Progressive Voices, #25, June 2018  Book Review

Being Christian in the Twenty First Century 

by Sam Gould.   


In 100 pages, Sam Gould has put together a challenging argument for a progressive Christianity in our time, making his pitch to the members of churches as well as pleading for priests and ministers to be more honest and courageous. Chapters deal with “Being Christian,” “Justification by Faith,” “Jesus: The Fully Human One,” “From Criminal to Christ,” “Atonement,” “Is Jesus the Only Way?” “Scripture: Word of God or Word of Man?” “God,” and “Church.”

Covering such large areas of belief, it is to be expected that the reader might have many questions. Gould anticipates that by providing a very detailed bibliography, an appendix covering the historical backdrop and the politics of first century Galilee and another on the economy, public health and religious matrix of that time.


The book is written in the hope of it being used as a tool for discussion groups. There is a very detailed study guide for each chapter with an introductory essay on “The Adult Discussion Class.”


Gould is an academic whose career has included leadership positions in business and government. He has also studied theology and served in administrative positions in local church settings for over 40 years. This shows in the ways in which his writing is rooted in the reality of the present day church scene. He pays due credit to progressives like Marcus Borg, John Dominic Crossan and Jack Spong.


Sam Gould dedicates his book to his eight grandchildren “who will face their adult journey in the twenty first century.” If any of my grandchildren have any inclination for or against Christianity, I would be happy to offer this book to them to help them think through the issues. It’s the sort of book I would be happy to give to anyone showing signs of a questioning faith. —Rev. Jim Hollyman, Progressive Voices, June 2018, Progressive Christian Network Britain, United Kingdom


Progressive Voices is the magazine of the Progressive Christianity Network Britain
[Registered Charity No. 1102164]. It is published quarterly in March, June, September and December. PCN Britain is itself part of a wider international network of progressive Christian organisations. You can contact them  at 01594 516528,, or PCN Britain, 26 High Street, Newnham, Gloucestershire, GL14 1BB.