Synopses & Reviews
For too long, American Christianity has been poisoned by a narrowness of mind and spirit, demanding we believe the implausible, affirm the absurd, and despise the different. For many, the concepts of original sin, a God who sends people to hell, and Jesus as the only path to God can no longer be stomached. Thus thoughtful people leave the church in droves, no longer willing to diminish their lives or the lives of others for the sake of faith.
But what if there were another way? What if God wanted us to grow and change, both in our theology and our beliefs? In The Evolution of Faith, Philip Gulley invites us to put aside slavish obedience to antiquated faith claims and worldviews that no longer ring true, and discover what we really believe, rather than what we've always been taught. Instead of looking for answers outside ourselves, Gulley encourages us to develop our own apologetics, a belief system open to change. In this paradigm, faith should always be seen as a work in progress.
Only when we break free from the tenets of Christianity that no longer further the faith can we create a vital and believable Christianity—a Christianity that brings out the best in us, not the worst; a Christianity at home with people of other faiths; a Christianity grateful for scientific knowledge. This is a Christianity many of us have longed for, but haven't yet found.
This book is Gulley's effort to discover a Christianity we, and all the world, can live with.
"No one familiar with Gulley's earlier, controversial nonfiction (If Grace Is True; If the Church Were Christian) will be surprised to find that the Quaker pastor has gotten even more progressive. He argues here, among other things, that there have been 'God-bearers' other than Jesus; a focus on heaven, hell, and the afterlife is theoretical and damages the credibility of Christianity; Jesus was not a means of salvation by his death but an archetype of salvation and so on, heretically for many. If Gulley has any evangelical Christian fans left, their numbers will again shrink. But the low-key Quaker from Indiana does not himself shrink from speaking truth an essential Quaker practice derived from well-sifted pastoral and personal experience. The thoughtful pastor displays more of a Christian spirit of charity toward those who disagree with him than do his theological critics. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Noone raises provocative questions about Christianity more kindly than PhilipGulley. " —Diana Butler Bass,author of Christianity for the Rest of Us
“Everyserious Christian ought to read this book, ponder it,wrestlewith it, but above all, be grateful for its presence in today's urgentconversation about what we are and are becoming as a people of God.” —Phyllis Tickle, author of The GreatEmergence
RenownedQuaker minister Philip Gulley, bestselling author of If the Church WereChristian, delivers a practical, insightful guide to developing aliving, flexible, personal Christianity—a faith that allows you to confront theprofound challenges facing every believer in todays difficult world.
About the Author
Philip Gulley is a Quaker minister, writer, husband, and father. He is the bestselling author of Front Porch Tales, the acclaimed Harmony series, and is coauthor of If Grace Is True and If God Is Love. Gulley lives with his wife and two sons in Indiana, and is a frequent speaker at churches, colleges, and retreat centers across the country.