Book review: God Needs Salvation
by Hugh Rock
Hugh Rock wants to save God. It’s time for a new vision of God, but Rock seeks a 21st-century God without throwing out the old one. It is imperative, he insists, that we retain a sympathetic connection with the God of previous generations.
Intelligent and pointed, you’re going to feel suckerpunched somewhere in the first half of the book, as Rock quietly dismantles the House of Christians with their community god, the House of Platonists with their nature god, the Christian Mystics who try to speak Platonism using the language of Christ, and even the Jesusologists who turn the historical Jesus into a Humanist religion. Not even liberal theology, with its call for religious convergence by leaning heavily on panentheism, provides the answer. Rock knows he risks the ire of many by being critical of genuine interfaith motivations, but my own liberal community gets the boot too in this purge.
So what’s left? Rock insists that we are still inherently religious, but does God still exist in today’s secular culture? The answer may lie buried in our own humanity. Those theologians who have moved already in this direction see God not as a metaphysical reality but in the conditions of human relationships. They have discovered that this shift to sociology is possible without abandoning theology, keeping a proper reverence for our religious heritage.
This is a well-researched, thought-provoking book that’s very worthy of the time you’ll invest. While Rock sometimes seems out of touch with the fundamentalistic mindset that still pervades much of America (Rock resides in the UK), he does provide a healthy vision for the future that we can embrace.
Christian Alternative Books, © 2014, 458 pages