Finding God in the World—A Spiritual Revolution
Polls, surveys, and media headlines all claim that religion in America is at an all time low. Fear and uncertainty may be tainting the ordinary, but in her newest publication Grounded, author Diana Butler Bass argues this religious decline is actually a spiritual revolution. People no longer see God as a distant being present only in holy spaces and rare encounters but experience him in the events and spaces of everyday life. Using statistics, texts, and stories, Bass outlines the political, cultural, and social effects of this radical shift in how people understand God and cultivate faith into world-changing potential.
In an excerpt provided by News and Pews from publisher HarperOne, Bass writes:
“In the twenty-first-century world, top-down institutions and philosophies are weakening—and that includes top-down religions. People are leading their own theological revolution and finding that the Spirit is much more with the world than we had previously been taught…
The problem of evil is real. (It is worth noting, however, that human beings create the vast majority of what we deem evil. Evil is not God’s problem as much as it is ours.) But there is a widespread sense that God is with us, within creation, culture, and the cosmos. If anything, recent decades have revealed not a dreadful, distant God, but have slowly illuminated that an intimate presence of mystery abides with the world, a spirit of compassion that breathes hope and healing. And with it faith is shifting from a theology of distance toward a theology of nearness, from institution to unmediated experience.”
Diana Butler Bass is an author, speaker, and independent scholar specializing in American religion and culture. She has taught church history, American religious history, history of Christian thought, religion and politics, and congregational studies. Her other publications include Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening (2012) and the best-selling Christianity for the Rest of Us: How the Neighborhood Church is Transforming the Faith (2006), which was named one of the best religion books of the year by Publishers Weekly and was featured in a cover story in USA TODAY.