What is "Liberal Christianity?"

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Bert Perry's picture

I grew up in the theologically liberal United Methodist Church, and have had some extensive interactions with those in the ELCA and other liberal churches, and Olson really draws a bead on liberal theology.  It is, as Claude Welch notes, a way of maximizing the role of modernist thinking (and now I presume postmodernist/etc. thinking) in the theological discussion, and as Olson notes, it comes at the expense of the fundamentals.

One of the interesting "gotchas" about the discussion, however, is that when push comes to shove, few theological liberals will flat out admit to simply disbelieving the Bible.  They won't admit they're squishy on the first fundamental.  They'll rather say that what you're referring to was cultural, or that the ancients could not have possibly understood what they were actually seeing, or they'll pull a tu quoque fallacy and note that most Christians do indeed shave the corners of their beards (or other Levitical law comparison). 

Sometimes persuasion works, but sometimes it's more of a Matthew 17:21 / Mark 9:29 situation, where the ideas leave only after prayer and fasting.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.