What We Talk About When We Talk About God

9780062049667_300X300If you begin reading Bell by first scanning his bibliography, you will instantly reach for your seat belt and helmet. It portends be a wild and exciting ride. In the beginning he reviews our current conceptions of the universe, which neatly sets readers up for the next chapters in which we joyfully expect to be mercilessly whipped around mind-boggling theological curve after curve, shaking every long cherished conception of God out of our pockets and into the nearest black hole.

Unfortunately, Bell hedges his bets, much as he did in Love Wins, and – for all intents and purposes – assumes the existence and essence of the familiar Christian God. While Bell juggles in clever terms and shares many intriguing notions, which makes his book well worth reading, he never escapes the gravitational pull of his evangelical roots. Not that he has to, but something much more was expected from one so gifted. In our twenty-first century one would hope that our discussions about God could at least begin by stepping outside the world of mankind’s millennially exhausting pre-modern explanations of the universe and justly and intelligently ask the question, ‘what if there isn’t any God?’, rather than to discount that perspective out-of-hand, without any real discussion, which has only raised legitimate questions about the integrity of Christian scholarship.

So, all that being said, I recommend that you read this book and enjoy it for what it is. Then look for other authors who are willing to examine the idea of ‘God’ more thoroughly.

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One Response to “What We Talk About When We Talk About God”

  1. I haven’t read this book yet, thanks for the review. I agree that he generally tackles heavy questions with light debates. As a christian, I did enjoy Love Wins, but wouldn’t say I loved it. The material didn’t bother me, just his lightness in tackling the issues.

    Apparently he released a “study companion” which does dive deeper. Maybe he’ll do that with this book as well.

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