Beliefnet
Everyday Spirituality

I know it’s hard to find time to read, but if you do make time, here are two books that have ramped up my appreciation for writer’s who put into words what’s in my head. I don’t think the authors are “right” or “wrong,” they just give me something to think about in new ways, rather than regurgitating the same old nonsense that doesn’t progress humanity. New insights bring on more new insights.
#1

Rob Bell’s book, What is the Bible?

Bell’s writing comes with the frill of being laid-back. He adds, maybe too many, parenthesis, but you can’t help but feel like your sitting at a coffee table having a chat with a normal human being who takes life seriously yet with humor.

#2

“Our Oriental Heritage,” by Will Durant, is a gem I happened to stumble upon when looking for an audio book to listen to at night. I will caution, that at times, Durant drags on with the horrors that human beings commit, but I really liked the chapters where he picks apart the Bible.

From my memoir,”I Am My Father-Mother’s Daughter:”

At 4-H camp I bumped into Susan, member of church #57, who brought her Bible to read during free time. I happened to walk into the cabin when Susan was reading and she asked me, “Do you read the Bible?”

“Yes, mainly at church,” I said tentatively.

“Then you know we were all born sinners?” Susan continued.

“Not really. I mean, well, I don’t think about being born sinners,” I offered, feeling unprotected.

Susan sat up in her bed, galvanized, and said, “How can you say that? Jesus is our Lord and Savior. Don’t you believe Jesus is your Lord and Savior from sin?”

“Umm, I like Jesus and think he is a good example to follow,” I answered, puzzled at how my “believing” could save me. Action or Grace seemed a bit more effective in the saving department.

“You have to believe Jesus is your savior or you will go to hell,” Susan emphasized.

“I think hell is a state of mind, not a place,” I said, repeating what I heard in my Sunday school.

“Hell is where you go when you sin and we were all born sinners because Adam and Eve are our parents and they fell into sin,” said Susan.

“Um, I have to go now, to find out what activity I’m signed up for next,” I replied before scurrying out the door.

I wasn’t about to drop the bomb that I believed the Adam and Eve story was just a myth to learn by, not a truth to harp on. Embedded into my immature psyche was the concept that God was my origin and God was sinless. I didn’t think I was sinless, but aiming to be like God made more sense than trying to not be like myself.

 

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