Chris McNeal, introducing the first installment of an eight-part series on the Bible and faith:
In the summer of 2012, I had to face the Bible class I had taught for two years and announce that I wasn’t sure if I believed in God anymore. In fact, I was basically sure I didn’t. I’ve always tried to be transparent with people, and I wasn’t going to pretend to believe in something I knew I really didn’t.
What it came down to was the Bible.
No book in history has been as consequential or influential, but I could no longer get behind it. Either my view of God was correct or my view of the Bible was correct.
But not both.
It took me three years from that summer to arrive at what I now believe. And once I figured out what I believed (and I did), it took me another year just to figure out how to talk about it. Today, I believe in God more strongly than I ever have in my life, and, in the interest of remaining transparent, I want to spend the next several weeks talking about where I’m at.
Because I really, really like it.
Chris is a friend of mine and I respect his thinking. I’m glad he’s able to share this as his perspective is essential for the church. He’s a lawyer by trade, which makes him a non-professional theologian who has gone deep because of his own questioning and pursuit of truth. That doesn't diminish his contribution. If anything we ought to pay even closer attention because he doesn't get paid to do this.
He’s also just fun to read. Take this section, for example:
The fossil record is more clear on this score than my early theologically trained but not biologically trained religious mentors had me to believe. Inerrancy alienated me and continues to alienate many from people who for decades of their lives personally have carried on the quiet and meticulous investigation of difficult scientific questions. In a desperate effort to cling to what we’ve always known, we fall victim to the pseudo-scientific word salads that evangelical leaders employ to keep us within their orbit.
This often takes the form of folksy soundbites that, to people with no background in these subject matters, make scientists seem out of touch and too big for their britches.