It is all too easy to get swept up in the waves of cynicism that continue to flow onto our cultural shores. It feels like we mourn the death of reading, democracy, the economy, and religion on a weekly basis. Illegitimate TV doctors sell us all sorts of pills and creams, praising their abilities to heal us spiritually and physically.

According to a Pew survey, 24 percent of Americans are not affiliated with any religion. Is it possible that this rise in cynicism could be correlated to the decline in people believing in God? Rabbi Harold Kushner, writer of the classic book “When Bad Things Happened to Good People,” believes that maybe a second look at God is worth a shot.

“People who are very mature in every other aspect of their lives have never gone beyond the childish view of religion,” said Rabbi Kushner while talking about his new book, “Nine Essential Things I’ve Learned About Life,” on Boston Public Radio on Tuesday.

“When it comes to some of the really important matters that religion deals with, we stopped learning when we were 12, and mature thoughtful people are going around with a 12-year-old notion of God,” said Rabbi Kushner.

“What would your marriage be like if you and your wife related to each other based on what you knew about sex when you were 12 years old? What would your financial situation be like if you handled your investments based on what you knew about handling money when you were 12 years old?”

Regardless of the reasons why people stop believing in God, it is undeniably difficult to put faith in a benevolent being while the world experiences so much tragedy. For Rabbi Kushner, tragedy just helps to exemplify the power of God.

“God’s job is not to control what happens but to give us the ability to deal with it,” said Rabbi Kushner.

“God’s job is not to make a sick person healthy, that’s the doctor’s job. God’s job is to make sick people strong.“

Listen to more of BPR’s interview with Rabbi Kushner above.