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Great Reforms! I resonate with them and would only seek to sharpen. The second one has been of interest to me as I have been reading the works of Spong who points out that some of the earliest understandings of Jesus and Christianity are actually found in Paul's writings and that much of the Gospels actually includes material that was developed much later. So finding the heart of Jesus's teachings in the NT is a bit of a challenge. I agree with your emphasis.

I find it unfortunate you want to emphasize the New Testament over the Hebrew Bible. I wonder how much you have studied the Hebrew Bible? There is almost nothing Jesus is recorded as saying that does not come from it. I think you might want to spend some time rethinking that point. A replacement might be: A complete understanding of the Bible in its historical and culture context.

The biggest difference I see between Progressive Christians and Conservative/Fundamentalist Christians is the statement "The Bible says..." I've met very few in either group who actually know what the Bible *really* says.

Hi Denise,

I like your replacement wording, it is flexible enough to include that emphasis of the NT over the OT, which I definitely do hold to. It is an age old debate though, I must admit, whether there is a superceding element within the NT and I certainly understand that there are opinions on both sides. A book that, I guess, falls on my side of the fence on this issue can be found here:

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=qxeOv046q7sC&pg=PA201&lpg=PA201&dq=Emphasis+should+be+place+on+the+new+testament+over+the+old.&source=bl&ots=4W_G6mzmrQ&sig=y8CWtWW_isahmJOdTlFTkEPPs0g&hl=en&ei=4S9DSqfuEoSKsgPh9vnXDQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1

Thanks for your thoughts. Would love to hear your three great reforms.

I hate to be the one to tell you this, but you can't be equally nice to everybody, nor can you mean anything to anyone as long as you keep trying to mean everything to everybody. The most salient feature of humanity is its diversity. All sacred scripture is replete with irreconcilable contradictions, and this means that anyone serious about following them ends up with a "shopping cart" approach where he/she ends up picking and choosing between some passages and others. As Sartre and Feuerbach observe, the essence of humanity (and of the gods fashioned in their images) is its "willfulness." Man is "moral" in the sense that he is what he wills himself to be. If you happen to choose red letter phrases in the NT about the Kingdom of God you cannot be radically inclusive. There are sheep and there are goats. Period.

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