God Is… Released by Wipf & Stock

For those of you tracking my writings and wondering what my mystical philosophical theology sounds like from the pulpit, here is a book of sermons to answer that question (available on Amazon, too). I include below the back-cover information to give you a sense of what the book contains. Many thanks to Rev. Dr. Stephen Chapin Garner and Rev. Dr. Robert Cummings Neville for their kind words about the book.

Your God is too small—way too small! What if God is not a human-like personal being but the God Beyond God of the Christian mystical traditions? What if God is the ultimate reality beyond all beings, including beyond all divine beings, indeed beyond all Being? It’s a mind-bending idea. Speaking of God as a human-like personal being is much easier but people who care about the deepest mystical understandings of God within our traditions need to make the effort to speak about the God Beyond God, despite the difficulties. This book makes the attempt to speak of the God Beyond God in the language of the sermon, using metaphor and potent imagery tuned to the existential intensities of human life. The God Beyond God is closer to us than our jugular veins, vividly present in every moment of our lives. These sermons are practical and moving, and they also resonate with the most rigorous theological understandings of ultimate reality. Their deconstruction of our convenient fantasies about a divine being make these sermons emotionally intense and perhaps not suitable for beginners in the journey of faith. But veteran believers can breathe deeply in the air of these meditations, relaxing into the bliss of engaging ultimate reality without delusions, without deflections, and without controlling the object of our worship.

God Is… is a gift. Not all sermon collections read well, because sermons are an interactive event between a pastor, a people, Scripture, and the Lord. Dr. Wildman’s sermon volume is that rare exception where the written word maintains the power and eloquence of what was first preached. There is a wonderfully poetic quality to his theology and biblical interpretation that encourages both reading and re-reading these messages.” —Stephen Chaplin Garner, Senior Pastor of The Congregational Church of New Canaan, CT; author, Getting in Character: The Art of First-Person Narrative Preaching

“When I heard Wildman give the first sermon of this book, in 1993, I was so moved by its fierce courage to say what most people only fear is true about God that I wept. Its original title was ‘God the Destroyer.’ The second sermon, then called ‘God the Friend,’ was just as shaking: who would imagine friendship so weirdly deep? Wildman is a naturalist, which is explained in these sermons, though not in so many words. But he is also a biblical preacher and a rhetorical genius, a Christian preacher in the great tradition. His fervent piety inspires as it breaks common symbols and symbolizes what most Christians barely grasp. These sermons are dangerous and oh so loving.” —Robert Cummings Neville, Dean emeritus of Marsh Chapel; author, Nurture in Time and Eternity and Seasons of the Christian Life