At the beginning I thought I was going to really enjoy this book. McCullough, President and Professor of Theology and Preaching at San Francisco Theological Seminary, has some very good points describing how we reduce God to fit within our own structured arena. His sections on “loss of awe,” “rampant individualism,” and “God-Centered Worship,” among others, are excellent. As might be expected of a seminary president, he is well read and quotes from a number of familiar sources. While much of his writing is very adept, his concluding chapter on the “Community of Love” is really disjointed from the rest of the book although it was obvious that the book was created specifically to publish this final chapter.
Admittedly raised by strict fundamentalist parents, McCullough claims no harm but then ardently expresses his disdain for such intolerant attitudes. His position is that God is so far above us that we foolishly “imprison God” by “confining God to our truth statements” i.e. our confessional/doctrinal positions. These positions, he contends, often lead to “a presumptuous conviction that our affirmations contain the whole truth about God” and thus those who differ must be opposed. He goes on to state, “The vehemence of the debate over controversial issues – such as the inerrancy of Scripture, abortion, creation and evolution, ordination of homosexuals – too often breeds arrogant certainty.” Too bad! It had the makings of a really good book. DRS