- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Rising Star Pr (June 1, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0933670095
- ISBN-13: 978-0933670099
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.7 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #429,762 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Dishonest Church
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Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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Religious institutions are reluctant to update their anachronistic rituals and creeds. When they do, they'll welcome back many latent Christians. -- Jean-Jacques D'Aoust, PhD
This book illuminates "the religion of scholars energized and refreshed until it becomes a lively faith for the masses." -- The Newsletter of The Center For Progressive Christianity, July 2003. Review by G. Richard Wheatcroft
This book presents a real solution by suggesting language to create a bridge between the academic and the popular worlds. -- Candace R. Benyei, PhD
From the Publisher
Your Pastor has valuable information she may not be sharing with you. Your church experience may not be fulfilling your intellectual needs. Your Pastor is conflicted. You are conflicted. It's time to talk about the elephant in the sanctuary. It's time for honesty. In The Dishonest Church, Jack Good identifies the problem, discusses it, and offers solutions for clergy and layperson alike. The problem? The "Pact of Silence". A pact in which certain difficult issues are to be left unmentioned. The classic and paramount difficult issue in Christianity is the interpretation of the Bible as the literal truth.
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A new publisher has started a 2nd printing and I believe this book can now be purchased through The Center for Progressive Christianity.
The greatest new insight for me? Our current symbols (God, the Father/protector - and Jesus, the Savior/comforter) are losing power in a post-modern culture, and may be why so many are leaving their churches behind. Many in our society today were raised in relative comfort and don't feel the need for protection and comfort. In the twenty-first century, we need new symbols that respect our scientific and philosophical sophistication. His suggestions?
1) God is music - Here the author taps into the notion of string theory, where the most basic building block of matter is something called a superstring, the vibration of which leads to the formation of the protons, neutrons and electrons we all learned about in science class. In string theory, the universe can be seen as a vast symphony. Good goes on to point out how music as we know it participates in the essence of reality, mimicking the creative work of God. Not being especially musically talented, I found this particular analogy interesting but a bit of a stretch.
2) God is light - now we are talking. This symbol is especially appealing as a metaphor for something we don't fully understand at the scientific level - is it a wave or a particle? - OR at the spiritual level - what is the Ultimate Mystery anyway?
3) God is love - This notion is actually quite popular in certain kinds of spiritual circles, which indicates its general appeal in our current culture. We must just be careful to distinguish romantic and familial love from what is meant here. And...Rev Good brings in quarks and superstrings to explain just what kind of love he IS referring to. As I am sure I could not do it justice by any attempt to paraphrase, so you will have to read the book to learn more.
Well worth the time and energy spent reading it!
I decided to find out. That is when I became aware of the historical critical approach to the bible. I read a number of books authored by several different historical scholars. I invested several years into this study. That study destroyed my faith. I don't know how anyone could be informed about the true history of the bible and still retain their faith.
I've been a atheists for several years now. I realize now Pastors fear telling their congregations the truth for good reason.