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With or without God: Why the way we live is more important than what we believe

HarperCollins , 2008

RRP $29.95


Reviewed by Reg Collard, a member of the Uniting Church ‘s Lay Forum.


In 2004 Gretta Vosper became the chair and founder of the Canadian Centre for Progressive Christianity, within the West Hill United Church in Toronto where she actively ministers.

Ms Vosper has set out her ideas in this powerful and provocative book that needs to be read and debated.

She opens the debate, “The Christian church, as we have built it and known it, has outlived its viability. Less and less vulnerable to religion’s absolute claims, people are no longer content with its ethereal promises.

“It is precisely because of the challenges present in today’s world that we most need the strength church might be able to offer should it survive the mess in which it currently finds itself.”

Thus begins a challenging and exciting journey where Ms Vosper takes her readers through a history of Christian beliefs into a dilemma of new understanding formed by modern biblical scholarship.

She sets out a way forward and some requirements to achieve this.

In the reconstruction she examines the roles and concepts of God, Jesus, the Bible and life itself.

She provides an appendix tool box dealing with new ways for faith, language, worship, prayer, sacraments and music.

As I put it down, I thought, there is hope.

We need to start now.


Gretta Vosper will be in Melbourne for the Common Dreams 2 Conference 15-18 April and in Brisbane for the Common Dreams on the Road series, Saturday 1 May, Albert St Uniting Church. See ‘What’s On’ for details.