Seeing the Self Through the Eyes of God
It is often said, especially by Christian leaders, that Christianity today is in a state of crisis. By some measures, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In the United States of America (which is often the Christianity referred to), most politicians subscribe to some denomination of Christianity (very often some denomination of Protestantism), and laws and culture have been shaped by the religion, to the extent that they affect many aspects of secular life.
That last statement, however, could easily be part of the crisis. Carr’s argument is not that Christianity is not widespread enough but that it lacks the depth it once had. By becoming secular and entrenched in its own power, the religion has lost what meaning it once had. This, he says, is why people have drawn away from it. The cure is not to push more firmly on spreading Christianity as it is now, nor even on further modernizing and secularizing it, but to completely revolutionize the faith. Only by changing it until it becomes unrecognizable to some can it be brought back to what it once was.
I admit, I was a little skeptical when I started the book, but the further I went on, the more I realized this was exactly the sort of advice I had been looking for when I left the Catholic church. Perhaps, if this book had been around ten years ago, I would still call myself Christian today.
The first part of the book is easily the weakest. Carr’s ideas are interesting, but they deserved a stronger presentation. At times I felt as though I was reading a series of pamphlets instead of an actual book. The second half, which delves into how his new version of Christianity would be practiced, held my interest far better. Even for those uninterested in religion in any way, it’s a useful guide to being more present in the current moment and more at peace with oneself and one’s thoughts. I found myself realizing I already incorporate some of these practices in my day to day life, or at least try to.
I don’t know if I can say this book changed my life. I do know that it could have, if I had found it at another time, and that I will come back to it at some point in the future. For now, all I can do is give it time to digest in my thoughts and recommend it to anyone feeling disaffected with the state of Christianity today.
|Author||Chris J. Carr PhD|
|Page Count||230 pages|
|Bookshop.org||Buy this Book|