It was once said of Ben Franklin that in the final decade of his life he had reached the age "when life slopes to an end." So here I am in my 8th decade, sliding down that slippery slope! It has been a great ride! During my life as an author of 8 books, I have written about other people and what they believed. A Christian Century reviewer of my Contemporary American Theologies. A Critical Survey gave his assessment: "Ferm's greatest asset is his uncanny ability to synthesize these diverse theologies into a larger conceptual whole.A landmark of clarity." This is what I have tried my best to do! Here, however, as I slide down the slippery slope, I express my own views which never seem to settle down, but keep changing with the challenge of new experiences. My lifetime mentor has been America's greatest philosopher William James whose writings have taught me to be aware of "the varieties of religious experience" and "the right to believe" about the things that matter the most.In this book I confront such important issues as the meaning of religion, faith and doubt, the elusive inner self, God, Jesus, the bible, the church, the life to come - and I end with a challenge to senior citizens to get on with their unfinished doubts and lives. My deepest conviction is that the more I know, the less I know - that life continues to be a bewildering Mystery. I will continue investigating the central claims of religion while discarding the old myths with new realities. Let us make these claims our religious act! The greatest risk is not taking one! Let us always have the courage of our confusions! Deane William Ferm
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