Spiritual Bankruptcy: A Prophetic Call to Action Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

ISBN-13: 978-1426702952
ISBN-10: 1426702957
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John received his Ph.D from the University of Chicago and has served on the faculties of Candler School of Theology and the School of Theology at Claremont. He is an ordained United Methodist elder and lives in Claremont, CA.

Product Details

  • File Size: 734 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press (August 1, 2010)
  • Publication Date: August 1, 2010
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004CRT7RY
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  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,491,095 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Paperback
The bad news is that the planet is in the worst environmental crisis in human history, a fact which is as undeniable as it is disastrous. The even worse news is that the humans who have to deal with it are, collectively speaking, insane. And worst of all for those of us in the United States, we are suffering from collective insanity. Our systems of philosophy, education, and economics are too blinded by secularism or religiousness to fully understand the crisis, much less move toward a solution.
If this is the central premise on which Spiritual Bankruptcy: A Call to Prophetic Action is based, the central thesis is that Christians (or any followers of one of the world's great Ways) need to break free of secularism and religiousness. While neither religion nor secular thought should be cast aside completely, we must seek out a path beyond them. To use the author's term, Christians need to "secularize" their tradition. This doesn't mean buying into secularism itself, which is in fact a rejection of the Christian Way. Rather, it means embracing a practice of thought and behavior that focuses not on some otherworldly heaven or hell, but on the real problems of this present world.
In Cobb's view, this process of secularizing is the truest form of adherence to Jewish and Christian tradition. He argues with some force that the most defining moments of the Bible involve one or more persons insisting that mere religion is not the goal of God's work in human history. Figures like Jesus and Paul defied religiousness. They were adamant that any thought about God must manifest itself in certain behaviors in this present world. Reclaiming this tradition of secularizing, Cobb insists, is a necessary correction to the otherworldly religiousness that has taken hold of American Christianity.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Dr. Cobb offers a brilliant survey of historic philosophies, modern scientific principles, and the sweep of historic theologies. He makes an impressive case in describing sustainable, viable and effective Christianity as "Secularizing Christianity" - faith that works deliberately to make an impact in the real world. He distinguishes secularizing Christianity from a "Religious Christianity" that gets bogged down in self-absorbed activity that leap-frogs the here and now by focusing on un-worldly solutions. Cobb exposes flaws and limitations in philosophies flowing from Hume and Kant, and encourages more consideration of Whitehead and Hartshorne. My own education came in small town and rural schools, and my college education did not offer philosophy; Dr. Cobb provides a basic survey that covered the high spots. The book provides the impetus for re-thinking the nature of God and a Christianity that must exert its strongest spiritual influence to lead societies and governments to take action to protect the earth from the disaster that will make present nations uninhabitable when the temperature increases by 4%.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Spiritual Bankruptcy (Nashville: Abington Press, 2010), by John B. Cobb Jr., is subtitled a `Prophetic Call to Action.' However, the book could have as easily been subtitled `Secularizing Christianity and all Religious Ways to Confront Catastrophes'--because that is the focus of the book, the catastrophes facing humans and all other living beings on the planet and how to find a way to turn towards a more healthy direction.
Secularizing, however, can lead to secularization. Cobb is careful to always separate the two processes. Secularizing, which is close attention to the natural world as the ground of existence and the source of life and the spiritual, is not the same as secularization, which is exclusive attention to the human world combined with the rejection of other dimensions of the natural, and of the traditional and religious explanations of those dimensions. To repeat, secularism is the rejection of traditional knowledge, whether it is traditional ecological knowledge or the spiritual beliefs of the great Ways of binding people to each other and to their places. By contrast, secularizing is the linking of those ways to all grounds of existence, through recognition and respect. Secularization, as another form of narrow reductionism, has allowed civilization to indulge in the madness of ignoring increasing catastrophes--worse, civilization is accelerating the rush to an almost-certain collapse.
Secularism, in academics, business and science, hastens and contributes to problems and catastrophes, from the loss of justice to ecosystem collapse. Secularism has failed to respond to emergencies and crises. It is shortsighted and destructive. Although religion still plays a large role in human affairs, it also fails.
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