Monday, March 24, 2014

Monday Morning: America's Four Gods

Yes, you read the title correctly - America's Four Gods.  So I'm one week into yet another challenging grad school class and I've already had my eyes open to some religious realities.  I'm only going to talk about one today, and that is the title of this post.

America's Four Gods is the title of a book written by Paul Froese and Christopher Bader.  This was required reading for my Doctrine of God class and I'm glad I had the opportunity to read it.  The authors embarked on quite an extensive research journey to find out how Americans view God today.  This book doesn't have much to do with the Bible or Christianity per se, just about belief in God.  

Here's something interesting - a quote from the liner notes: "Despite the hype surrounding the New Atheism, the US remains one of the world's most religious nations.  In fact, 95% of Americans believe in God - a rare consensus in American life."   

First of all, this is encouraging news.  I'm sorry, but most Christians believe that non-believers and atheists are taking over and running our country into the ground.  As a country, we are getting further and further away from the biblical standards and morals of our forefathers for sure, but at least a belief in God is still prevalent in American culture, as the above data suggests.  A belief in God though, does not mean a belief in Jesus Christ.   

So what are America's Four Gods?   It's one God, viewed four different ways by Americans:
1.  The Authoritative God: engaged in the world and judgmental
2.  The Benevolent God: engaged in the world and non-judgmental
3.  The Critical God: judgmental but disengaged
4.  The Distant God: non-judgmental and disengaged

If you're into this kind of stuff, I suggest you get this book!

I believe God did intend, in giving us intelligence, 
to give us the opportunity to investigate 
and appreciate the wonders of His creation.
He is not threatened by our scientific adventures.

-Francis Collins, Human Genome Project leader 

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