Official Review: God II by Jon Fogelberg

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Renu G
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Official Review: God II by Jon Fogelberg

Post by Renu G » 05 Aug 2019, 11:41

[Following is an official review of "God II" by Jon Fogelberg.]
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2 out of 4 stars
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The description of this book captured my attention because the author seemed to challenge the foundational teachings of the three Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). According to him, God is neither infinite nor eternal nor omniscient. Since human beings are vulnerable, and the Bible teaches that we are created in God’s image, he concludes that God is vulnerable too. I think this is the height of absurdity.

In this book, Jon Fogelberg tries to reconcile science and religion. I believe that Christian faith is compatible with science, but God II cannot be compared with scientific research on these theological themes. I have studied the concept of time in the Bible by referring to the original languages and do not agree with the author’s statements on this theme. Jon does not employ a scientific methodology required in the fields of scriptural studies and theological research. He quotes extensively from English Bibles (ASV and ERV) that are not universally accepted. I am also surprised with his use of these translations in a book that includes complex ideas meant for spiritually mature, liberal, and knowledgeable readers.

Some parts of this work were intended by the author for young readers looking for a spiritually nourishing read and something to meditate upon. Jon presents Jesus’ parables to highlight 33 good qualities required for Christian living. He acknowledges that they do not reveal God as “eternal, infinite, and all-knowing.” He writes about free will and our relationship with God. Jon’s reflections are interesting, but they may not be accepted by biblical scholars. In the latter part, he quotes from Matthew Henry Commentary that is in the public domain and is outdated. I think Jon should have written a separate book on the parables. He should have focused on the intersection between science and religion in God II.

I do not have any doubts about the author’s goodwill in this endeavor. He seems to be sincere in his search for answers. Jon writes about the origins of the universe and uses the analogy of the gravitational force to explicate his concept of “Spiritual Entanglement.” However, the latter often depends on human free will. The writer uses it to show how God relates to the world. I think his reflections are deep, but he has been unable to express them clearly. I appreciate the inclusion of extracts from the writings of Richard Rohr, who practices a spirituality of action and contemplation. These are my favorite pages. However, I did not like Jon’s suggestion to replace the name of Christ with the words “Spiritual Entanglement.”

I rate this book 2 out of 4 stars. It has a few grammatical errors and will benefit from a round of editing. Overall, I do not agree with the contents of this publication. My foundational beliefs are not only compatible with science but also meaningful and helpful on my spiritual journey. The writer’s half-baked knowledge can be misleading, and it may do more harm than good to the simple faith of ordinary people. For these reasons, I will not give it a higher rating. It did not appeal to me as a professional theologian. I did not give it a lower rating because Jon’s intention is good. The book may appeal to those who are curious to know why he challenges the basic tenets of the Christian faith. It is meant to be read with discernment.

God II
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Michelle Fred
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Post by Michelle Fred » 07 Aug 2019, 04:51

Whenever I read a religious book such as this, I'm always on the lookout to ensure the author observes the golden rule; ''Do not add or subtract from the Bible." Needless to say, I will pass over this one. Like you rightly pointed out, the content is not for a newbie to Biblical matters. Thanks for the warning.

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Post by Sam_Ibeh » 07 Aug 2019, 07:52

I'm really not against seeking for answers, especially on religious matters. But making assertions without concrete evidence (other than quotations taken out of context) is a no-brainer. I hope the author finds the answers that he seeks.

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Post by LeeleeByoma » 07 Aug 2019, 14:22

Well, it sounds very confusing. Perhaps after some extensive research, the author can present a solid argument.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 08 Aug 2019, 11:54

Based on the synopsis, I decided against reviewing this book. I wouldn't be interested in replacing Christ's name as the author suggests. Thanks for the candid review.

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Post by Clorinda Donovan » 09 Aug 2019, 03:07

Well, I was put off by the name of this book and your review solidifies my aversion to it. So I'll pass on this one. It seems so disrespectful to name a religious figure "Spiritual Entanglement", many would be too offended to read further. Thank you for a great review.
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