03.The Literal, Beautiful Mess we call the Bible. Pt 1

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Editor’s Note: “This is the first in a multi-part article deconstructing the way I approached the Bible.  This first article explains the issues that led to me losing my faith in scripture, the following articles will explain how I regained my love and appreciation for them.  This post should not be taken as an attack on scripture, but rather my journey to an updated appreciation of the scriptures.”

Part 1 – How it fell apart

In earlier articles, I have alluded to the fact that one of the major problems that led to my disbelief was the teaching that the Bible is an inerrant, infallible book which must be taken 100% literally. To read it any other way, I was taught, distorts and corrupts the message of God. While I had heard of other interpretations on scripture, I was taught that their view point was heretical, dangerous, and one that I should avoid at all costs. So for much of my early life I did just that.

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02. The case for doubt…

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I call, I cling, I want, and there is no one to answer, no, no one. Alone. Where is my faith? even deep down right in there is nothing. I have no faith. I dare not utter the words and thoughts that crowd in my heart.
– Mother Teresa

Doubt is a concept I’ve spent a great number of years pondering.  When studying many men and women of faith, I have been interested to discover how many of them have been plagued by the same doubt that you and I often find ourselves mired within.  Mother Teresa seems to be no exception.  She lived a life of dedicated service, received honors from both secular and religious organizations, including not only the first ever Pope John XXIII Peace Prize but the Nobel Peace Prize as well.

And yet, while she could easily have chosen a life of celebrity, fame, or fortune; she never swayed from her mission of service. What is so admirable, is that she did so while suffering unbearable doubt in the very God and mission she so proudly proclaimed. So why, if doubt is so incredibly common, is it so often discussed in hushed whispers, behind closed doors, and hidden away as a cause for shame?

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01. When God Dies…

What does it feel like when God dies?

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For some of you, it’s an unfathomable question.  God is so alive, so real, so moving within your life that the concept of God dying seems no more possible than the far-fetched dream of a child.

For some of you, it’s a ridiculous question.  How could something that doesn’t exist ever die? And even if it does, how can that death of childlike fantasy be a bad thing?

But for some of us, it’s a feeling we’ve known all too well.  And a feeling we’ve felt, deep within the pit of our being.

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