“…Nearly drove me entirely away from my Christian faith”

An encouraging note that came in a few weeks ago.

Hi Brian, I just wanted to try and drop you a note to let you know that I believe (and hope) that your book: “A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith” has changed my life forever.
I told my wife earlier today that I thought so. I told her that I was reading a book that had “resolved my problems with the bible.” She said: “so, are you throwing it out” (meaning the bible; she was serious I think). I laughed and said, “Oh no, quite the contrary.”
So, that exchange probably tells you a lot about where I’ve been and hopefully where I’m going.
I still haven’t finished it; I really liked the early chapters, and especially the one on how you think we should understand the bible better (constitution versus library). That was a wonderful way to look at it and wiped away so, so, so many problems I have had with inerrency. Those problems alone nearly drove me entirely away from my Christian faith.
But, I was still afraid you wouldn’t really be able to effectively address the conflicts I’ve struggled with in grappling with the apparent conflict between a just God that seems true and a vindictive God that doesn’t really make sense (which is the God that church doctrine forces on us — well me anyway).
Your explanation of how God became Jesus and therefore Jesus is the best interpretation and understanding we have of God was terrific as that is true, biblical and washes away so many problems.
Then I got to the chapter on “What is the Gospel” and I was so excited to find your explanation for how the bible actually supports a gospel that makes sense, rings true and is something I can truly believe in. Pages 140 – 141 in particular have many many underlines, circles, stars, etc on them 🙂
I can’t wait to read the rest, (though I must confess I have jumped ahead and skimmed a bit to try to find your “answers” to various other questions) but did want to get this off to you today, since it’s still March 5, 2010 which will be a day I’ll remember and talk about for the rest of my life.
Thanks so much for doing what you do. It also is important that you have clearly articulated an emergent theology that is comprehensive and defensible. (I have been searching for this and arguing in various emergent type forums that we need it — and usually I am told forget it — there is no emergent theology …) But what you have articulated is even biblical!! Wow, I can quit attacking the bible. Imagine that. Certainly will be a “new kind of christianity” for me anyway.
Please don’t let your critics get you down. Just keep smiling and telling them you love them no matter what. Even if they don’t love you. I think that grace, beauty and truth will shine through. (I need to follow your example there as I tend to get rather hot-headed in religious debates.)
Well, know that God is using you to work in — well, at least one life for sure 🙂
Thanks again,