The New Christians

Under Original Sin: Paul, Romans 5, and the Heart of the Issue, Emergent Pillage brings up a point that has vexed me for some time.  He (I assume EP is a “he”) baldly asserts that if you think that Paul was wrong about something, “then at least have the integrity to not call yourself a Christian.”

It’ll come as no surprise, but I wouldn’t phrase it quite like that.

First off, let me say, as I think the post in question makes clear, I have no desire to avoid the hard saying of the the Bible, particularly those of Paul.  I believe that Paul’s writings are inspired and authoritative.  (Why?  Because they have been attested so by the church for 1,500+ years.)  I am not advocating that we throw out willy-nilly the difficult parts of the Bible, nor that we ignore the parts we don’t line, and not even the Jesus Seminar approach that we gather scholars and vote on what passages of Scripture are authoritative and which are not.

So, with those caveats, let me ask: If you, through and honest and thoroughgoing process of study and discernment, come to decide that the Apostle Paul was wrong about something in his writings, have you forsaken your claim to be an orthodox Christian?

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