21 December 2007

Disappointing. "Christianity without God" is just secular humanism. So why call it "Christianity without God" at all?

Christianity without God
Lloyd Geering
Polebridge Press, 2002

When I first saw this title on Amazon, I was ecstatic, and I was equally excited when I received it as a gift from J. As someone who (usually) agrees with John Spong that Christianity must (re)discover a non-theistic a/theology (e.g., an apophatic theology, perhaps) in order to survive, I thrilled at the possible non-theistic Christianities that I assumed Geering would describe. Alas, I was let down.

Instead of describing a spiritually vibrant post-theistic Christianity akin to the other non-theistic wisdom traditions like Buddhism and Vedanta, this book simply reduces non-theistic Christianity to secular humanism and the corollary idea of a divinized humanity (i.e., ethical nontheism). To say that this conclusion disappointed me is is not to say that I find secular humanism bad or lacking; on the contrary, the contributions of humanism to the last few centuries have been unparalleled. Rather, Geering's thesis simply raises questions like, why is the author still talking about Christianity at all, since we already have the phrase "secular humanism"? Or, why muddy the water and call secular humanism "Christianity without God"? I never found answers to those questions in this book and that is what I found disappointing.

(This review was originally written on August 24, 2006. See what I loser I am? I write frigging book reviews on my birthday!)

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