What is Faith Beyond Mere Belief About?
Faith Beyond Mere Belief was written out of my own personal struggle over the credibility of many orthodox and fundamentalist doctrines promulgated in today’s Christian churches. I believe that the reason for this struggle is that many mainline and evangelical churches promulgate a religious perspective that requires people to profess ancient dogmatic beliefs that are no longer believable in a postmodern world. Many do not believe what they are asked to profess, but out of an unwillingness to challenge these beliefs and doctrines they find it easier to just go along. Perhaps even fear plays a role. One may not believe in a physical hell, for example, but what if they are wrong? It is just safer to play along. It seems at best this religious perspective can only lukewarmly touch the heart while it bypasses the mind. As such, this book is not about Christianity as it is expressed in these present-day churches. It is not a rehash of fundamentalist or even so called orthodox doctrine. Nor does it advocate a soft literalism. What it does is bring together a common sense approach to Christianity which draws upon the theological and behavioral sciences as well as my personal experience in leading both collegiate level classes at university and adult Christian education classes and retreats in local church settings.
What Others have Said about Faith Beyond Mere Belief.
As a pastor I recommend this book to anyone who wants to consider her/himself to be a "thinking Christian." Dr. Gould is a lay Christian who has given the Christian faith a lot of thought. His thoughts are progressive and definitely not doctrinaire! He has read widely the writings of Christian writers and is up-to-date on the latest biblical scholarship. Here he presents a Christian faith for the modern mind. Read this and find yourself thinking for yourself about what faith means for you. -- Bill Youngkin, retired UCC Pastor, David's United Church of Christ, Dayton, Ohio.
Dr. Gould has written an excellent "tweener" book; one that will suit those who have been probing and prodding for some time while also remaining accessible for most. I heartily recommend this book for congregations who are seeking a companion for an adult education class...especially in congregations that want to think deeply, but also have a deep connection to their faith. I'm grateful for having had the opportunity to read "Faith Beyond Mere Belief." --Rev. David Shaw, UCC Pastor, Church in the Wildwood, Green Mountain Falls, Colorado.