Pete Enns https://www.peteenns.com The Bible For Normal People Thu, 21 Sep 2017 10:22:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 Honoring Tradition by Reshaping It: Our Sacred Responsibility https://www.peteenns.com/honoring-tradition-reshaping-sacred-responsibility/ https://www.peteenns.com/honoring-tradition-reshaping-sacred-responsibility/#respond Thu, 21 Sep 2017 10:10:22 +0000 https://www.peteenns.com/?p=12865 We honor tradition best when we take seriously the sacred responsibility for shaping it.

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Taking seriously our embodiment as finite and as situated within a particular space and time means that we are all inevitably placed somewhere within an unfolding historical and cultural tradition and that thinking we are able to attain a universal and timeless understanding through the exercise of critical reasoning is illusory.

We are both shaped by tradition and shapers of tradition in that we construe our tradition in particular ways in order to guide our present and our future. (Andrew T. Lincoln, Born of a Virgin?: Reconceiving Jesus in the Bible, Tradition, and Theology, pp. 290-91; my emphasis).

The point of this quote is something I have carried very close to my heart over the years and find it utterly compelling.

I would even say it drives much of my own thinking and contemplating about God, my faith, and why in the world I do what I do. In my own words:

We honor tradition best when we take seriously the sacred responsibility for shaping it for our time and place rather than preserving it in past iterations out of nostalgia or fear.

But how can you hold to a tradition and also shape it? Isn’t the point of holding to a tradition to, well, hold it rather than shape it?

I understand the point, but . . . that never happens.

In fact, to hold to a tradition is to shape it. Think of this:

*Within the Old Testament, tradition is reshaped, rethought, even debated against as circumstances change. [Examples: The creative retelling of the story if the monarchy in 1 and 2 Chronicles; the critique of the “retributional theology” of Deuteronomy in Job and Lament Psalms.]

*The Judaism of the postexilic Period (after 539 BC), especially under the influence of Hellenism (beginning in the late 4th cent. BC), was, if anything, a reshaping of pre-exilic Israelite tradition in light of the challenges in Greek culture. [Examples: The translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek made certain adjustments for Greek philosophical thinking; variety of Jewish responses and counter-reponses to Greek influence are self-evident in the literature of the time (Apocrypha).]

*The New Testament continued to rethink, reshape, and transform Judaism. [Example: Jesus, as a crucified and risen messiah, does not conform to any Jewish messianic expectation.]

Moving beyond the biblical period, Christian theology has been recasting the ancient Semitic faith of the Old and New Testaments ever since there has been Christian theology. No work of theology or creed, however revered, simply repeats what the Bible says, but adapts and retells the story for different times and places.

It goes without saying that what is reshaped and how are points of theological discussion. But the need and even responsibility to reshape the past for the present is not up for debate: Scripture and Christian history bear witness to this fact.

Without successive generations reshaping their tradition, the tradition dies. Tradition needs to adapt in order to survive. I think the Lincoln quote captures that well.

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B4NP Podcast Episode 20: “Reading the Bible as an Experience & Relationship” with Diana Butler Bass https://www.peteenns.com/b4np-podcast-episode-20-reading-bible-experience-relationship-diana-butler-bass/ https://www.peteenns.com/b4np-podcast-episode-20-reading-bible-experience-relationship-diana-butler-bass/#respond Mon, 18 Sep 2017 10:45:48 +0000 https://www.peteenns.com/?p=12862 This week Pete and Jared talk with speaker, author, and theologian Diana Butler Bass about her love for the Bible that has led her beyond code words and conventions to something deeper and more spiritually sustaining.

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This week Pete and Jared talk with speaker, author, and theologian Diana Butler Bass about her love for the Bible that has led her beyond code words and conventions to something deeper and more spiritually sustaining.

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Zacchaeus: A Story of How to Get Saved—Every Day https://www.peteenns.com/zacchaeus-story-get-saved-every-day/ https://www.peteenns.com/zacchaeus-story-get-saved-every-day/#comments Thu, 14 Sep 2017 10:16:31 +0000 https://www.peteenns.com/?p=12852 If we think of salvation as a one-time deal, a transaction with God, the ways that the Bible speaks of salvation, save, savior, etc. (Old and New Testaments) won’t make very much sense—like this story of Zacchaeus.

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zacchaeusMany of us know the story of Zacchaeus the tax collector from Jericho (Luke 19:1-10).

Many of us are also probably stricken with paralysis at the sound of the Zacchaeus song, which haunts the memory, and has probably destroyed the faith, of many a parent who has ever done time teaching children’s Sunday school or VBS. But I digress.

Not at all unlike another famous resident from Jericho, Rahab in the book of Joshua, Zacchaeus a “sinner” (v. 7) welcomes a visitor into his home with stunning, life-shifting results.

Without Jesus even needing to say a word, Zacchaeus commits to giving half his possessions to the poor and paying back fourfold anyone he has defrauded. And Jesus responds, “Today salvation has come to this house. . . . ”

Perhaps you were taught that right there that day Zacchaeus was “saved” by accepting Jesus into his heart and receiving assurance of going to heaven when he died—that all this was mainly for future benefit.

If we think of salvation as a one-time deal, a transaction with God, the ways that the Bible speaks of salvation, save, savior, etc. (Old and New Testaments) won’t make very much sense—like this story of Zacchaeus.

Zacchaeus’s salvation is his committing to a change in life—from greed and dishonesty to generosity and justice. He is repenting, in the true biblical sense of the Greek word metanoia—a change of heart that is evidenced in a change in how one lives.

And to this change Jesus says, “Today salvation has come to this house.” Zacchaeus needed salvation, a change of life now—to be saved from himself.

And if we push that aside, we miss the great possibility of this story for all of us, here and now.

Salvation is something that keeps happening in our lives, needs to keep happening, as we work to conform our lives by God’s grace to reflect the life of Jesus.

Over the years I have learned to pray differently. Hardly a day now goes by when I do not ask to be saved—not the “sinner’s prayer” of conversion, but for a change in the tired patterns in my life.

That kind of prayer would have been unthinkable to me some years ago, but I have come to see what I was missing.

The membership card I keep in my wallet for future consideration is of little use. I need salvation right now.

Deliver me, O Lord. Save me . . .

from broken relationships
from fear for my family
from the fear of what might be or might not be
from not knowing
from the need to know
from the need to be right
from this horrid and subtle self-centeredness
from looking down on any other human being
from feeling misunderstood and undervalued
from being defined by my past
from judging others by their past
from manipulating my neighbor with clever words
from feeling not enough
from what I cling to
from all my failings
from all my accomplishments

Not later. Not at some point in time. But now.

Right this minute. I want change, deliverance, peace . . . salvation.

I don’t want things to continue as they are.

Save me. Now. Do it.

Zacchaeus finds salvation. And so can we. Every day.

[A beautiful song by Audrey Assad, “I Shall Not Want,” captures this idea far better than I am able to in a blog post.]

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B4NP Podcast Episode 19: “The Bible and Intersex Believers” with Megan DeFranza https://www.peteenns.com/b4np-podcast-episode-19-bible-intersex-believers-megan-defranza/ https://www.peteenns.com/b4np-podcast-episode-19-bible-intersex-believers-megan-defranza/#comments Mon, 11 Sep 2017 09:49:26 +0000 https://www.peteenns.com/?p=12845 On this episode of the Bible For Normal People, Pete and Jared talk with theologian Megan DeFranza (actually, Megan educates Pete and Jared) on a topic that affects deeply the lives of many, but that few Christians even know is a topic. And Megan might surprise you about what the Bible and church history have to say about […]

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On this episode of the Bible For Normal People, Pete and Jared talk with theologian Megan DeFranza (actually, Megan educates Pete and Jared) on a topic that affects deeply the lives of many, but that few Christians even know is a topic. And Megan might surprise you about what the Bible and church history have to say about it.

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On Being a Bibliogian© https://www.peteenns.com/on-being-a-bibliogian-2/ https://www.peteenns.com/on-being-a-bibliogian-2/#comments Thu, 07 Sep 2017 11:32:15 +0000 https://www.peteenns.com/?p=12839 A blog post in which I muse on the profound yet sad fact that I don't know how to say what I do for a living. But I think I have a solution.

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Slide1The English language cannot contain what I do.

So, by the power vested in me by the Internet, I hereby invent a new word, Bibliogian©. Anytime you use it footnote me and send me $1.

Theologians, church historians, and philosophers have their own words. So why can’t I?

Hi, my name’s Tim and I’m a philosopher. My name’s Susan and I’m a historian. My name’s Ruprecht and I’m a theologian. 

Hi, my name’s Pete and I’m a Bib. . .  uh . . .

Bible guy,

Bible person,

I do Bible,

biblical scholar.

You see my dilemma. And if you don’t, you’re part of the problem, not the solution.

I don’t like using the noun “Bible” as an adjective. Noun modifiers make the grammar gods unhappy. Plus it’s cumbersome and as I said I want my own word, which is the entire point of this post.

Using the adjective “biblical” generates it’s own problems.

Calling myself a “biblical guy/person” sounds like I am trying to assert my orthodoxy when what I am after is a job description. “Biblical scholar” fails because, not only are we back to 2 words (where I want 1) but it’s pretentious:

Hi, my name’s Pete and I’m a biblical scholar. You’re not. Do not approach me, speak my name, or make eye contact.

Someone who “does” philosophy is a philosopher, but I have a feeling “bibler” won’t catch on. Say it 10 times fast.

The closest we “Bible people” have to our own word is “biblicist,” but that sounds awkward. A typist is one who types; a stylist is one who styles hair. A biblicist is one who bibles (?!).

Another problem with “biblicist” is that it suggests biblicism, which I want to avoid at all costs—like going to a Cher concert.

Biblicism is the tendency to appeal to individual biblical verses or collections of apparently uniform verses from diverse contexts to give the appearance of clear, authoritative, and unimpeachable solutions to what are in fact complex interpretive and theological issues generated by the fact that we have a complex and diverse Bible.

What I do as a “Bible guy,” etc., is to not do that and try to teach others not ever to do that, either.

Plus “biblicist” could be misheard as “Baptist,” and even though “some of my best friends are Baptists,” I don’t want to be one (and they don’t want me, either).

So biblicist won’t work. We need our own name with -ian at the end, and Bibliogian© is the perfect solution.

Bible + logos (the study of) + ian (one who does that, and with formal training).

This is a great word and I hereby humbly force it on you. Say it 100x and it will stay with you forever.

**********

Pete Enns is a bibliogian, and his two most recent bibliogical books are The Sin of Certainty and The Bible Tells Me So[See? Rolls right off the tongue.]

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Lansdale Statement (see what I did there? get it?) https://www.peteenns.com/lansdale-statement-see-get/ https://www.peteenns.com/lansdale-statement-see-get/#comments Mon, 04 Sep 2017 13:19:11 +0000 https://www.peteenns.com/?p=12815 Concerning the so-called "Nashville Statement."

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PREAMBLE
Really? Another public here-I-stand “statement” that claims to set the record straight once and for all on a sensitive and complex issue our planet is dealing with? What is it with American Evangelicals and Fundamentalists?

ARTICLE 1
WE AFFIRM
that God, having given us minds, rejoices when we use them.

WE DENY that God intended Scripture to relieve us of this responsibility.

ARTICLE 2
WE AFFIRM
that Scripture, by God’s wisdom, was written by actual people in actual historical contexts for actual contextual reasons, and that such contexts are central to proper biblical understanding and application.

WE DENY that Scripture, which reflects the wisdom of the Creator, is simply sitting there waiting to be used irrespective of its various contexts.

ARTICLE 3
WE AFFIRM
that humans, who are created in God’s image, who are endowed with powers of reason, analysis, and an irrepressible curiosity, have thereby made enormous strides in understanding the cosmos, the nature of humanity, and the wonders of the world around us, and that many who have contributed to these strides are fellow believers in Jesus.

WE DENY that Scripture when handled in willful isolation from or dismissal of such strides is “faithful” or pleasing to the Creator.

ARTICLE 4
WE AFFIRM that the Christian faith, though a broadly unified and distinct tradition, is both historically and globally not monolithic in its expression, and that therefore true Godly wisdom is found in humility and dialogue among the manifold voices of the Christian faith.

WE DENY that (though it’s a free country) a small number of largely white males living in one moment of the human drama are in a place to make statements that claim abiding normativity for all Christians for all time.

ARTICLE 5
WE AFFIRM
that all our theological utterances, because we are not God but mere humans, are contextually generated and bounded.

WE DENY that any of our theological utterances can claim “plain fact” neutrality, and therefore reflect unfiltered the Divine mind.

ARTICLE 6
WE AFFIRM
 that human experience is rich and complex, presents us with numerous ambiguities, and therefore defies simple categorization.

WE DENY that the Creator has assigned to us the task of sorting out and simplifying the richness and complexities of the human drama.

ARTICLE 7
WE AFFIRM
 that the binaries of Genesis 1 (which includes animals restricted to living on land, in the sea, or in the air) reflect—by the will and wisdom of God—ancient, ideal conceptions of cosmic order.

WE DENY that the binaries of Genesis 1 “teach” that amphibians, mammals that fly, live in the ocean, or lay eggs, or any other creatures of God’s creation that do not fit the Genesis 1 binary, are outside of God’s wise design.

ARTICLE 8
WE AFFIRM
that God is the infinite and inscrutable Creator, which is itself affirmed in Scripture, and therefore we should be careful to claim to be speaking for God as if nothing could be more obvious.

WE DENY that God’s voice is easily replicated in our own.

ARTICLE 9
WE AFFIRM that public statements are largely written for the already convinced, are therefore belligerent by design, too often passive-aggressive in tone, and therefore are a colossal waste of time, not to mention make it that much more difficult for others to bear witness to Jesus.

WE DENY that Jesus is rooting for us to write more statements.

Signed,

Pete Enns, Lansdale, PA (white male)

My dogs, Gizmo, Miley, and Stassi

My cats, Snowy, Marmalade, and Baron

My rabbit, Thumper

I’m sure a lot of other people.

Please consider supporting the work of The Bible for Normal People by joining our online community. Visit us at Patreon

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“Come Worship our Crucified God”: Not the Best Lead for Starting an Ancient Religion https://www.peteenns.com/come-worship-crucified-god-not-best-lead-starting-ancient-religion/ https://www.peteenns.com/come-worship-crucified-god-not-best-lead-starting-ancient-religion/#comments Wed, 30 Aug 2017 12:01:07 +0000 https://www.peteenns.com/?p=12788 "Hi everyone! The one we worship was crucified by the Romans. Come follow us.” This might not be the best way to start a religion in the ancient world.

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HengelIf you’re living in the Mediterranean world of the 1st century and you want to promote your religion, a “crucified god” is not your headline.

Yet that is exactly what we find in the New Testament.

A couple of summers ago I read a little book my Martin Hengel, Crucifixion, written about 40 years ago. Hengel (d. 2009) was a scholar of the New Testament and freakishly smart.

I just thought you might like some excerpts from the book that made me think.

The only possibility of something like a ‘crucified god’ appearing on the periphery of the ancient world of gods was in the form of a malicious parody, intended to mock the arbitrariness and wickedness of the father of the gods on Olympus, who now had become obsolete. (p. 11)

Hengel goes on to discuss as an example Lucian’s Prometheus, the story of the crucifixion of the god Prometheus by Zeus. Hengel continues…

It does not seem to me to be a coincidence that the author [Lucian] of this biting parody in his De morte Peregrini, mocks Christians as “poor devils. . . who deny the Greek gods and instead honour that crucified sophist and live according to his laws(p. 12)

Several pages later…

With its paradoxical contrast between the divine nature of the pre-existent Son of God and his shameful death on the cross the first Christian proclamation shattered all analogies and parallels to christology which could be produced in the world of the time, whether from polytheism or from monotheistic philosophy. We have points of comparison [between Christianity and other ancient religions] for the conceptions of exaltation, ascension and even resurrection. But the suffering of a god soon had to be shown to be mere simulation, rapidly followed by punishment for those humans who had been so wicked as to cause it. . . . (p. 15)

By “mere simulation,” Hengel means,

On many occasions in the Graeco-Roman world we come across the idea that offensive happenings should not be ascribed to revered divine beings or demi-gods themselves, but only to their ‘representations.’ . . . . Jesus should have demonstrated his divinity by being transported either at the time of his capture or later, from the cross (p. 16, my emphasis).

Christianity makes sense in the ancient world—it reflects the Jewish and Greco-Roman cultures of the times. But there is also a weirdness to Christianity that Hengel describes here.

“Hi everyone! The one we worship was crucified by the Romans. Come follow us.”

That opening line did not “fit” among Greco-Roman religions. Claiming a divine figure was helplessly beaten, tortured, and gruesomely—shamefully—executed, would have been proof positive that such a religion was joke worthy only of the late night monologs—whatever the ancient analog is for Jimmy Fallon.

The ridiculousness of the crucifixion of the Son of God is can easily be lost on modern people, including Christians. But without grasping firmly the “offense of the cross” (Galatians 5:11), we miss an important reversal that so typifies the gospel.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

Why would Paul even need to mention the potential shame of the gospel? Because the idea of a crucified divine representative was shameful.

For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.  For it is written,“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?  For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. . . . But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong. . .(1 Corinthians 1:18-21; 27)

Rather than remaining a humiliation, in an ironic, counterintuitive twist, the cross became the grand reversal, God’s means of triumphing over the kingdoms of men. Shame and weakness become power and triumph.

He disarmed the rulers and authorities and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in it [the cross]. (Colossians 2:15)

And that is the Jesus we follow:

. . . looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrew 12:2)

I think what Hengel says is too often lost on modern ears.

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B4NP Podcast Episode 18: “Taking the Bible Seriously But Not Literally” with Jared https://www.peteenns.com/b4np-podcast-episode-18-taking-bible-seriously-not-literally-jared/ https://www.peteenns.com/b4np-podcast-episode-18-taking-bible-seriously-not-literally-jared/#comments Mon, 28 Aug 2017 10:31:12 +0000 https://www.peteenns.com/?p=12784 This week, Jared takes on his first solo episode. Since he’s a plebeian and doesn’t have his own Wikipedia page (unlike Pete), he begins with a little autobiography and the recurring theme of taking the Bible seriously but not literally. And encourages us, no matter how we read the Bible, to stop using “literally” all […]

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This week, Jared takes on his first solo episode. Since he’s a plebeian and doesn’t have his own Wikipedia page (unlike Pete), he begins with a little autobiography and the recurring theme of taking the Bible seriously but not literally. And encourages us, no matter how we read the Bible, to stop using “literally” all together.

Please consider supporting the work of The Bible for Normal People by joining our online community. Visit us at Patreon

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Why Young Christians Leave Church https://www.peteenns.com/young-christians-leave-church/ https://www.peteenns.com/young-christians-leave-church/#comments Fri, 25 Aug 2017 11:17:18 +0000 https://www.peteenns.com/?p=12778 In my experience, the main problem isn't so much Christianity itself as much as the cultural baggage that has been heaped upon it, which I feel is a problem that every generation of every era needs to address. 

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Below are the results of the 2011 Barna survey that highlight six primary reasons why young adults who had been regular churchgoers left after age 15.

All of these reasons resonate with me on some level as a father of 3 adult offspring, a Christian college professor, and just someone who generally tries to pay attention. The question is, how should these issues be addressed?

In my experience, the main problem isn’t so much Christianity itself as much as the cultural baggage that has been heaped upon it, which I feel is a problem that every generation of every era needs to address.

I have written a fair amount on #s 3 and 6—in blog posts and also in The Sin of Certainty (#6) and The Evolution of Adam (#3). Honestly, I’m not sure what to make of #2, where the fault lies. This one strikes me as much as a by-product of the consumerism that defines our culture as anything, but I may be missing something.

On the whole, though the survey is 6 years old, these points still ring true and will not be going away anytime soon, and certainly not by hunkering down and digging our heels in the sand.

Reason #1 – Churches seem overprotective. A few of the defining characteristics of today’s teens and young adults are their unprecedented access to ideas and worldviews as well as their prodigious consumption of popular culture. As Christians, they express the desire for their faith in Christ to connect to the world they live in. However, much of their experience of Christianity feels stifling, fear-based and risk-averse. One-quarter of 18- to 29-year-olds said “Christians demonize everything outside of the church” (23% indicated this “completely” or “mostly” describes their experience). Other perceptions in this category include “church ignoring the problems of the real world” (22%) and “my church is too concerned that movies, music, and video games are harmful” (18%).

Reason #2 – Teens’ and twenty-somethings’ experience of Christianity is shallow. A second reason that young people depart church as young adults is that something is lacking in their experience of church. One-third said “church is boring” (31%). One-quarter of these young adults said that “faith is not relevant to my career or interests” (24%) or that “the Bible is not taught clearly or often enough” (23%). Sadly, one-fifth of these young adults who attended a church as a teenager said that “God seems missing from my experience of church” (20%).

Reason #3 – Churches come across as antagonistic to science. One of the reasons young adults feel disconnected from church or from faith is the tension they feel between Christianity and science. The most common of the perceptions in this arena is “Christians are too confident they know all the answers” (35%). Three out of ten young adults with a Christian background feel that “churches are out of step with the scientific world we live in” (29%). Another one-quarter embrace the perception that “Christianity is anti-science” (25%). And nearly the same proportion (23%) said they have “been turned off by the creation-versus-evolution debate.” Furthermore, the research shows that many science-minded young Christians are struggling to find ways of staying faithful to their beliefs and to their professional calling in science-related industries.

Reason #4 – Young Christians’ church experiences related to sexuality are often simplistic, judgmental. With unfettered access to digital pornography and immersed in a culture that values hyper-sexuality over wholeness, teen and twentysometing Christians are struggling with how to live meaningful lives in terms of sex and sexuality. One of the significant tensions for many young believers is how to live up to the church’s expectations of chastity and sexual purity in this culture, especially as the age of first marriage is now commonly delayed to the late twenties. Research indicates that most young Christians are as sexually active as their non-Christian peers, even though they are more conservative in their attitudes about sexuality. One-sixth of young Christians (17%) said they “have made mistakes and feel judged in church because of them.” The issue of sexuality is particularly salient among 18- to 29-year-old Catholics, among whom two out of five (40%) said the church’s “teachings on sexuality and birth control are out of date.”

Reason #5 – They wrestle with the exclusive nature of Christianity. Younger Americans have been shaped by a culture that esteems open-mindedness, tolerance and acceptance. Today’s youth and young adults also are the most eclectic generation in American history in terms of race, ethnicity, sexuality, religion, technological tools and sources of authority. Most young adults want to find areas of common ground with each other, sometimes even if that means glossing over real differences. Three out of ten young Christians (29%) said “churches are afraid of the beliefs of other faiths” and an identical proportion felt they are “forced to choose between my faith and my friends.” One-fifth of young adults with a Christian background said “church is like a country club, only for insiders” (22%).

Reason #6 – The church feels unfriendly to those who doubt. Young adults with Christian experience say the church is not a place that allows them to express doubts. They do not feel safe admitting that sometimes Christianity does not make sense. In addition, many feel that the church’s response to doubt is trivial. Some of the perceptions in this regard include not being able “to ask my most pressing life questions in church” (36%) and having “significant intellectual doubts about my faith” (23%). In a related theme of how churches struggle to help young adults who feel marginalized, about one out of every six young adults with a Christian background said their faith “does not help with depression or other emotional problems” they experience (18%).

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An Invitation to Help us Form an Online Community of “Normal People” https://www.peteenns.com/invitation-help-us-form-online-community-normal-people/ https://www.peteenns.com/invitation-help-us-form-online-community-normal-people/#comments Thu, 24 Aug 2017 11:36:26 +0000 https://www.peteenns.com/?p=12768 Jared and I have always had as our goal to build a community of people who need to explore their faith without feeling the need to arrive at scripted and conventional answers. It starts today.

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For the last several months, Jared and I have been hard at work creating an online community through Patreon. We are excited to announce that it is finally here!

Ever since we began the Bible for Normal People three years ago, our vision has been to build a community of fellow pilgrims who are wrestling with or stalled in their faith, who feel that conventional answers to hard questions are no longer helpful, who feel they don’t quite fit in their communities of faith, and who are having trouble networking with others who are experiencing their faith in similar ways.

Jared and I set up a Patreon page to help support us in building this community. By becoming a patron, you will have access to content and opportunities not available elsewhere. Such as:

  • special videos were I answer your questions (or just rant about something)
  • other videos, photos, and patron-only polls
  • quarterly hang outs
  • book studies
  • monthly Slack group drop-ins
  • become a producer of a B4NP podcast episode and give personal feedback to us about how the podcast is going

Here is a brief video explaining what we’re doing. (See if you can pick up the crickets gently chirping in the background. Possible group discussion questions: Why didn’t Pete just think to close the windows? and Why does Jared talk so much with his hands?).

Jared an I are excited about this launch, and we hope you can join us in building the B4NP community!

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