future of Christianity"
by Arthur Bellinzoni
About the author:
Arthur J. Bellinzoni
About the book:
He suggests that a new Christianity must be created that is consistent with human reason, modern science, and modern concepts of human rights. Otherwise it will become irrelevant and obsolete. It will be doomed. He suggest that it must grow beyond the Bible and become a truly universal religion; it must reclaim control of the Christian agenda from extremists within the church; it must base itself on the teachings of Jesus, not upon the layers of myth surrounding his life.
A review on Amazon.com states:
Christianity has endured for two thousand years, weathering the challenges of clerical corruption, religious wars, internal schism, and scientific criticism. Today, however, there is increasing evidence that institutional Christianity is succumbing to the growing secularism of contemporary society. Both church attendance and the number of clergy have noticeably declined. Will Christianity survive for another thousand years, or even a hundred years?
In this probing assessment of the state of Christianity, biblical scholar Arthur J. Bellinzoni boldly asserts that Christianity must break with the past and offer a new vision of the future if it hopes to survive. Addressing four issues of central concern, Bellinzoni advocates a radical rethinking of the Christian message. First, he suggests that the God concept must move beyond obsolete notions of a personal God and take its inspiration from such diverse sources as science, Taoism, Moses, Thomas Jefferson, and Martin Buber. Second, Bellinzoni urges a more sophisticated approach to the Bible, one that values its timeless elements but is not afraid to discard its many antiquated features. Third, he recommends a new emphasis on Jesus’ social ethic, arguing that this could lead to a dramatic redistribution of the world’s wealth and greater respect for the planet. Fourth, Bellinzoni criticizes the persistence of obsolete myth in Christianity, demonstrating that, without its mythical embellishments, Christianity still offers a relevant understanding of the meaning of human existence.
A work of erudition that is also completely accessible to the lay reader, provides a stimulating critique that forward-thinking Christians will welcome.
Some other reviews:
Joseph Hoffmann, Chair, Committee for the Scientific Examination of Religion;
Professor of Religion,
"[T]houghtful and challenging book...must be taken seriously by all those who take the continued influence of Christianity for granted."
"This book is amazing in its focus and the precision and clarity of its analysis. It may rock your belief system, especially if you tend to take Scripture literally but even if you accept it more metaphorically. You won't be able but to agree with the analysis of the author, a distinguished academic."
"Finally! a book for the layman that goes
to the very heart of Christianity in raising fundamental questions about our
outdated concept of a personal god, the role of the Bible, the divinity of
Jesus and the status of ancient mythology in the Christian message. Bellinzoni, professor emeritus of religion at
Author: Arthur Bellinzoni
Title: "The future of Christianity"
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Release date: 2006-MAY-02
Cost: List: U.S. $25.00. Amazon.com sells it for 37% off at $15.75 plus postage. As of 2006-JUN, you can ask Amazon .com for free but slower shipping on most orders of US $25.00 or more. Books are often available cheaper -- new or used -- from Amazon's marketplace.