As I reflected on what I read I went back to review the liner notes. Mike McCurry’s hit home: about the book being a roadmap, a reminder about the moments (intersections) in life when stepping back we rediscover the past that defines the way forward. I had been pondering the image of a spiral when reading your book, envisioning your stories beginning at a starting point, and as the descriptive path moved forward, it swung back to remember a fate-filled memory that defined the originating ground, then curved back to the present where you brought it into context—to another intersection that promises to leap into a new adventure. It seems the strong point of your book is as a reference guide to possibilities for engagement that gain clarity when we take the moment to pause (embrace the comma). It seems to be a perfect book for group study in a church/interfaith setting, or a primer for individuals seeking clarity on their own life’s direction. It could be a great tool for confirmation classes or youth groups, moving past the typical churchy narratives that provide all the right answers, wrapped up in a nice neat package. I think the journey-story narrative is perfect.
Based in compassion and moral courage, Rev. Chase offers hope and guidance in these times marred by religious and ethnic conflicts. We owe him a debt of gratitude for sharing his profound and learned reflections with us.
Ambassador Akbar Ahmed
As a professed agnostic, I’ve often looked upon Christianity—and all organized religions—with skepticism and mistrust. Reverend Chase has worked to create a different example of Christianity—an inclusive, nonjudgmental faith that brings people of different paths together at the intersections of life. Beyond the Comma is an exploration of those moments when the forces that guide us prompt self-examination and a deeper journey to discover our place in the world.
Robert Chase weaves stories, theological reflection, and a passion for justice in this book that reveals “intersectionality” as the paragdigm for a hopeful future. He blends the personal, cultural,and religious spheres with honesty and courage. Bob’s compelling moral vision is one that inspires me in these challenging times. On a day that you need a reason to hope, pick up this book!
The Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson
Bob Chase reminds us there are moments in life when we need to step back and consider the important things that define the path forward. Here is a roadmap on how to choose the right forks in the road.
Life’s most precious gems of wisdom may be missed because we are too hurried to stop, look and listen at points of interruption or delay. Chase’s rich treasury of insights and observations make a convincing case that we must value more highly than ever before God’s gifts of pauses and punctuations along our pilgrimage of life.
The Rev. Dr. James Forbes
A clear and clarion call for building a just and compassionate society coming from deep religious pathos, Chase’s gentle yet passionate voice is a much needed charge leading us in the footsteps of prophets and poets. This book raises all the crucial questions and answers with bold exclamation points!
Rabbi Naamah Kelman
Chase has written nothing less than a manifesto for how to live a reflective, active life in the modern world. Read this book and be on the lookout for your own “comma times.”
Robert Chase joins the cloud of witnesses calling humanity to embrace our differences. His story unfolds as a testimony to a life enriched by those differences, triggering imagination and inspiring a commitment to discover the beauty in each intersected moment.