Doug Pagitt is a rare person, sharing a rare gift. In a world full of religious thinkers who are beholden to denominations, theological legacies, churches (full of people who would leave if their pastor ever spoke their honest thoughts), tenure, paychecks, and pensions, Doug is a true free agent. Having separated himself from almost any form of obligation, he has taken his considerable intellect and thought his way toward some truly fresh perspectives on Christianity. The result is personal and engaging and pioneering and perfectly perspectival: a theological treatise almost completely devoid of footnotes (though it comes from a person with a professional, pastoral, and theological pedigree).
At the same time, the book probably doesn’t strike the reader that way, for it reads like a memoir, and at a deeper level, like a wide-ranging theology of humanity and the human condition. But look even deeper, and you’ll see the life’s work of a true autodidact: a fresh look at God and the world through unconventional lenses as diverse as physics, anthropology, sociology, psychology, natural health, and personal experience.
Where most Christian thinkers only look back (to some imagined golden era in the history of the church), Doug’s innovative suggestion is to look at Christianity from the perspective of the future. Of course, he does present some historical study (especially to the time before Augustine, when much of Christian thought ossified into the terms of Greek philosophy), but he does so as a means of finding the trajectory of the Christian faith, looking past our time toward the even better day he envisions ahead.