This was a really good book about how our brain is wired, what drives it, and how focusing on a God of love, not one of vengeance or punishment or condemnation is actually the best course.
I was especially focused on the God-as-love characteristic that is emphasized throughout the book. Admittedly, so of the ideas presented are a little radical and should be investigated more thoroughly, but I certainly came to a much better understanding of the whole salvation story in light of the topics of this book.
Though there was quite a bit of detailed talk about brain regions I sort of skimmed over, there was still a TON of good material here.
Hey, I haven't done Kindle highlights for awhile...
One example is the notion that faith only means, “God said it, I believe it, and that settles it.” But faith does not mean that we don’t ask any questions at all, that we take faith on faith. That type of “blind faith,” far from being a virtue in itself, causes us to become people who rigidly cling to rules, rituals and ceremonies without understanding what they mean, and then criticizing those who practice different rituals. You see, “faith” in an abusive god causes us become like the abusive god we serve, and use our power to control others, dominate others and coerce others into our way of living.
God has the power to enforce behavior modification, but God cannot force a thought to alter course without destroying the individual and creating robots. Love cannot be commanded. Therefore, God cannot be telling us, “Love me or I’ll kill you. Love me or I will be forced to torture you in hell forever.” All such concepts—when compared to the constant, when compared to our standard, when compared to the laws of love and liberty—are revealed to be lies.
“You don’t need to be afraid of your doctor, and you don’t need to be afraid of God. Because God, just like your doctor, just wants to heal you. If you were sick and in the hospital, would you try to get the nurses to erase the medical records so the doctor wouldn’t know how sick you were?” “No,” she said. “Why do we teach that Jesus is erasing the sins of the righteous from the records of heaven?”
...when the King James Bible was created, being translated into English in 1611, atonement had a different meaning than we typically ascribe today. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the word one was not only a noun but also a verb. If two people were at odds and I wanted to bring them back into friendship, I might say, “I am going to one them”: I am going to bring them back into unity, into oneness. This concept quickly became known as “at-one” or “atone.” We pronounce it atone rather than at-one because that is the older English pronunciation. When you are all by yourself, you are not “all one” but “alone.” The process of uniting warring factions is, therefore, called atonement.