Bringing God Up to Date
By: John Hunt – Christian Alternative, $20.95
Description: Religion is an essential part of our humanity. We all follow some form of religion, in the original meaning of the word. But organized religion establishes definitions, boundaries and hierarchies which the founders would be amazed by.
This is perhaps more true of Christianity than most other religions, due to the short life of Jesus, his sudden death, the lack of any contemporary records. His teaching about the kingdom of God is great; it could see us through our time on earth. But his followers watered it down and soon lost it altogether. It became a kingdom in heaven for the few, rather than one here and now for everyone.
The Church, or Churches, that resulted became increasingly irrelevant, even a hindrance, to seeing it realized. Many will always find security and truth in the traditions that developed, and good for them. But for those who can’t, for those who have given up on religion or never thought it worth considering, the original teachings are worth another look.
If we could recover them and live by them, we could change ourselves and the world for the better. We could bring God up to date.
Verdict: In what is an extremely comprehensive book from author John Hunt, Bringing God Up to Date: And Why Christians Need to Catch Up is a 395-page outpouring of thought provoking challenges and epiphanies surrounding the way Hunt believes that the original message of Jesus has thusly been watered down (and, at some levels, even undermined) over the decades.
Most definitely a modern day religious book of some masterful creativity (albeit it one that the author freely admits is a rehash of a couple of books I wrote a couple of decades and more ago, now out of print for a while: Daddy, Do You Believe in Go? And Bringing God Back to earth”), and perhaps (as some have already suggested) a contender for compulsory reading for every budding theologian, the information and personal insight within these pages is strong, adamant, well thought out and presented and never once wanes from its pre-destined and chartered course.
”John Hunt is to liberal theology what Richard Dawkins is to evolutionary biology,” has been said by Christian Marketplace, and that is hard to argue with as the depth of inspirational context here provides a seemingly bottomless well of hope, of religious sustenance that anyone could ever hope for in these most desperate of times we all now face together.
This page-turner of a book (which, as I’m sure you are all aware, is hardly the term one would ever consider using for a religious book of any kind, save for perhaps The Bible, of course, but this one truly is) is profoundly wide ranging in its seven chapters: Why We Believe, How Credible Is Religion?, How We Became Christian, A New Religion?, The Early Christians, The Way Forward and Fanciful Thinking, which makes for a read that not only provides an abundant acreage of information and personal reveal, but shares its hopes and dreams about God and Christians for a better, more rounded informationally, better connected to one another future for all.
About the Author - John Hunt has spent his life in publishing. Semi-retired, he now works as a reader and advisor in his eponymous company, in between writing, sailing and bee-keeping. He lives in Hampshire, in the south of England.
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