I recently listened to Karen Armstrong’s The Case for God not really knowing what to expect and without any preconceived ideas about it other than the vague memory that it was in part written as a response to the militant atheists such as Dawkins, Harris, Dennett, and Hitchens. I also remembered that a friend of mine, John Dehlin, had highly recommended it on one of his blogs or podcasts.
Though the book makes no case for God whatsoever, in it I was delighted to find a semi-systematic explanation of liberal theology. Better yet, it is most likely a non-literal theist view of liberal theology though, as we’ll see, this is not entirely clear due to her obfuscation of her point of view.
Those that have followed my posts or comments on M* will know that I am often frustrated with the fact that people professing liberal theology can be so achingly precise in what they dislike and disbelieve about Mormon (or really any other) faith system, yet can’t seem to state any beliefs of their own at all. I have applied the term “Rejectionist” to this mind set, meaning someone that self-defines by what they disbelieve and reject rather than by what they believe. This is a serious rational and epistemological fallacy built on the false view that problems found with an explanation is sufficient grounds on which to reject that explanation even if no better alternative is being offered. 
So finding a whole book that attempts to explain the (I can only assume) non-literal theist liberal theological view point seems like a rare treat to me, even if she ultimately never actually confirms that is what point of view she is really arguing for. 
For those not familiar with Karen Armstrong, she is a famous author of books about religions. She started her religious career as a Nun and soon found that Christianity (and at the time she thought all religion) did not work for her. She became a mild ‘new atheist’ (i.e. militant atheist) only to eventually find religious meaning in her life by writing about religion and thereby finally finding the “ecstasy and transcendence she never felt as a nun.” (from the description of her book, The Spiral Staircase.)
There is a lot to cover here, so I’m going this up into a series of posts. As is customary, I’ll start with an attempt to just summarize several key points she makes without criticism. I’ll then go over her specific rejection of literal Christian teachings. (The only religion she spends effort rejecting.)
Finally, I’ll follow up with a series with my actual thoughts and criticisms of her belief system. (I haven’t even written that part, so it may take me a while to get to it.)
One challenge that I must admit upfront with Armstrong is that she utilizes the theologically liberal tactic of indirection and obfuscation. Never does she say “this is what I believe and here is why” but instead we have to infer this from who she quotes approvingly, what she repeats (sometimes so many times I wanted to pull my hair out), and who she attacks or calls “an idol”. However, I do not believe this makes it impossible to ‘get at’ her point of view at all, even if there will always be a degree of plausible deniability available to her.
 …the false view that problems found with an explanation is sufficient grounds on which to reject that explanation even if no better alternative is being offered. For example, Creationists attack Evolution using all sorts of problems with evolution, but have no explanation for the fossil record of their own. What they do not realize is that science (and any form of rationality) does not abandon an explanation because it has problems. It only does so because a better explanation comes along that does a better job of explaining the observations or connects better with other theories/explanations. What creationists don’t understand is that there is no amount of criticism or problems with evolution what will dislodge evolution until they can come up with their own hard to vary / long reaching theory with equivalent explanatory power that also explains the existing data found in the fossil record as often as it does. We do not, if we are rational anyhow, drop our theories and explanations based on the existence of problems — not even serious problems. We only change them because there is a better alternative available. Young Earth Creationism is not an alternative to evolution.
 …even if she ultimately never actually confirms that is what point of view she is really arguing for. Armstrong represents one more example of how a certain segment of the Theologically Liberal are not comfortable with explaining their theology except in terms of what they reject. One difference, however, is that she goes to great lengths to argue why she feels this is a valid approach based on the apophatic method. This allows me, for the first time ever, to even start to engage a Liberal Theological view point on its own terms.