Being Christian in the Twenty-first Century was written to help struggling and doubting Christians develop an understanding of Christianity that avoids literalism, creeds, and doctrines--all factors which seem to be driving people away from the church. The book is well suited for individual or group study, complete with a study guide and sample lesson plans. It responds to the call for theological reform advocated by many contemporary clergy and religious leaders. Being Christian does not restate orthodox positions or drift into fundamentalism or sentimentalism. Instead it draws from a broad base of historical, theological, archaeological, and sociological scholarship to place Scripture within its original context, yet present it within a perspective suitable for the twenty-first-century mind. Being Christian is scholarly, yet readable, interesting, and often provocative. One reviewer put it this way, ""the book reminds me of a baseball pitcher with a long wind up and a hard fastball getting better in every inning."" By building upon progressive thought available today and throughout history, it offers an important resource for Christians and would-be Christians seeking a more fulfilling and thoughtful faith journey.
""Born of a questioning faith and informed by
rigorous scholarship, Being Christian in the Twenty-First Century is fides
quarens intellectum (faith seeking understanding) at its best. Gould's work is
as valuable to the emerging church as that of Marcus Borg, John Dominic Crossan,
and John Shelby Spong.
--Tom Stella, author of Finding God Beyond Religion
""Sam Gould turns 'back to the future' by offering
a progressive interpretation of biblical texts and traditional church teachings
that contemporary Christians can embrace as rational, ethical, and humanist. He
writes for those who wish to be Christian without forfeiting their critical
intelligence or liberal morality. While Gould asserts that Jesus reveals what a
fully evolved human life can be, he also calls for ecumenical openness to those
of other religious faiths.""
--David L. Weddle, Colorado College, author of Miracles: Wonder and Meaning in World Religions
""Gould, in the tradition of lay theologians like
C. S. Lewis, Dorothy Sayers, and William Stringfellow, writes with conviction,
candor, and clarity as he articulates what it means to be Christian in the
twenty-first century. Calling for a more intellectually and spiritually
satisfying faith, he bases his thinking on the best biblical and theological
scholarship available and presses the reader to think critically and
constructively about Christianity. An educator par excellence, Gould has
produced an incredible theological text designed for adults, but also fitting
for post-modern youth yearning for meaning in their lives and world.""
--Donald E. Messer, The Iliff School of Theology, Denver, Colorado
Sam Gould is dean emeritus, School of Business Administration, University of Dayton. His career has included leadership positions in business, government, and academia. He has studied theology, led adult study classes, and served in lay administrative positions in local church settings for over four decades.