11 April 2007

Gospel of Christian Atheism

OK, I haven't been terribly active on the old blog lately, but I thought I'd better at least lay out the old stall with regard to what Christian Atheism is about. No, it's not a contradiction in terms - if anything, atheism is the logical consequence of Christianity. Many atheists would view themselves as post-Christian, rather than non-Christian.

I'm going to have to clarify a few points.
  1. The Bible is NOT the Word of God
  2. Jesus was NOT the Son of God
  3. We CAN pick and choose what we want from the Bible, viewing it as part of our cultural heritage
There is nothing inconsistent or hypocritical about this - it is a consequence of the simple fact that the Bible contains a miscellaneous selection of writings revealing the views of the people who wrote them. How closely the "Gospels" follow the actual life and preaching of Jesus of Nazareth is a matter of debate - they certainly got his birth and death wrong.

Add to that the complete screwball mess made by Saul of Tarsus, and you end up with the difficulties we have today. Was Jesus special? No. Was he unique? No. Can we learn from him? Well, yes, but in the sense that we can learn from everyone. His story (and the myths that have arisen around it) carry a certain resonance, and we can certainly learn from that.

We can of course learn from other people, be they Moses, Mohammed, Buddha, Thomas Jefferson, whoever. But for me, as a "Christian Atheist", I regard Christianity as a human cultural creation, not something that requires "belief".