Amazon Finally Has It Right: Book Description for The End of Secularism

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Here’s what you’ll see at the Amazon.com page for The End of Secularism:

This ambitious work offers one of the most comprehensive attacks on secularism yet attempted. Hunter Baker argues that advocates of secularism misunderstand the borders between science, religion, and politics and cannot solve the problem of religious difference.

University scholars have spent decades subjecting religion to critical scrutiny. But what would happen if they turned their focus on secularism? Hunter Baker seeks the answer to that question by putting secularism under the microscope and carefully examining its origins, its context, its claims, and the viability of those claims.

The result of Baker’s analysis is The End of Secularism. He reveals that secularism fails as an instrument designed to create superior social harmony and political rationality to that which is available with theistic alternatives. Baker also demonstrates that secularism is far from the best or only way to enjoy modernity’s fruits of religious liberty, free speech, and democracy. The End of Secularism declares the demise of secularism as a useful social construct and upholds the value of a public square that welcomes all comers, religious and otherwise, into the discussion. The message of The End of Secularism is that the marketplace of ideas depends on open and honest discussion rather than on religious content or the lack thereof.

And by the way, if you haven’t yet, please join the Facebook page for The End of Secularism so I can notify everybody upon publication in August.

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5 thoughts on “Amazon Finally Has It Right: Book Description for The End of Secularism

  1. A comment or two on your site altogether.

    The key to your religion altogether is the presumed resurrection of Jesus.

    The picture at the top of your site shows Pilate asking the crowd “behold the man”.

    This picture shows Jesus before his crucifixion.

    Consequently the best that can be said about Jesus before he was crucified, is that he was a remarkable moral, religious and Spiritual teacher, not unlike dozens of other saintly religious and Spiritual teachers that have appeared in all times and places throughout history.

    As such his teaching and lived demonstration was and is no more significant than any of the rest of the Wisdom Teachings available in every Wisdom tradition. Nor is the content of his life—the traditions are full of the stories of miracles associated with living Saints.

    Nor is the content of his teaching as reported in the Bible.

    Love the Lord thy God with all of ones being and then on that basis love thy neighbour as thyself, because in Truth and Reality your neighbour IS your self.

    Such is the essential moral core and calling of all the high religious and Spiritual traditions.

    A critical comment on the alleged conversation between Jesus and Pilate as “reported” in the Bible.

    While the Gospels are full of mostly fabricated details about Jesus’ lifetime, there is, also, no evidence that the writers have actually quoted (rather than invented) what Jesus said when he was alive. Why is it, then, that, after his death, suddenly everybody “knew and remembered” all these things about him?

    For example, a PRIVATE scene between Jesus and Pilate is described, and a presumed dialogue is reported.

    Who would have known the content of that conversation?

    No one, apart from Jesus and Pilate heard these words. Pilate would not have reported it to anyone, ESPECIALLY not to any of Jesus’ followers. Jesus could not have had time to tell anyone about it, because he was immediately taken away and crucified.

    While Jesus was suspended in excruciating agony on the cross, he could not, under the circumstances, have reported his conversation with Pilate to the people nearby, so that they could write it down for history.

    Nothing of the kind occurred.

    And besides which believing in Jesus has nothing whatsoever to do with a Spiritually informed religious life.

  2. John, you began your discussion by noticing that I base my Christian convictions on the resurrection of Christ as the signal event of history. Then, you go on to completely ignore the resurrection of Christ and the evidence for it.

    From what you did say, it is easy to point out the fallacy in how you’ve proceeded. Even if you were right, which I do not concede in the event of Christ and Pilate for a variety of reasons, you have done what so many critics do. You have pointed to a proposed “problem” in a particular passage of Scripture and then acted as if you have then successfully defeated the entire corpus. Surely, you would not reason in that fashion with regard to any other body of information. I hope not, anyway.

  3. “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life–the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us–that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.” (1 John 1:1-4, ESV)

  4. John and Hunter,

    I think it is interesting that John makes the statement,
    “Consequently the best that can be said about Jesus before he was crucified, is that he was a remarkable moral, religious and Spiritual teacher, not unlike dozens of other saintly religious and Spiritual teachers that have appeared in all times and places throughout history.”

    I would ask you John to name even one “like” Jesus. Not in intention or even social function, but in actual specifics of word and life. He approaches forgiveness uniquely. Historian Martin Hengel demonstrates with exhaustive research that there is no duplicate story in all antiquity like the death of Jesus.

    John, whether you believe or not, it is simply not factual that “the best that can be said about Jesus…is that he was…not unlike dozens of other saintly religious and spiritual teachers who have appeared in all times and places throughout history.” That simply is not true.

    I also find it interesting how sure we are that other religious leaders throughout history accurately recorded their lives, conversations, and actions on behalf of others. Did their followers “get everything right?” Is Jesus the only one who receives this kind of blanket scrutiny? If we understand the Buddha’s experience, a good bit of it was done in solitude. So how do we know he is telling us the truth? And if he is not, he is not saintly!

    Did Mohammed do and say all that he says he did and said? Did his followers accurately record everything? And how would they know? So if they took liberties, they are certainly not saintly nor wise spiritual leaders.

    The fact is, Jesus is unique. This does not mean that someone should or should not accept him. It simply means that the worn out phrase that he is “just like all the others” demonstrates a lack of serious scholarship.

  5. The New testament writings were not attempts at history, but catechetichal guides written much later. Their factual veracity in detail is inconsequential. They were written as notes on which to base preaching. The preaching in question was delivered by people who knew Jesus first hand or new those who did.
    No where does it say that the conversations between Jesus and Pilate were totally private. But that is irrelevant since the resurrected Jesus spent much time with the apostles and could have shared what happened with them, so arguing the point is in fact pointless.
    Of course, these things are no meant to prove anything, but I merely want to emphasize that John´s arguments make no sense.
    The point of the book is secularism. ¨Hunter Baker argues that advocates of secularism misunderstand the borders between science, religion, and politics and cannot solve the problem of religious difference.¨ I believe judeo christian culture has much to offer, but secularism, as such offers nothing; it is only a way of separating the control of religious life from the control of government. As such, there is no conflict. Christianity informs my outlook on live. Government has no say in the matter. Those who don´t believe must find a basis for their world view.

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