Book Review: Theology from Exile Volume II: The Year of Matthew

There seems to be a major push within modern religion to bring those of faith, no faith, little faith, and other faiths all together under one roof to worship a vague notion of some distant sky God. The book Theology from Exile is an attempt at a liturgy for just this sort of group. It is a commentary based on the Revised Common Lectionary, which is an ecumenical liturgy following the Christian calendar, and is aimed at primarily Protestant consumption. This commentary, on the contrary, is not for protestants, but for Universalist congregations.

One of the big problems with the work is that it is written under the assumption that there will be no second coming of Jesus. None. He’s dead and he’s not coming back. To quote the book (Page 38):

Jesus is not coming back. He is wherever the great work is done, wherever the Covenant is joined…The stories are true. But we are the ones we are waiting for.

That isn’t to say that it’s not true that “where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them,” as Jesus clearly said, but He also said He had some work to do elsewhere and that He was getting stuff prepared for us. And John prophesied a time when he would indeed come back and restore order. To say, though, that since it’s been a really long time, obviously he’s not coming, is simply to fall prey to the prevailing despair present in a world distanced from mythos by logos (a post explaining that idea in greater detail is forthcoming).

he second, and biggest, problem, though, is the kind of God that this book seeks to unite individuals and congregations in worship of. It is referred to in the book (Page 10) as “non-theistic.” An empty God. A distant, vague, sky God. The kind of God Christians are mocked for worshipping by the militant atheist movement that is so popular in our time.

There is some truth to be found in the book, but I didn’t feel it was worth trudging through more than 30 pages to try to find it. As a Christian, I found it bothersome and annoying. It was a mere call to embrace and advance a liberal social political agenda disguised as religious liturgy. If you’re into that sorta thing, have at it. But it just wasn’t for me.

***Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author and/or publisher through the Speakeasy blogging book review network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR,Part 255.***

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