The below is an exchange of e-mail correspondence regarding an article October 7, 2010 in USA TODAY titled How America sees God. An interesting article, it was based on a book America’s Four Gods: What We Say About God — And What That Says About Us. The book was based on in-depth interviews combined with surveys taken in 2006, and again, in 2008.
Pretty amazing that the percentage of Americans who identify with these traits of God was almost evenly split at ¼, or 25%, each: Authoritative God @ 28%, Distant God @ 24%, Benevolent God @ 22%, Critical God @ 21%, and Atheist/agnostic @ 5%.
To: Robert Fawcett
Subject: Greetings! How America sees God
USA Today has an interesting article this morning titled “How America sees God” and references a PBS series starting Monday on God in America.
Of the four concepts of God described in the article, I believe more in the Benevolent God with God manifesting itself in many ways, from very personal to universal.
—– Original Message —–
From: Robert Fawcett
Subject: RE: Greetings! How America sees God
Dear Harold –
Yep, saw the article. I was quite surprised that it made the front page! My, my – and I bet it caught a lot of attention nationwide.
While this article did not go into the subject, I have always found it truly interesting how the secular, or the un-churched, people react to these types of articles in major publications. It stirs in the hearts of the young for awhile, but then fades. Others (those in their twilight years, the seriously ill, those with life’s misfortunes, and so forth) ponder these articles, continuing to justify their own views that are in conflict with whatever individual faith they subscribe.
As I say in my book, these same folks continue to think that “all religions are basically the same” and their individual homemade views/beliefs are, likewise, OK. The difference, of course, is that these people have never even tried to seek God, or an Eternal Almighty Being. It is kinda either/or, as I point out in my book: either these folks do not need God, nor want God, or these same people do not feel that God wants them. And then I go on with some explanation.
If (and that is a very key word) a person is serious about trying to figure it all out, then they study the major religions, for starters. Of all the different approaches, they begin to understand that the life and ways of Jesus of Nazareth is the only teaching that offers a path for a personal relationship with God. Then, they finally read the Bible with a different mindset, particularly these teachings.
I just finished a book from a friend – you can imagine how many books are given to me because of my writings …… It is the best I have ever read on the subject of God. The title: The Reason for God –Belief in an Age of Skepticism by Timothy Keller. A word of advice if you choose to read: read each chapter, underline key points and make notes; thence, read the footnotes at the end of the book, in general, noting the chapter they apply; thence, go back and re-read the book, your highlighted underlines and notes. Alternatively, go to this website and order the DVD: http://timothykeller.com/study/the_reason_for_god/ . You can also buy the book here at this website, or go to www.TimothyKeller.com.
Have a nice day, old friend. Have a nice day.
Tags: America's Four Gods, Bible, Eternal Almighty Being, God, How America sees God, Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth, secular, The Reason for God