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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

What is this site all about?

It is about Christianity. I am a Christian. Not a very good one, maybe. Certainly not orthodox. Still, I believe in one, true God, who revealed himself to Israel and came in the person of Jesus Christ to save us from our sins. I believe Christianity is uniquely true. I believe in the kingdom of God, present and coming.

It is radical, in the classic sense. In the author's opinion, the current Christian orthodoxies are untenable. Most Christians already implicitly acknowledge this by failing to live consistently orthodox Christian lives. I don't mean Christians are sinners; I mean that they develop rationalizations to explain why they do not have to obey clear commands, even of Jesus himself, while claiming to still believe in the "authority" or "inerrancy" of the Bible. Typically, these rationalizations are meant to ease a conflict between the apparent meaning of the Bible and contemporary Christian convictions. The solution, however, is not to adjust orthodoxy, because orthodoxy in all its forms is itself unacceptably sub-Christian, as the changes in Christian convictions attest. The needed remedy is to dig out the foundations and rebuild from the ground up.

It is about the meaning and application of the Bible. I am a Protestant Christian. I believe the Bible is the Word of God. I believe God meets Christians in the hearing of the preached word. I don't believe this in the orthodox way. I think teachings about the "authority," "infallibility," and "inerrancy" of the Bible found in orthodox Christian churches are demonstrably false.

It is modernist. I believe in the Enlightenment. I believe in modern science. I believe in modern ideas such as the equality of all before the law and human rights. I believe all these things because they are inherently good and because some of the Biblical writers, in their better moments, anticipate or lay groundwork for them.

It is NOT about politics, conservative, liberal, or otherwise. It is NOT about church politics, either. It is NOT primarily about attacking orthodoxy, although some of that is unavoidable. It is NOT a series of scholarly articles. I am a Christian layperson. Although I did get seminary degrees and pastor a church for awhile, I am not a professional theologian or Biblical scholar.

It is a place for people who are struggling with some of the ugly implications of orthodoxy to find an alternative way to read and apply the core Christian teachings. If it helps someone to become a better follower of Jesus, praise God!

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