Beyond Faith: Our Role in Transforming God

Beyond Faith: Our Role in Transforming God

by William Penick


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781935534112
Publisher: Troy Book Makers, The
Publication date: 09/29/2009
Product dimensions: 9.00(w) x 6.00(h) x 0.65(d)

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Beyond Faith 2.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
lg4154 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I won this book thru Library Thing. The basic premise of the book is different questions asked to God in an interview format. These are scientific questions asked by the different viewpoints of a clergyman, a philosopher, and a scientist. I like the way the author formats the book and some great questions are pondered, although the book is a bit confusing at times. I do not have a religious background and at times felt really lost; I think this book is more geared towards somebody with a lot more religious knowledge. All in all, I did like some of the answers and it made me ponder what would God think about that.
HappieAnnie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was impressed with Part I (pages 1-21). The author uses reason and logic to make some basic assertions about the characteristics of "God" once one makes the "leap of faith" and assumes that "he" exists.So Penick argues for God: being independent of the universe, having something we could term a "mind" in that he must be capable of conscious decision, existing before the universe began, he did not make the universe out of his necessity and his mind must be rational and logical. All well and good, this is what generations of philosophers and theologians have termed natural theology.On page 13 we come to the issue of suffering, now this is a very thorny issue and those same philosophers and theologians have long struggled with this. If God is all-powerful why does he allow suffering? Is he indifferent to our suffering? Is he unable to intervene? But by page 15 we come to the remarkable assertion, "The journey down the path of reason, logic, science, and history to a personal image of God not dictated by any authority is well worth the effort, no matter where it ends."But of course, IF God exists and is conscious and rational and logical as Penick has argued for, then he IS. That means the correct image of God is the one that matches him, not what we might imagine he is like. I might like to imagine that William Penick, author of this book, is Swedish, worships at a fundamentalist KJV-only chuch and vacations every year in the Scottish Highlands. But both he and his friends and family would get, understandably, very cross with me if I went around telling people that that is what he is like and it doesn't matter what the real William Penick is like, only what we imagine he is like. If God has a mind of his own (if he is a "person") then he has a personality, just as William Penick is a person and has his own personality and character traits. If my imagined William Penick doesn't fit with the reality then I am WRONG.Part II is very weak. It is a "hypothetical conversation in a future incorporeal reality called B'kovia". Now this is just plain silly. What does any of Part II prove? I could just as easily write my own hypothetical conversation between my own imagined version of William Penick (who incidentally is not actually a former trial lawyer, but a murderer and a bank robber on the run from the police) and an imaginary sister of mine (let's call her Alice) in an imaginary future reality I'll call Hell about how they both regret not bothering to read the Bible.I have a suggestion to make. Supposing this "God" created the universe? And he has a mind and is all-powerful. Don't you think that perhaps he might just want to communicate with us somehow? I really don't see how Part II is any better than the (admittedly) many holy books of which the author is so dismissive. I would argue that the only objective, logical action to really understand what his "nature and purposes" actually are, is to investigate the truth claims of the major religions and their books. Do they contradict each other? Where? Do they contradict archaeology? Maybe, just maybe, one of them actually is a letter from the creator of the universe.
Altarasabine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What would God say about our view of Him if we could have a face to face conversation with Him? What would you ask Him? "Beyond Faith" uses a well written approach that combines faith, scientific fact and theory, history and human reason to tackle the fundamental questions of every human being, believer and non-believer. The origins of life, religion, free will and predestination just to name a few. Penick establishes a middle ground between theism and atheism by putting forth possible alternate ideas to these questions. The work is thought provoking and will rouse the mind, whether you agree or criticize the ideas.