Thursday, July 31, 2014

How to shake your faith

Unfortunately, one of the most effective ways to shake the faith of some "bible believing" Christians is not to make them read the works of "theological liberals", or digest critical scholars such as Ehrman or L├╝demann. Just give them a simple Synopsis of the Gospels, with nothing but bible texts in parallel, and the building can come tumbling down.

It's tragic.

A gospel-shaped imagining of Scripture that is i) rooted in tradition, ii) dogmatically located with care and wisdom, and iii) responsible to the phenomenon of the Bible itself, is a crying need for many Christian communities.

We need folk like Pete Enns, John Goldingay, Kenton Sparks, David Crump, Chris Hays, Craig Allert and the many others who have courageously risked not just the approval of their peers, but also in some cases jobs and financial security, for the good of the wider church and its mission.

Keep it up, Christian colleagues, this is important work!


At 8/01/2014 5:12 AM, Blogger Kent Sparks said...

Thanks, Chris. I'd add your name to the list. As we appreciate more the humanity and humility of Scripture, we understand better not only the humanity and humility of God in Christ but also his majesty.

At 8/06/2014 8:30 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Cheers, Chris.

I have often deployed a synopsis of the gospels in church Bible study groups and lay training courses. Not, admittedly, with your "'Bible believing' Christians", but nevertheless with people who have a barely-beyond-Sunday-School understanding of the nature of scripture, and who haven't a clue about any synoptic "problem" or the odd-man-out John. My experience is that if you approach the subject with patience, empathy, and guidance, people are quite relieved to know they don't have to prop up a derelict building, and are quite excited and enthusiastic about doing some constructive biblical work. Teaching becomes like laying foundations, not pulling teeth.

At 8/09/2014 12:11 PM, Blogger Chris Tilling said...

thanks Kent, and amen to that.

Kim, thanks, when education so happens it is truly a joy, eh?


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