I Met God in Bermuda
Life is an exasperating yet wonderful mess. It's here, not in dry dogma or empty ritual, that we find faith.
Dawkins, Harris and Hitchens were right about religion, but there is an alternative. I Met God in Bermuda is about an authentic faith fit for the 21st century, which rejects both the Sunday School God and the God of king and country. In the face of human suffering and natural disasters, that God failed us. Instead, this is a 21st century faith, which is discovered in the context of relationships, bringing hope and courage to people in a complex world. A blend of humor and pathos, with gritty stories and practical wisdom, it delivers where others have failed by drawing us into a new way of thinking about spirituality and the world.
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Steven Ogden writes lucidly and with an engaging self-deprecating wit, something not found too often in religious books! He takes the reader on a rip-roaring journey of how his faith has been changed due to the circumstances of his own life; and in particular as an Anglican priest… He is more than ready to admit that for much of his journey God is, as Rowan Williams paradoxically yet perhaps accurately expressed it: “a ray of darkness.” That is not to retreat into atheism, but to honestly encounter the ‘holocaust’ event repeatedly in our lives: “Where is God when suffering hits?” It is ‘the test case’ that both disturbs and deepens our faith in a God who suffers with us. In this book Ogden attempts to ‘redescribe’ God for another generation and as a good Anglican “to proclaim afresh the faith.”~ Nigel Leaves, Author of The God Problem
If you are looking for an easy book on Progressive Christianity to read, I Met God in Bermuda is not it. Though the book is short, it is densely written. But it is well worth the work it takes to read itâ€¦ I really thought this was an excellent book. Even though Ogden never did develop a clear definition of God or a strong explanation of how the interconnections work, I could relate to the idea that there may not be a clear definition of God and we pretty much know of the presence when we sense it. I think it was a refreshing change from those individuals who are so sure that they understand and know God in the only â€œrightâ€ way. I do recommend this book. Hopefully it will get you thinking as it did me. ~ Gerald Bennett, The Center for Progressive Christianity
Steven Ogden's book "I Met God in Bermuda" is an engaging popular work that addresses profound modern faith issues. Articulating well the issues that drive people out of organized religion he invites us to walk with him along a new and compelling path. ~ John Shelby Spong, Author: Eternal Life: A New Vision; Beyond Religion
Ogden does succeed in offering an immensely important insight into the nature and being of God that deserves much fuller reflection and exploration.~ Angela Shier-Jones, New Malden, July-August edition of Theology
Steven Ogden... identified what he believes to be the key question that concerns modern people, even if they do not ask it directly: How can we reconcile suffering with a God of love? He offers no glib answers; this is a journey, an exploration, like all the best theology. With a prose style that is fresh, engaging and accessible without trivializing important subject matter, this is a book that should be on every parish's study schedule. ~ Muriel Porter, Author of The New Puritans; historian and journalist for The Age; this review was published in The Melbourne Anglican
The God whom Ogden invites us to explore is experienced in absence and presence, suffering and wonder, joy and despair; just as we experience the divine in this complex and yet so simple interplay, perhaps God experiences these realities through our individual and collective lives. This is why Jesus matters, because "he is a potent and impassioned symbol of grace. He is a life-affirming expression of the presence of God in the world".~ Drew Hanlon, Published in Eremos
So thanks for this book, Steven Ogden, and may you train more of our clergy and religious educators to start thinking outside the old certainties.~ Alison Cotes, Freelance writer, contributes to the Brisbane Courier Mail, this review was published in the Brisbane Focus.
Can anything new be said about religion, the oldest human obsession? Probably not, but in this compelling book Steven Ogden has at least found a new way of talking about it. ~ Richard Holloway, Former Anglican Primus of Scotland; Professor of Divinity Gresham College London
With Hitchens, Dawkins and company, giving religion a hard time it was refreshing to read "I met God in Bermuda". This welcome book not only clearly analyses the contemporary challenges to Christian faith but more importantly provides a lively apologetic for it based both on personal spiritual experience and on a broad theological knowledge and expertise. Steven Ogden is a good and honest communicator of complex issues to a generation often confused by the spiritual market-place as well as by various extreme expressions of religion. ~ The Rt Revd Andrew R St John, DD, Rector, The Church of the Transfiguration, New York
Steven Ogden has written a 21st Century Honest to God and he has done it with wit and wisdom. He gives his readers an engaging and lively postmodern riposte to the new atheists and cultural despisers of Christianity today. ~ Prof Michael Northcott, Professor of Ethics University of Edinburgh
â€˜Our image of God must go,â€™ said journalists referring to John Robinsonâ€™s Honest to God. Steven Ogden makes a similar cry. He calls for a new understanding of the pattern of divine presence which embraces those times of Godâ€™s absence too. A sanitized account of human experience is replaced with a positive engagement with the ambiguities of human life in God. Ogden outlines a true â€˜faith seeking understandingâ€™, a critical realist account of Christian belief which acknowledges the metaphorical nature of theological discourse. This is a challenging but essential introduction to Christian faith in our contemporary world. ~ Stephen Platten, Bishop of Wakefield and Chair of the Church of England's Liturgical Commission
How can we reconcile suffering with a God of love? This is the question behind the despairing contemporary agnosticism that is emptying the churches. Steven Ogden tackles this crucial question with a rare combination of exemplary, honest theological engagement and a lively energising prose style. I Met God in Bermuda is immediately accessible for a wide audience, making this a book that should be on every parishâ€™s study schedule. ~ Dr Muriel Porter OAM, Historian, author, journalist with The Age, Melbourne
Steven Ogden's wonderfully accessible book is a timely reminder that there's more to religion than dogmatic fundamentalism, and that symbolism and imagery have an important place in our spiritual lives, even if they're not literally "true". 'I Met God in Bermuda' is a quirky, thoughtful and compassionate demonstration that the essence of faith is doubt and that, to mean anything at all, faith must be integrated with our knowledge and experience of the world we live in. ~ Hugh Mackay, Psychologist, social researcher, columnist and author