We didn't argue that men were superior to women or that gay people had made some shoddy lifestyle choices any more than we argued about gravity or the law of the conservation of matter or entropy. Because, why would you?
I honestly think humans gets so hung up on living forever because we feel like we don't have enough time. We think that one lifetime just isn't enough. We cling to the idea of eternity because it feels secure.
Chalke, along with these other leaders, represents a growing shift, especially among younger Evangelicals, towards a more affirming, compassionate and thoughtful face of Evangelicalism, and this flows into how Scripture is interpreted and applied.
A fundamentalist is unwilling to consider the unsettling possibility that the universe is more complex, mysterious, and multi-dimensional than anything our symbol systems, descriptions and analyses can apprehend.
The odd thing is Republicans still seem to think this sort of reputation and hypocrisy will help them electorally -- even as Barna is showing this a major reason for the decline of evangelicalism in America.
But what if God had other intentions for the Bible? What if God didn't intend for it to be the unquestioned final authority on everything that we've turned it into? What if, dare I say it, God doesn't care about the Bible as much as we do?
It takes a lifetime of literalistic Bible studies to destroy a human brain as completely as is necessary to make an otherwise intelligent person trust Bronze Age myths over science and a flake as obviously perverse as Ted Cruz over a man of such obvious integrity as President Obama.
What is in store for the Mainline Protestant churches, as well as for the more evangelical, fundamentalist, and/or charismatic Protestant denominations and independent churches? Reason might suggest that both groups should move a little to the religious middle.
Why do religious beliefs vary so broadly? I'm not talking here about the near-cosmic diversity in the content of religious belief. Rather, I'd like to consider why some individuals seem fervently devout while others seem devoid of any superstition.
I think I'm starting to believe in the rapture again. Not the one where the church gets sucked up into midair right before the Beast starts barcoding everyone's faces, but one where we, the Body of Christ, are finally being lifted out of this morass of fundamentalist absurdity.
The reason so many liberal churches are empty or mostly populated with aging rationalists who seem to have a somewhat embarrassed attachment to religion, is that trying to reduce spiritual experience to something verifiable is a dead end.
Jesus, as all great reformers have, sided with the oppressed. This new kind of skewed fundamentalism is radically new and far removed from true Christianity. True Christianity offers us a far superior doctrine -- one of social justice, love and equality.