Showing posts from 2008

Book Review: John Hick ~ Evil and the God of Love

Let me start out by making it clear that this is not really a book review in the sense that you would think when seeing a review in a magazine or newspaper. This is literally me reviewing (as in: refreshing my memory of) a book I've read, and recording my interaction with its ideas. This is just for me and those interested in my thoughts. It has nothing to say really about the merits of this book as literature. This is an autobiographical account of my interpretation of this book.

I've read quotes from this book in 3 or 4 other books related to Universalism, so I figured I better check it out for myself. First, I looked the author up and found that the book was written in 1966 and that Hick's beliefs have changed since then. In 1966 He was an evangelical, questioning his fundamentalist presuppositions and coming to very different conclusions than what he had been taught. Obviously I see myself this way at this point in my life, so I find the trajectory of his belief…


It seems that truly pondering God inexorably leads to mysticism. (Which I describe as thought and experience outside the sanctioned walls of dogma.) And here's why: God is by almost all religious revelation, (Jewish, Christian, Hindu, etc.) defined as being beyond our understanding and categories. But paradoxically, religion is all about understanding and categories. To have an organized religion requires definitions. God IS this. God IS NOT that. So to follow the logic that God transcends our understanding, categories and definitions, means we have to leave the walls of our religious context.
I feel like this is what is happening to me whether I want it or not. I feel like I would have to be disingenuous to keep my definition of God if it contradicts The definition of God as One Who Transcends. I mean, aren’t all our dogmas and doctrines based on our faith in a specific revelation(s) of the nature and definition of God? Yet we contradict them all if we simultaneously hold to t…