In the world of religious oppositions, Christians appear to be sure that God loves only them and will punish those of another faith. Christians regularly think and act as if God is a Christian. Is God a Christian? is about the risks of strict authoritative opinion and how important it is for world religions’ worshipers to tolerate one another. It accentuates the significance of relating as opposed to accepting or acting. He illustrates the similarity and differences between the most widespread religions and suggests that all of them are acceptable and interchangeable.
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At the beginning of the book called Breaking Down Barriers, Godsey carefully presents a portion of the story about how he at first started to consider God in his adolescence. He additionally uncovers how his image of God has changed and extended in his adulthood. The writer considers serious issues about human comprehension of the idea of truth, the origination of a strict perspective, and the idea of adherents’ responsibility.
Godsey starts his book by immediately explaining the meaning behind the name of his work. From it, the reader can understand that he believes that God is not tied to any single religion, such as Christianity. The writer claims, “God does not solely belong to Christian tradition. God is a Christian because we have come to know God as a Christian” (Godsey 12). Hence, he suggests that the presence, emotions, and backing of God should be seen through a mix of convictions, encounters, and, maybe, even religions to comprehend God’s essence (Godsey 13). One’s own religion is not held to be the sole and selective wellspring of truth, hence, the affirmation that a few realities and genuine qualities exist in different religions. As a result, the religions with fundamentally unrelated truth claims are legitimate to the same extent.
The first part is about how Christian people believe in their exclusivity and are closed to other faiths. They only know Jesus and that he is the son of God. Godsey states that this approach makes a person narrow-minded and hinders the unity between humans (Godsey 23). Thus, he does not approve of exclusive practices that limit the way of thinking and relationships between people (Godsey 24). He mentions the world is full of issues due to controversies, and they are difficult to deal with. Likewise, reducing the controversy between the followers of different forms of beliefs is a challenging process. Consequently, people should stop thinking they are exclusive and be more realistic about the situation.
Moreover, he infers that individuals can keep their morals and ethics and be accepting and tolerant to other religions at the same time. The writer comments, “rejecting exclusivity does not require abandoning the central place of faith in our lives, and rejecting exclusivity does not require abandoning our commitments” (Godsey 25). This proves that the philosopher does not support strict adherence to a particular belief. A person can confirm the legitimacy of other spiritual conventions without abandoning Christianity.
In the Tragedy of Fundamentalism, the author expands on describing other religions. He characterizes how different theologies form and how they confuse the person’s perceptions and ideas about the world and life starting from his or her childhood period. Godsey describes the religious traditions and customary rituals the farm people would perform before starting any work (Godsey 35). These accustomed practices play an important role in people’s daily life.
In this section, he writes about his view on the fundamentalism of religious beliefs. He shares his ideas by saying, “fundamentalism in Christianity, I believe, represents an abuse of Christianity and a radical distortion of Jesus’s life and message and even his death and resurrection” (Godsey 34). In this context, he blames people for interpreting the statements and concepts from the Bible literally instead of making a deep analysis of the meaning. Religion is often being misused and serves as a justifier of many immoral doings.
The wrong understanding and improper teaching result in wars and conflicts between people of different faiths. Godsey further says that religious theories are not accepted as theories but were transmitted as a sole truth that cannot be refuted (Godsey 35). He ends the section by proposing that fundamentalism in any belief brings disharmony and ignorance (Godsey 44). Therefore, it needs to be avoided to promote unity all over the globe.
Godsey’s novel point of view necessitates that the readers be critical and open thinkers. Is God a Christian? contains many controversies against the most prevalent religions. He disapproves of the exclusive and fundamental approaches of some religious followers and offers individuals to work on the interpretation of the religious scripts. The author underpins strict pluralism and proposes halting the contentions between various philosophies as they limit the people’s potential and build misconceptions. He believes that God can be characterized in many ways by different religions, and it is better to regard various possibilities. This book is a call for the world’s religious’ worshipers to participate in a genuine exertion to understand one another.
Godsey, Raleigh Kirby. Is God a Christian? Creating a Community of Conversation. Mercer University Press, 2011.