Thursday, October 05, 2006

Scary Thinking?

Bob has some great stuff to say about Spencer Burke's latest book, you can check it out here.

Now, I have not read the book, but I've heard nothing but great things about Spencer as a person. That being said, the statements that he is making/claiming/discussing etc, are scary to me; like this one:

"Institutional Christians tend to have a very narrow and literal interpretation of the Bible. Christianity is the only way to reach God, certain Christians argue, because the Bible says so. It tells us that Jesus said, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'... So how do I interpret this particular Scripture? In the next chapter, I'll explore it more fully, but I don't believe it can be used to argue that Christianity is the only true religion. First, Christianity as a religion didn't exist when Jesus spoke these words. Compounding this point are two additional facts: no one actually recorded Jesus' words at the time he spoke them, so we have no proof that they are indeed his words, and what he did say, he said in Aramaic, which means that nothing in the Bible as translated into any other language can be taken literally anyway... to read this as a literal statement requires that I take the other statements about he makes about himself as literal. For example, Jesus declares that he is the bread and the vine and the Good Shepherd. Does that mean he is literally a loaf or a bread or a plant? Of course not! These are metaphors, clues to something about his character and person."


This does not make sense to me. I'm an open-minded dude, but...If this is the case, and if Spencer's argument rings true, then should not ALL of the Bible be thrown out also? Could we not include some other key elements like the life, death and resurrection of Jesus? Why then should we love our neighbors? Or "go" preach the gospel...? Hmm, why should I do that? Who do I preach to, who do I tell them about? To me, this type of thinking really pulls the rug out of the "authority" of the Bible. And if this is true, then Jesus and his story is great and cool. Kind of like Gandhi, or Martin Luther King Jr, or Desmond Tutu or some other great dude who lived a great life, but that is far from being God, and forgiving sin, and over-coming evil.

But, it has nothing to do with forgiveness of sin, the state of man, and the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

This is why I continue to distance myself away from the emerging conversation. About a year ago, I began to re-think the word emerging and I decided to use the word missional, because I'm still an Orthodox Christ follower and I still believe that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. And I do believe heaven and hell exist.

Now I differ on much of my belief system I had from the 90's, and I'm culturally more liberal. And I would say I'm not a "fundamentalist" Christian anymore.

But I do believe in foundational Christian theology. Like the fact that there is "One true God," the Bible is "inspired" by God, and I have a calling to tell the world that Jesus died a bloody death on a cross because mankind messed up. And that Jesus came to remove our guilt and teach us a better way to live.

No comments: