What is Being Christian in the Twenty-First Century about?


I wrote Being Christian in the Twenty-First Century  out of a concern for the graying of the church and decline in church affiliation especially among younger people. The book presents a commonsense understanding of Christianity that avoids literalism, dogma, and doctrines—all factors which many believe is driving people away from the church. Being Christian does not restate orthodox positions or drift into fundamentalism or sentimentalism. Instead it draws from a broad base of historical, theological, archaeological, and sociological scholarship to place Scripture within its original context, yet presents it within a perspective suitable for the twenty-first-century mind. Being Christian while scholarly, is also conversational, interesting, and often provocative. One reader put it this way, “the book reminds me of a baseball pitcher with a long wind up and a hard fastball getting better in every inning.” By building upon progressive thought available today and throughout history, it offers an important resource for Christians and would-be Christians seeking a more fulfilling and thoughtful faith journey. The book is well suited for individual or group study, complete with a study guide and sample lesson plans.


Praise for Being Christian in the Twenty-First Century

Here is what some people have said about Being Christian:

-- Stimulated as much dialogue as any resource we have used to date; asks pertinent questions that require deep thought and reflection.  –participant in a discussion group of pastors and lay persons


-- Well-reasoned and clearly written. Lays out the case for major revisions to orthodox Christian doctrine. Provides cogent discussion of the nature of God, the life of Jesus, the value of scripture, the role of the church, and more. Well worth reading. -- retired pastor


-- With a layperson’s sensitivity and professor’s scholarship, goes back to the religious, political, and cultural times in which Christian beliefs were formed and updates them in ways that more accurately reflect the original context and yet make sense to today’s Christian. Congregations will gain by using his step-by-step discussion guides and lesson plans with adult and senior high youth groups. --pastor and retired seminary professor


-- Born of a questioning faith and informed by rigorous scholarship, Being Christian in the Twenty-First Century is fides quarens intellectum (faith seeking understanding) at its best. --former Holy Cross Priest


-- Offers a progressive interpretation of biblical texts and traditional church teachings that contemporary Christians can embrace as rational, ethical, and humanist.  -- retired professor of religious studies


-- Based on the best biblical and theological scholarship available. An educator par excellence, Gould has produced an incredible theological text designed for adults, but also fitting for post-modern youth yearning for meaning in their lives and world. -- former seminary president.