From a young leader

Here’s a window into the mind and heart of a young leader:

Since my last email I’ve been feeling much better. You were right; I wasn’t losing faith in God per say, but in the god of anger and judgment and dogma. Instead of clinging onto my beliefs white-knuckled, I hold them with open hands. I approach faith now as a student willing to learn, rather than a professor with every doctrine perfectly defined in hundreds of volumes on my shelf.
Which leads me to something I’ve been thinking about lately, and it has to do with what you call the Authority Question. There are a lot of Christians debating whether or not the Bible is really infallible and inerrant. For example, on one hand there are those who swear that Genesis chapters 1 through 3 accurately describe how the world was made and how it got so screwed up. On the other hand, you have people who say that was just a metaphor. But what if it doesn’t really matter whether the story of Eden is true or not? What if Christians have debated its literalism so much that they missed the point of the story? To me, it doesn’t really matter whether or not there really was a Garden of Eden, or a talking snake, or forbidden fruit. The message of that story–how mankind walked away from God’s way, and how God’s grace prevails over our sinfulness–is what matters the most to me. Know what I mean?
I also wanted to comment on that one guy’s nasty review. You never said you didn’t believe that Jesus is the Son of God. In fact, I’ve heard you say many times that you believe in what the Creeds say, and they say that Jesus is the Son of God. I guess some people see what they want to see.
Anyway, take care.

Reply after the jump …

Thanks for catching me up on how you’re doing. Growing, thinking, rethinking, and maturing … it’s not an easy process! But the easier alternative is worth avoiding …
Yes, nobody who had honestly or fairly read my books could possibly say that I’ve denied the ancient creeds. And on Jesus as Son of God – I talk about this repeatedly – in AGO, SMJ, EMC, and NKOCy. So as you said, people are seeing what they want to see.
But they also may be seeing something they can’t explain, because even after we agree that Jesus is the Son of God, we need to ask what the New Testament writers meant by “Son of God.” That’s where things get interesting! I think I’m arguing for a more challenging and radical understanding of the title than many people hold. This comes through especially in Chapters 11-15 of New Kind of Christianity.