Rev. Guengerich points out that in this secular age we have a lot of choices when it comes to choosing a religion or none. We no longer rely on the "faith of our fathers and mothers" as a religious and spiritual path for our future. Our understanding of the world has changed and very rapidly.
Many people still believe that God is supernatural able to command the forces of nature and is like Santa Claus dispensing gifts to good little boys and girls and withholding gifts, if not punishing them, when they are naughty. I call this the "vending machine" view of God. We insert our credits, our good deeds, and expect a reward in return. When we don't get what we paid for we feel cheated and blame the machine for malfunctioning or even worse deliberately betraying us.
As a species we have learned that the gods don't manipulate the laws of nature. As Rev. Guengerich writes, "...these fundamental laws of nature have existed from the very beginning of our universe, they apply everywhere, at all times, and they do not change. The evidence now demands that the idea of a supernatural God, like the idea of an Earth-centered universe, must be revised. It should rapidly be relegated to the category of archaic relics." p.12
Childish thinking and understandings have been exceeded in our current understandings of science, and we, homo sapiens, have learned about these natural laws of the physical universe and can manipulate the phenomenon sometimes for our benefit and sometimes for our detriment. At any rate, it becomes increasingly clear that the Santa Claus god will not save us from our own mistakes and stupidity. We have to become smarter and wiser very fast to appropriately and judiciously use the powers we have acquired by our knowledge and technical skills. Rev. Guengerich writes, "The great religious challenge of our time is adapting our faith to the reality that God is not supernatural." p.13 We are slowly realizing that God is within us and that we are co-creating what we call "our reality" with God. We are slowly realizing that God is a verb not a noun. God is a process we call Life of the universe. We can cooperate with the laws of Life or manipulate them narcissistically for our own pleasure and to our own will at our own peril.
Guengerich's position is that there is no supernatural God, but even without a belief in a supernatural God we need religion more than ever. Why? What would a religion without a belief in a supernatural God look like, operate like, function like? What would be it's purpose?