. It was great to "meet" Moishe for the first time through his daughter, and, later, employee.
Called to Controversy opens by following Moishe's Jewish family as they emigrated to the U.S., and settled in a Jewish community in Colorado. Both of his parents' families came from Europe, in time to avoid a certain Adolph Hitler's rise to power in Germany.
The stories of Moishe's childhood - collected from Moishe himself before his passing, as well as his wife and close friends - are enlightening insights not only into what shaped this amazing man, but into the American Jewish community itself.
The depth of the culturization [I just made that word up] of Judaism is stunning. The blind resistance to Jesus as Messiah is heart-breaking. Thousands of years ago, the Jewish people were lost because of their refusal of Jesus as the Christ. Now, at least in the U.S. the Jewish community is lost because of their ignorance of Jesus as the Christ.
The stories of Moishe's wife, and then Moishe, coming to faith in Jesus are beautiful passages. Their communities, and families, disowned them, although he believed it was difficult for them to do.
Through interviews, research and first-hand experience, Ruth Rosen traces Moishe's call to bring the gospel to his people, and she - at Moishe's request - is blunt and honest. Moishe's mistakes and faults are reported unapologetically, and surprisingly so from someone who is not only a daughter, but an avid supporter and fan. If any author has ever removed her own prejudices and emotions from a story, Ruth Rosen has done so.
From Moishe's call to the mission field, to his sponsorship at a Christian university, to his failed attempts at street-preaching, to the building of an international ministry and his inability to really let go of it when he retired - Moishe Rosen was an inadequate man, in the hands of a Master. Moishe was honest about his mistakes and his shortcomings, but he always went back to God, and God used his faith to do amazing things.
Moishe's story, told in such a raw narrative, is inspiring in so many ways. He will inspire you to do the work of an evangelist - especially among the Jewish people.
He will inspire you to look to God, instead of your own weakness, and he will inspire you to be obedient in one step at a time so God might build something world-changing through you. A lot of leadership biographies claim to do these things, but Moishe's actually does. I don't think he would be offended at my saying he really was the most normal, faulty person that I've ever read of God using for huge things.