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Amending the Christian Story

he Natural Sciences as a Window into Grounded Faith and Sustainable Living


Why has Christianity been around for a mere 2,000 years when Earth life has abounded for 3.8 billion years and even humans for nearly 300,000 years? What was God doing all this time? And what if humans are not the center of God’s universe?

In Amending the Christian Story, Ron Rude asserts that current versions of the Christian faith are inadequate, and more than this, are fueling humanity’s assault on Earth’s biosphere.

Through the window of nature’s natural sciences—especially astronomy, geology, evolutionary biology, paleoanthropology—Rude provides a fuller and more expansive view of God’s story of life and God’s story of Jesus. Can humans continue the lived-out assumption that we are separate from, superior to, the reason for, and the rulers of everything? With new perspectives into ancient stories and current narratives, Rude compels us to urgently shift Christianity’s claim and conduct in order to unite with God’s more sustainable and just world.




“As our world desperately seeks a more inclusive story, Rude invites us to reimagine the sacred text of nature and divine wonder as a map for the human journey. This book is for anyone looking to make sense of the biblical narrative in light of the natural sciences and their own experiences.” –Peg Carlson-Hoffman and Chuck Hoffman, former Executive Directors, Holden Village

“In the face of the unprecedented environmental crisis, Rude challenges us to amend and mend the narrative dominating Christianity for centuries. . . . He effectively lays out the need for a ‘two-way street’ between the sciences and the Bible leading to a world-altering view of our relationship to Nature.” –Glenn Schrader, Professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering (ret.), University of Arizona

“Rude challenges us to amend theology through consequential integration of cosmic and evolutionary science. . . . Reimagining the Christian narrative through the lens of Abel and Cain, we must abandon broken symbols of original sin and atonement to recenter God’s mission on the sustainability of creation.” –Craig L. Nessan, Academic Dean and Professor of Contextual Theology, Wartburg Theological Seminary

“Is there another way to live? . . . This book opens the imagination to question the stories that have shaped our species and set us on an unsustainable and destructive path. . . . Rude crafts an alternative story of God that ultimately responds with a definitive yes–there is another way to live. And not only that, but the call to live a different story is urgent for Christians who seek to be faithful to the Creator and creation.” –Jen Rude, Campus Pastor, Pacific Lutheran University

About the Author

After seventeen years as Lutheran campus pastor (ELCA) at the University of Arizona, Ron Rude recently retired to teaching and writing. He loves hiking, travel, music, and history. Previous books include Abel Emerging (2010) and (Re)Considering Christianity (2012).

Review & Commentary