Using Independent Thinking Without Surrendering Your Sense of Reason

Most thoughtful people have questions like: what is the nature of reality? Why is there evil? Unfortunately, many of these people believe you have to have “blind faith” or trust some weird mystical approach in order to explore these questions from a religious perspective. My guest this week is Arthur Yavelberg, author of the book A Theology For The Rest Of Us and he offers a different view on these questions. In Arthur’s book and this conversation, he shows that is not the case; that religious responses to spiritual questions can be quite rational and even empowering.

Arthur has said he has thought about these issues for many years and he has come to realize that there are many religious traditions that can offer guidance in ways that do not require people to surrender their sense of reason. His motivation was to share this process so that people can use it to come to their own conclusions. A Theology For The Rest Of Us challenges people to be independent: to explore the various teachings but not necessarily to commit to any one of them.

In this episode, Arthur shares his journey of studying religion and spirituality and we touch on a wide range of subjects from free will, to the difference between beliefs in the East & West, how to be independent in your thinking without having to commit to just “one way” of doing things.

I absolutely loved Arthur’s book and as I mentioned in this episode, it helped me understand where I could go next spiritually after being turned off by religion for so many years.

This interview is not telling you what to believe, in fact it is quite the opposite. It is a discussion on how to look at things like spirituality, religion, divine intelligence in a different light so you can take what works for you and leave the rest. This is a very thought provoking and honest discussion on some big topics, don’t miss it!

You can watch this interview with Arthur here:

More about the book,  A Theology For The Rest of Us: If God exists and is good, why is there evil? Avoiding such questions underlies the spiritual emptiness and anxiety in today’s world. A Theology for the Rest of Us explores how to approach the divine through Eastern and Western religious traditions without dogma, challenging readers to “be you lamps unto yourselves.”

In a time of internecine wars and all kinds of abuse of authority and trust, too many good, thoughtful people are “voting with their feet” and turning away from organized religion. Popular “spirituality”-a sort of mysticism-lite articulated in memes-is often unsatisfying as well.

A Theology For The Rest Of Us is a straightforward approach to the fundamental questions of religion and philosophy: Does God exist? Is there free will? What is ‘evil’? And many more questions many seekers ask. This book draws on the traditions of the East as well as the West-Taoism, Buddhism and Hinduism in addition to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam-to see what can make sense in today’s world. Whether exploring the implications of 17th century Enlightenment philosophers, quantum physics, or the insights of writers such as Dostoyevsky and Alan Watts, the reader is offered a rational, coherent approach that can provide understanding and a basis for hope in a world where the spirit has been all but decimated by doubt and worse.

Most important, the reader is encouraged to sift through these sources and choose what resonates and what does not. As the Buddha taught so many years ago, the Prime Directive is “Be ye lamps unto yourselves.” A Theology For The Rest Of Us makes teachings accessible to those who have already begun their spiritual journeys, validating their questions and showing that reasonable answers are available.

More about Arthur Yavelberg: Formally, Arthur Yavelberg has two Masters Degrees: one in Jewish philosophy from the Jewish Theological Seminary and one in educational administration from Northeastern Illinois University. Much more important, however, is that he has close to 40 years experience of making spiritual and historical concepts accessible to people of all ages in many different settings. These years culminated with the opportunity to teach in an international day school in Singapore. That allowed Arthur to travel throughout Asia and explore questions of spirituality with a wide variety of people. As a result, he is uniquely qualified to present these issues in ways that individuals can understand and about which they can make decisions for themselves. You can connect and ask questions with Arthur and other seekers in his Facebook group: You can also email Arthur directly at with your questions and comments. You can find A Theology For The Rest Of Us on Amazon and wherever books are sold.


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