Liberals and Fundamentalists Have it Wrong: Faith is Not About “Correct” Facts

Liberals and Fundamentalists Have it Wrong: Faith is Not About “Correct” Facts.

There is a lot of meat in this short text. I highly recommend it to you. Here are just a few excerpts:
– The reason so many liberal churches are empty or mostly populated with aging rationalists who seem to have a somewhat embarrassed attachment to religion, is that trying to reduce spiritual experience to something verifiable is a dead end. It’s a dead end for fundamentalists too. Fundamentalists wind up defending myths as historically true. That’s as futile as it is for the theological liberals that seek to demystify myths and render the life of the spirit tangible.

– The philosopher René Girard points to a non-retributive understanding of Christ precisely because Girard rejects the retributive “god” followed by so many Roman Catholics and Protestants, not to mention Muslims and Jews. Girard developed the idea that human primates do what all primates do: imitate each other, and that this gives rise to violence. Because we imitate others we imitate their desires. Through this “mimetic desire” we come to want what others want and we kill to get it. That violence is a threat to the survival of the tribe.

What is needed if our faith is to live, is for us to re-mythologize our holly traditions and texts, not to try reduce them to the tidy categories of what is true and what’s not true as those terms are used for reading airline schedules.

Amd here is the little comment I left on his Fecebook page under this article: ‘Frank, Thanks for this. I fully agree with you. And would add just one thing. AS a Romania, I am well aware there there are also lots of fundamentalist Orthodox people who believe in a retributive God. They need the freedom brought about by the Gospel of an all-loving God, as much as fundamentalist Catholics of Protestants.’

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

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