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Christianity without God: Moving beyond the Dogmas and Retrieving the Epic Moral Narrative Kindle Edition
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
We are truly ignorant of the development of the "Hebrew and Christian Scriptures". We have allowed institutions to give the basis of what is found in these writings. Modern scholarship has put into question most of the presmises upon which these institutions have been founded.
Did Jesus ever set out to "found a Church"??? Did he really "ordain priests" at the last supper? Did he really appoint Peter as "head of the Church"??? And did he simply ignore the role of women in his early community and did they just "serve and wait on the table" for the "boys"??
Dan gives us a lot to think about and added to the pursuit of real scholarship we have a lot of questions to challenge the basic belief system of most of the religious communities of our day.
My study of Thomas Merton tells me that God, the Love that energizes the cosmos, dwells deep within me. Life is a struggle to embrace Life-Love and overcome the survival instinct. Hence morality. We are not here for ourselves. We are here for others. The poetic metaphor of the world's varied scriptures inspires us to become what we are. We are about justice making where everyone has enough. We are in Brueggemann's words on a journey to the common good.
I highly recommend this book.
Fitting his style, Maguire does paint ONE way forward---a compelling argument that the ancients were a brilliant bunch that capably expressed deeply meaningful writings for the purpose of social evolution. In the process it provides a soft landing for a 'literal' to a 'symbolic' interpretation of the Bible. But rather than any sort of a manifesto (which we desperately need) it is an uncommon and quite interesting perspective on the ancients.
If nothing else, read this book and more than likely you will gain some useful lenses through which to frame the Israelites. This always comes in handy when trying to expand the minds of your biblical literalist friends. But when you separate the wheat from the chaff, the troubles of the Bible don't outweigh the heinous destruction its words still echo with today.
Barbara Fiand, Ph.D.
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