Item description for God Is Not...: Religious, Nice, "One of Us," an American, a Capitalist by D. Brent Laytham...
Overview An exploration and critique of the ways various communities and allegiances distort Christian understanding of God.
Publishers Description "God Is Not . . . "takes on today's prevailing misconceptions about who God "is" by boldly stating who God is "not." Rodney Clapp critiques pop culture's anthem to a slobby, ineffective "God like us," while D. Stephen Long, in "God Is Not Nice," questions our therapy-fed longing for a useful, nonthreatening deity. If God is not an American or a capitalist or "religious," as contributors Michael Baxter, Mike Budde, and William T. Cavanaugh go on to argue, then who is God? Laytham concludes with a stirring essay on who God is, calling the church to visibly demonstrate where its primary allegiance lies. Audacious without being rude, "God Is Not . . . "is a lively, necessary, and intelligently reverent read.
Citations And Professional Reviews God Is Not...: Religious, Nice, "One of Us," an American, a Capitalist by D. Brent Laytham has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Library Journal - 06/21/2004
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D. Brent Laytham (PhD, Duke University Divinity School) is dean of the Ecumenical Institute of Theology at St. Mary's Seminary & University in Baltimore, Maryland. He previously taught at North Park Theological Seminary. He is an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church and takes special interest in bringing pastors and scholars together to address theological and ecclesiological issues.
Reviews - What do customers think about God Is Not: Religious, Nice, "One of Us," An American, A Capitalist?
Great book with great thoughts Mar 5, 2007
I would have never found myself disagreeing with the statement that God is not: One of us, Nice, American, Capitalist, or Relgious. In fact many of those things are they very problems I see with Christianity. However this book showed me some ways than even I think those things. No matter where you are in life be prepared for this book to challenge you and face that challenge head on. I highly recoommend this book for anybody ready for a challenge and a serious contemplation about who God is by first examining who God is not.
God is Not... Jan 24, 2007
Laytham's book is very represenative of the ekklesia project and her mission. This book was one of the first to help me understand how blasphemous it is to describe God in our pop-culture language. For those who believe Jesus is your "homeboy" and for those who think God wears an American flag for a cape.... think again. God is above all that we try to impose on him.
We need a new language to speak of God. The image we are forming of him is consistent with the spirit of the age but inconsistent with the Spirit of Christ. Laytham's book is an attempt to throw off all of those things which make God out to be less than the divine creator of the universe. The way we speak of God should reflect that our allegiance lies with the King and his Kingdom!
A thought provoking collection of essays Feb 7, 2005
These essays were compiled to counter some common misconceptions about God. They do so by stating what God is not. The essays are at least thought provoking and at most inflammatory. Then again, the authors never claimed to not be controversial.
In the book there are six essays, five of which speak to something God is not. The first claims that God is not a passive participant in creation. The second argues that God is not nice in the way that culture has claimed God to be. The third reminds that God is not American and this nation is not truly "under God." The fourth describes God's economics in contrast to capitalism, telling us that God is not capitalist. The fifth says that God is not religious becuase that term has come to stand for a generic faith and a generic god. The final essay speaks about God's being one, holy, catholic, and apostolic.
I found these essays a quick read. That is because I have read and heard most of the arguments before. I found the essay on economics to be most useful.
This book is great for undergrads or folks interested in exmining their view of God. It challenges many commonly held beliefs, ones that truly need to be challeneged. Highly recommended.
An important book meant to be discussed. Dec 26, 2004
This book challenges the Christianity that is practised by many American Christians today. The basis of this book is that by negations - defining what God is not - we can better understand the true God. Separate articles address different faulty views of God and Dr. Laytham concludes the book but outlining what God is, and what the Church should be. An important aspect that should be noted, though there is no chapter dedicated to the myth of a 'masculine god', the gender neutral language throughout the book is appreciated and supports the over-arching theme of the book, that of dispelling faulty views of God.
All of the articles are relatively easy to read and should be read with an open mind and heart. The opening article confronts the pop culture notion portrayed in a Joan Osborne song that 'God is one of us'. The following article, and my personal favorite, is titles "God is not nice". The blasphemous 'nice god' comes from cultural pressures "of late modernity where self-esteem and passion rule" and from theological pressures in favor of a "tolerant god who makes you feel good" (45,48). The books continues with articles that dispel the myths of an 'american god' a 'capitalist god' and a 'religious god'. Dr. Laytham concludes the book by writing that "God is One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic"; but I don't want to give away the ending.
I recommend this book to everyone who is tired and frustrated by the Christian god that has been misrepresented and understood and is seeking to reconnect with the true God.