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Monday, October 11, 2010

America's Four Gods

A fascinating new book by two Baylor University professors discusses American's conceptions of God. It is entitled, America's Four Gods: What We Say About God--and What That Says About Us, by Paul Froese and Christopher Bader. Based on their research, the four conceptions of God are:

1. The Benevolent God
2. The Critical God
3. The Distant God
4. The Authoritative God

Here is a story about the book from ABC News:

I intend to read the book and perhaps have some additonal posts on the subject.

P.S. I just discovered that USA Today has an interesting article with some charts illustrating the relation between one's conception of God and other issues such as homosexuality, poverty, disasters, and the USA.

Also here is a link to the book's website. There you will find a test to determine your conception of God (that is, if you believe in one).

1 comment:

  1. This is very interesting. Thanks for sharing it.

    So many thoughts come into my head on hearing this. It's not a new idea, that there is more than one concept of God. I remember that -- during my church days -- conflict would sometimes arise when people who held differing views of God would clash. I remember some strange church discipline conversations where these differing views would suddenly present themselves.

    I also find it interesting that people seem to hold more than one of these differing concepts of God in their own head at the same time, switching based on the situation or some other external variable. I've especially seen this in evangelism and apologetics. How many were convinced to become Christian or start attending church based on the benevolent view of God only to find that once a believer the picture of God was shifted to the authoritarian God? And how often do apologists -- professional or otherwise -- shift their pitch to accommodate the temperament or argument of their interlocutor?