(=A rant against a Progresisve Christian Website=)
That you are not a Christian is illustrated by this post.
From PATHetic thEOS
1. "We embrace the many variations of the view expressed by many great Christian thinkers that “We take the Bible too seriously, to read it all literally.”
Really, this sounds like an excuse to make up your own opinion as to what is good and bad rather than accept what the Bible says.
2. "We don’t think that God wrote the Bible. We think it was written by fallible human beings who were inspired by (not dictated to by) the Holy Spirit. Hence, we don’t consider it to be infallible or inerrant."
Then why bother with the Bible at all? After all, you are so much more clever than those who wrote it and know so much more. You even know more than Jesus who clearly did regard the Bible as infallible.
3. "While we’re aware of the many inconsistencies and contradictions in the Bible; and while we’re abhorred by, and reject, the various instances of horrible theology that appear here and there within the texts (e.g., passages that posit God as wrathful, vindictive, and condoning of slavery, and even “ordering” rape and genocide, etc.), they don’t cause us to reject the Bible, rather, they endear us to the Bible. Not because we agree with those passages, but because we recognize that they are fully human they’re authentic, they’re down to earth, and they flat out convey the desperate and very real frustration, lament, and anger that are part of the human condition. The fact that such passages were allowed to be written into our holy scriptures are evidence of a mature people who realize that it’s best not to hide our dirty laundry or to deny our very real human feelings and passions. If the Bible were all about PR propaganda, they would have edited out those passages. We view those passages as exceptions to the over-arching message of the Bible of promoting unconditional love and the full inclusion and acceptance of all of God’s children. Indeed, while we wish those passages weren’t there, they actually help us to grant authority to the Bible in that we can see that was written by fellow humans who are struggling with real life and death matters of injustice, oppression. And since they make space for our need to vent and rage we honor the Bible all the more for it honors our shadow sides and that honoring is what allows for the possibility of our shadows being transformed and integrated in healthy ways."
So in other words, as above, you take out the bits you like and reject those you don't like. You seem to think that all mankind is God's children, reading the Bible should have taught you that this is not so. Would you consider Hitler, Stalin or Pol Pot God's children? And BTW there are no " inconsistencies and contradictions in the Bible".
4. "We read the Bible prayerfully. We agree with our conservative brothers and sisters that the Holy Spirit helps us to interpret what we need to read as we read."
To read the Bible in this way you first have to be a Christian, you have to be willing to listen to God. Your previous points have demonstrated that this is not the case so you cannot claim to receive the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
5. "We seek to apply full attention to Scripture, Tradition, Reason, and Experience (and that includes the insights of contemporary science)."
Remember, much of contemporary science is just the opinions of fallible men. It is not without reason that it is spoken of as the best current understanding, tomorrow it might be different. And when it becomes different, you will have to change your theology. What you really mean is that you place your opinion as the authority and accept anything in Scripture that matches up to that.
6. "We realize that there is no “objective, one, right way” to interpret a passage and we recognize that there is no reading of any text including the Bible that doesn’t involve interpretation. We also realize that each person interprets the text via their own personal experiences, education, upbringing, socio-political context, and more."
In other words you can make the Bible mean whatever you want.
7. "We do our best to read the biblical texts in their original languages (Hebrew and koine Greek) and consult scholars and others to assist us. We also tend to look at several English translations and by no means limiting ourselves to the King James version which, while the best English version in conveying the beautiful poetry of the original languages, is based upon inferior manuscripts."
That's pretty pointless when you are clearly manipulating the text to mean what you want it to mean. Indeed, why bother with the Bible at all?
8. "We consider the best available Biblical scholarship from those who study it academically and professionally (and they’re generally fellow Christians and/or Jews)."
And by best, it seems, you mean those who agree with you.
9. "We seek to read passages in context within their chapter, within their book, within their genre, and within the over-arching thrust of the Bible."
Doesn't this conflict with your need to be the master, or is it that you manipulate the context to fit what you want it to mean.
10. "We seek to read the passages with consideration of the historical socio-political contexts, frequently of oppression, which they were written in."
This, of course, manipulates 9, above. What you mean is that you use all sorts of unproven ideas to modify what the text says so it suits you.
11. "We employ a hermeneutic of compassion, love, and justice. (Which Jesus utilized). A hermeneutic is “an interpretive lens” and intentional filter. The hermeneutic of love seeks to see the forest for the trees and that allows the spirit of the law to trump the letter of the law (which Jesus modeled[sic])."
And what hermeneutic was Jesus using when He said:
And then will I declare to them, I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.
(Matthew 7:23 [ESV])
And this is just a way of modifying the meaning to fit your prejudices.
12. "We also tend to employ a “canon within the canon” lens whereby we give greater weight and priority to certain texts over others. A canon is an officially established collection of books that are revered by a given community for Protestants, that refers to the 66 books of the Bible. In my case, I give greatest weight to Mark, Luke, Matthew, John (in that order), certain letters that Paul actually wrote (as opposed to the Pastoral Epistles which he didn’t), the Prophets, and the Psalms. I interpret the other books of the Bible according to how they jibe and are in sync with these primary texts. Many progressive Christians refer to themselves as “Matthew 25 Christians” (referring to the test for who Jesus says is in or isn’t in the Kingdom by what they do or don’t do), “Sermon on the Mount Christians” (stressing their seeking to prioritize those teachings as central); or as “Red Letter Christians” (indicating that they give greatest weight to the words attributed to Jesus)."
So in other words, you place the books that say things you don't like low down on the list. What a dishonest way of reading the Bible.
13. "We also seek to allow “scripture to interpret scripture.” Here’s an example regarding how to interpret “the sin of Sodom”:
The Bible interprets itself regarding the story of Sodom in Ezekiel 16:49 “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty and did detestable things before me. And Jesus himself supports the view that the sin of Sodom was their lack of hospitality and hesed (loving-kindness) in Matthew 10:9 “Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep. Whatever town or village you enter, search there for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave. As you enter the home, give it your greeting. If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.”
And the result of Sodom's sin was that they were sliding down that slippery slope we see in Romans 1:18-32.
14. "We follow Jesus’ example in being willing to reject certain passages & theologies in the Bible and to affirm other ones. (He did it a lot)"
Really, would you like to give us an example?
15. "We do as much of the above as we can with fellow Christians in community with others. We avoid doing it solely as a solo endeavor. (We also tend to be open to doing this in community with Jews and Muslims, as fellow “people of the Book” whose insights are often invaluable)"
So you don't seek the opinions of those who love God, but rather look for people who agree with you, even unbelievers.
16. "We repeat these steps frequently as new information and scholarship comes in. Knowing that we will always find something that we hadn’t noticed before each time that we do this."
And always ensuring that we look for those in agreement with us.