A Smaller God, Petri Merenlahti
Petri Merenlahti

A Smaller God

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The Bible is a perplexing book. It blends primitive beliefs with timeless truths, swings between compassionate love and ruthless violence, and forms a sympathetic heavenly father from the remains of a savage tribal god. What are we to make of it all?

Petri Merenlahti takes an entertaining journey through biblical literature and returns with an original theology of imperfection. Looking at the Bible through the lenses of history, culture, literature, and psychology, he calls his readers to let go of an idealized image of the Christian Scriptures and embrace their limited human nature instead. This is vital, he argues, because false idealization and psychological splitting are major sources of religious fanaticism and violence.

Merenlahti insists that we make a difference between the smaller God of human imagination and the transcendent God that should remain beyond it. We will then be rewarded with wisdom instead of fanaticism, mercy instead of moralism, and peace instead of hatred and guilt.
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182 printed pages
Original publication
2014

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