Non-Fiction Books:

Liberating Christianity



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Liberating Christianity by Thomas C Sorenson
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Christianity is in crisis in our North American context, especially among the cultural elite and people with progressive views. The reasons for the faith's loss of credibility have to do, in large part, with the dominant philosophical materialism of our culture and with the understanding of the faith almost universally held by Americans both inside the churches and outside them. In this book, Thomas C. Sorenson calls this understanding ""Biblicism,"" by which he means the belief that the Bible is to be understood only literally and that, in one way or another, its authority comes from its claimed origin with God. Many enlightened people also reject Christianity because the only Christianity they know is the judgmental, socially conservative faith that the most vocal and visible advocates of the faith among us so loudly espouse. This book offers a different understanding of the faith. It begins with a discussion of the universal human experience of the spiritual dimension of reality. It then discusses symbol and myth as the necessary language for communicating that experience. The book shows that all human experience is necessarily subjective and that religious truth is thus also necessarily subjective. Therefore, religious truth is relative, not universal and absolute. The work argues that the Bible is a human work expressing its authors' experience of the divine. The book then discusses other obstacles to faith and offers a different understanding of the issues they raise. The book replaces the classical theory of atonement with a theology of the cross, based mainly on the work of Douglas John Hall. It redefines salvation as having to do with this life, not with the afterlife. It closes with a section that replaces the dominant social conservatism of popular Christianity with Jesus's teachings of nonviolence, economic justice, and radical inclusivity. ""With astute understanding of faith's difficulties in today's culture, this book presents a view of Christianity as an embrace of joy and grace. Written clearly, the text takes unexpected turns that bear much fruit. It achieves a singular contribution by making Christianity sound so attractive."" --Elizabeth Johnson Distinguished Professor of Theology Fordham University and author of She Who Is ""Liberating Christianity is a book for thoughtful, progressive Christians eager to articulate an intellectually credible and morally responsible faith for the twenty-first century. If you're tired of the caricature of Christian faith as intolerant, narrow, and inherently violent, this is the book for you."" --John H. Thomas General Minister and President United Church of Christ Thomas C. Sorenson is pastor of Monroe Congregational United Church of Christ in Monroe, Washington, and is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Washington, a law degree from the University of Oregon School of Law, and a MDiv from the Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry. He lives in Sultan, Washington, with his wife Jane, who is also an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ.
Release date NZ
November 1st, 2008
Illustrations, black and white
Wipf & Stock Publishers
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