By Mitchell Silver

Not less than because the 17th century, the conventional God of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam has been stressed to comply to the clinical worldview. around the monotheistic traditions there has emerged a liberalconception of God appropriate with a thoroughgoing naturalism. for lots of, this liberal newGod is the one credible God. yet is it an invaluable God? Does trust in so malleable a deity come from, or bring about, various political, ethical, mental, or aesthetic phenomena from atheism?A believable God evaluates the hot God via reading the theology of 3 fresh Jewish thinkers -Mordechai Kaplan, Michael Lerner, and Arthur Green-and compares religion within the new God to disbelief in any gods. Mitchell Silver finds what's at stake within the selection among naturalistic liberal theology and a nontheistic naturalism with no gods. Silver poses the query: whether it is to be both the hot God or no God, what does-what should-determine the choice?Although Jewish thinkers are used because the fundamental exemplars of recent God theology, Silver explores advancements in modern Christian inspiration, japanese spiritual traditions, and New Agereligion. A believable God constitutes an important contribution to present discussions of the connection among technological know-how and faith, in addition to to discussions concerning the that means of the assumption of God itself in smooth life.A fantastic piece of labor. . . . Many terrific passages, with very transparent and unique options, excellently put.-Daniel C. Dennett, writer of Breaking the Spell: faith as a usual Phenomenon

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Extra info for The Plausible God: Secular Reflections on Liberal Jewish Theology

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Lerner calls God 21 ................. 16088$ $CH3 08-31-06 15:27:48 PS PAGE 21 A P L AU S I B L E G O D the ‘‘Force’’ (1994, 35), thereby echoing Star Wars theology. He provides images of God as a depersonalized energy that is always being transmitted and that we can choose to tap into when we will. At times, Lerner sees the divine energy at work even without us flipping the ‘‘on’’ switch (1994, 181–82). God is the ‘‘energizing force’’ behind natural history. Arthur Green is also tempted by the image of God as energy.

God is what makes, or helps to make, or more modestly, at least allows, good things to happen. Typically, God is characterized as the potential that enables us to do or be good. God as Energy This enabling capacity sometimes leads to the characterization of God as sheer potency, as energy that animates our angelic urges. Lerner calls God 21 ................. 16088$ $CH3 08-31-06 15:27:48 PS PAGE 21 A P L AU S I B L E G O D the ‘‘Force’’ (1994, 35), thereby echoing Star Wars theology. He provides images of God as a depersonalized energy that is always being transmitted and that we can choose to tap into when we will.

Sometimes, we want to talk about everything. ’’ Such generalizations are seldom true; still, we want to be able to assert them. But, we hardly need ‘‘God’’ to concisely make such points; ‘‘everything’’ does quite nicely. If anything, using ‘‘God’’ as a synonym for ‘‘everything’’ tends to mislead. ‘‘God makes me happy,’’ ‘‘God stinks,’’ and ‘‘God looks like Winston Churchill’’ are synonymous with the previous trio in almost no one’s ideolect. We neither need nor want ‘‘God’’ as a mere name for everything.

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