Who wrote what? And What did it say?

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For the last few weeks I have been writing to myself and reading with my feet in the sand. It has been a great break. “Who Wrote The Bible” by Richard Friedman was great and very easy read just made for the beach. I also re-read, “The Future of Faith” by Harvey Cox, his book is also an  easy read.

Each of these books were  a followup on the reading of “Convictions” by Marcus Borg. In each of theses books the question was asked in one-way or the other “Does what we believe make a difference”?

For the “Bible-believing Christians” who wrote the Bible and when it was written is very important. As Cox puts it “Fundamentalist view of the Bible as a ‘Paper Pope’ is a historical fact. Which brings up the infallibility of the Pope? In both cases it has been ruinous degrading faith into a kind of credulity. Both have made these concepts somewhat of a litmus test of whether one is a real Christian. Leaving no room for interfaith dialogue. I ask the question how much wiggle room is there in the dogma of the church and the movement of the Holy Spirit. If I would say that the Holy Spirit has guided me in the direction of Bible interpretation could I still be a Christian in either of these traditions? Does the church have the last say as to whom and how the Bible was written? Borg would have everyone interpret the Bible as metaphor from page one to the last page. Friedman sees the Scripture as both historical and metaphoric. Borg would say what is the difference if it happened or not, as long as the message is carried through the writing. So the stage was set in my mind and the players ran through my thoughts. Again I ask myself what do I believe and how fluid can my thinking be? Where does dogma end and faith take over or does faith depend on dogma? Does dogma influence the building of an imperial church? There is no doubt in my mind we live in an imperialist nation. It is unclear to me if the imperialist thinking of our time has influenced the church.  Full circle back to where I started last summers reading on liberation theology and its history and how Christianity is changing and why. As Harvey Cox pointed out in his book, “Christianity came into being in the midst of a cultural change”. I believe that Christianity will change in the decades to come and the new message will be the very oldest message  from the disciples and the early church. God will send a message that will turn our world upside down. What we value most will be worthless. “They will know us by our love” is my hope and prayer for the next few generations.

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