Liberal Christian introduction?

June 23, 2006

Back in January, Stephen Lingwood from the UK who blogs lots of interesting stuff from a UK Unitarian perspective as Reignite asked:

I’ve been thinking about how I would explain my faith to someone. If a Unitarian came to me who was non-Christian or even quite anti-Chrisitan and asked me about my faith as a Unitarian that follows Jesus, I’m wondering what book I could point them to.

I would like there to be a book that was a very simple introduction to Christianity, like a confirmation book, but one that was a liberal and somewhat Unitarian. An inspirational little book about simply following Jesus and loving God, not about believing in a number of strange old doctrines.

I don’t want anything like John Spong that spends a good amount of time slagging off conservative Christianity. I want a simple introduction to a liberal Christian faith, from the point of view of someone coming from no Christian background.

I’ve just felt like I needed to refer to a book like that in conversations I’ve had to better articulate what I stand for.

Any ideas anyone?

I’ve been in this situation before too. For all my admiration for Jack Spong, his books are written to jolt the reader into seeing things differently; and the reader is presumed to be coming from a very different place to where most of the people I meet are. He wants Christians to see Christianity differently.

I’ve tried lending people books by older theologians who wrote for a mainstream audience like Harry Fosdick, but the language and presentation is too old. People can’t get past the tone.

So, I am looking for, in Stephen’s words “a very simple introduction to Christianity, like a confirmation book, but one that was a liberal and somewhat Unitarian. An inspirational little book about simply following Jesus and loving God, not about believing in a number of strange old doctrines”. I would personally add, a book which is Universalist too; because one of the main images people have of Christians is hellfire and silence on that issue will be read to be assent.

Or, since we live online nowdays, a website.

Other Christian’s have these sorts of things – check out Two Ways to Live or christianity.net.au – but I’m not going to be handing out those addresses to friends and family any time soon.

The good thing about a website is that you can present your message fractally (simple up front but you can zoom in on it, and as you do more detail comes into view) and non-linearly (you don’t have to force people into the old modernist pattern of a + b therefore c – as if you can logically bludgeon people into intellectual submission).

I don’t know if any US UU people like Scott Wells have anything they use or can link to?

Anyone?

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