A Religious Liberal Blog

This site hopefully can provide some vehicle by which I can comment, complain, and once in a while praise the state of religion in this country and around the world from a liberal protestant perspective.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Doubt

One site asks: "I doubt Jesus was born of a virgin. I doubt the bible is an accurate representation of events. I doubt we can really know exactly what Jesus did or said? Am I still a Christian?" The short answer is: could be.

It's not the answers you give to these questions that determines one status. Most biblical scholars would share your doubts. I suspect the Bible reflects more how Christ was taken up as a symbol in the life of the community than as some historical account.

I have doubts but I do it standing in the Christian tradition. It's my "family", my community, and I identify with it, warts and all. Others may have the same conclusions and have chosen not to identify with that tradition (or were born into different ones).

But the identification of Christianity with a bulk of propositional claims needs to be questioned. Not because propositional claims don't matter. But because the answers matter less then who you are in community with in struggling with these questions.

7 Comments:

At 11:50 PM , Blogger Pseudonym said...

Agreed 100%. Christianity is not something that you believe in, it's something that you live. And living with uncertainty is part of that life.

 
At 10:33 AM , Blogger Michael said...

We were dealing with this in biblical interp last week. The teacher asked, was the virgin birth Biologically true, or Symbolically true? Several people said "Symbolically", but one was very vocal that it had to be biologically true because that was the foundation of our Christology. A classmate vocalized her frustration after class to another student about the uncertainties that class was raising, and she didn't know *what* was true, and he started and told her that she had to know what was true or she wasn't a Christian! *sigh*

 
At 6:18 PM , Anonymous paul said...

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At 5:31 AM , Anonymous Tim said...

`identification of Christianity with a bulk of propositional claims needs to be questioned.'

Needs to be flung completely out, if you ask me!

I think I see a confusion of meanings of "doubt" in your article, though. There's doubt as in uncertainty and disbelief, and there's doubt as in skeptical understanding "this is unlikely". A scholar versed in Biblical textual criticism will have the latter kind.

 
At 3:26 PM , Blogger Marleen said...

This reminds me very much of myself. When I took my job, I told my pastor a lot about my understandings of Christ, which would be considered heretical in most churches. I never doubted I was a Christian, but I did worry that I wasn't orthodox enough to teach Sunday School. I still really struggle with this, because it's often difficult to teach young children the progressive path. I often try to explain the different interpretations people have, so that they are learning already that there are many ways to see, hear and taste the gospel, and I ask, "What does this mean to you?" or "What is Jesus saying to you?" The problem is that often their answers are already someone else's. Recently a 7-yr-old newcomer to our Sunday School group, who has obviously been raised with an extreme fundamentalist teaching, said some things in class that I flat out disagree with and wouldn't want the other children to think is "necessary to believe" for being a Christian. I haven't found the appropriate way to respond to this and am thinking deeply on this and would welcome any ideas.

 
At 1:01 PM , Anonymous sak said...

Doubt can help anyone to find out the right thing .. good the doubt u have raised .. every doubt has a solution ,,provided that we pray to GOD to help us to find solution ..
the word christianity is no where in the bible ,, nor did Jesus christ pbuh said to worship him , ,,
Jesus christ believed and worshiped one and only one GOD .
THE GOD is ever living HE begets none nor is he begotten , and there is nothing like HIM.
every scholar of bible know this very well , but they cannot help cos they dont want people to go to the truth .. truth is QURAN ,,
QURAN describes Prophet Jesus christ pbuh in much detail .. can we give some of our presious time to find out wat HOLY QURAN says about Jesus pbuh.. ..kindly share the experience ... please

 
At 12:53 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

“Peace”

Mehdi (Imam) & Adam (Jesus)
Mehdi (Imam) of Bristol
Adam (Jesus) of Bristol
America is my home and the home of my Holy Family, and I want to make sure everyone is safe. Blessing on humanity from Mehdi (Imam) and Adam (Jesus) the father and the son with Holy Spirit!
It is time to stop the chain of tragedy by officially condoning Human sacrifice that still happens today as an underground practice in some traditional religions, and for political reasons. It is time to adopt new ideological principal of life and for this universe to stop Trojan War of Rab. We feel that the system of our symbolism of tragedies for blame is paralyzing educators and PhD s who should teach honesty, justice and humanity not “Hate” once we realize that education and modernization is not part of symbolism, sexism or very old religion and racism. Then concept of journalism for a journalist will help by imagining an angle working for God (Rab) to find the truth. It is time to reconcile differences from the spirit of doubt which was the outcome of dispute concerning who did what in the democracy of 12 Olympian in which the supreme power is held by the people. The first step is to analyze condition of this universe and save hope seeking struggling human being from poverty, health, culture, religious and political problems by sitting example of American standard for humanity. The second biggest problem is environment which is due to take its toll in order to balance the system of nature. Therefore, it is time to change chain of tragedy with chain of love for the rest of the world to show mutual love and confidence in Human race to change climate of fear.
Religious of Rab (GOD) Discussion every Friday 4.00 pm to 4.30 pm at Plainville, Forestville, Bristol and Southington Public libraries of CT “Open to Public” Please join us.
Human faith is a religious devoted to the God (Rab) of humanity (Rabi). The journey of memories can be pleasant with divine affirmations of human faith. Human faith is Mehdi and Adam monotheistic faith and knows that God (Rab) is the creator.
IN GOD (Rab) WE TRUST WE HAVE FAIT IN HUMANITY (Rabi). Rabi has many meaning in our language.
2. Human Faith Says:
January 20, 2009 at 3:58 pm
WILL OF MEHDI
WILL OF HUMAN FAITH (NICK NAME)
1-19-09
WILL OF AJMAL MEHDI
WILL OF AJ MEHDI (NICK NAME)
WILL OF Lucky (NICK NAME)
WILL OF SYED NAQVI (NICK NAME OF ABRAHIM)
I Ajmal Mehdi of Bristol, Connecticut County of Hartford Son of Mr. Islam Father of Adam Mehdi has Adam’s and Abraham’s monotheistic faith of humanity which is human faith. If get killed or disappear, no one will believe anything from any one about religious that will start Chain of Tragedies on this earth. My Body will go to Multan Pakistan and my grave will not have head stone nor any wood and peace of stone in the grave all my belonging will go to my wife Nirali Shah whom I love after my Rab (God) and my America .
IN GOD (Rab) I TRUST I HAVE FAITH IN HUMANITY (Rabi).

 

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