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GOD REVISED by Galen Guengerich

GOD REVISED

How Religion Must Evolve in a Scientific Age

By Galen Guengerich

Pub Date: May 28th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0230342255
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

A pastoral look at what “God” means in the face of modernity.

Guengerich, senior minister of New York City’s All Souls Church, has lived at two opposite ends of the religious spectrum. He was raised as a conservative Mennonite but is now a pastor in the liberal Unitarian Universalist denomination. As a young man, he came to the conclusion that the biblical God of his youth was a myth and a farce. However, he soon realized that religion still had a role to play in his life and the lives of others. In the Unitarian Universalist Church, he found an outlet for his views. In this work, Guengerich proposes a nontraditional outlook on religion and faith in the modern scientific age. The author unequivocally rejects the idea of God as a supernatural being. In his view, modern science shows that there was no creator or mover of the universe, and reason and logic disprove the divinity of God as put forth in monotheistic Scriptures. However, he still proposes a “God,” defined as “the experience of being connected to all that is—all that is present, as well as all that is past and all that is possible.” As such, he writes, each of us is “the face of God in this world,” a tremendous responsibility to be lived out in community. Despite his commitment to reason, Guengerich relies on the mystical and mysterious to sell his concept of God. “Faith is something no one fully understands,” he writes. “It peers into the realm of mystery and transcendence….Faith is a commitment to live with the belief that life is a wondrous mystery.”

Guengerich enriches his book with specific human elements drawn from his pastoral career, making it accessible and even evocative. However, he is simply following in the footsteps of thinkers across time who yearned for spirituality but rejected the world of the spirit.