My understanding and relationship to God and Jesus are at the core of my being. Since early childhood this has been so for me.
So, recent stats that show Americans with no religion has gone up 266% in the past 30 years to 23.1% of our population, hurts my very soul. And the 62.5% decline in mainline Protestants makes me want to weep. There are some projections that following this trend, it will be gone by the end of this century.
I ask myself, how can this be turned around? Are there others with this concern who will join the conversation to seek a way to pivot? Are there courageous people who will seek a new theology that is more closely aligned with The Way, the following and living of the Christ message?
Can we jettison Augustine's misguided original sin and turn to Original Blessing? Can we see the Niceane Creed as an interesting piece of history, but stop pretending Constantine and the extreme minority of bishops who came up with it were in tune with Jesus' teaching? Can we peel off the barnacles that have covered the original teaching? Can we shift to understand the unscientific stories as parables rather than literal history? Etc...
For example, Augustine's original sin changed the prior understanding of the Eden story and shifted away from the life of Jesus to believing this and that in order to get into heaven. It handed huge power to the church as dispensers of eternal life, so nevermind this life.
I could go on and on. I urge you to look into history for yourself.
I call for a new theology that is true to Jesus' life and teachings, restoring it, removing piles and piles of things people have decided to add, interpret and skew. To start, reread the Gospels in several versions, then the Epistles. Get some good history let's say from Marcus Borg, John Dominic Crossen, Mathew Fox, N.T. Wright, Bart Erhman, Amy Jill Levine, John Shelby Spong, or others - all or some of them depending on how much you want to know.
Join me in restoring the teaching that gives us hope of a positive future.
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