My post Can you be a Christian and still believe … ? caused quite a bit of furor on the interwebs, so I’d like to take a moment to offer a few explanatory notes as well as provide some resources for further exploration of these topics.
First, the point of the post wasn’t to provide a litmus test for Christian faith (liberal or otherwise). The moment we use any of these issues to judge someone else’s relationship with God, we’ve stepped into dangerous territory — territory that belongs not to us, but to God alone. What you believe about these things doesn’t include you in or exclude you from the Kingdom of God. Many people took exception to one or more of the points — and that’s fine. What’s not fine is when we label someone as being “in” or “out” on the basis of a non-essential doctrinal position. That said, these are important issues, ones that we should take the time to carefully consider and thoughtfully engage with. Which leads to my second point:
I’ve had a few requests for resources regarding some of these topics, so below I’ve provided an annotated version of my original list that might help in that regard. I’m primarily going to stick to book recommendations, since what I’ve conveniently reduced down to pithy one-liners are in reality often extraordinarily complex topics that can’t be adequately discussed with brevity.
These resources aren’t meant to be comprehensive (just as the list of ten issues only touches on some of the divisive issues in Christendom) but I think they offer a good starting point for further exploration. If you have other resources you’ve found helpful regarding these issues, I’d love to hear about them.
- Evolution is true.
- The Bible isn’t inerrant.
- Women have the same rights as men.
- Homosexuality isn’t a sin.
- Owning a gun isn’t a God-given right.
- America isn’t God’s chosen country.
- Republicans aren’t God’s chosen political party.
- The modern state of Israel isn’t God’s chosen people.
- Decisions about abortion should be left up to individual women.
- Non-Christians won’t burn for eternity in hell.