Two (make that three) mistakes fundamentalists make

Mistake #1: Failing to distinguish between an interpretation of their sacred text and the text, itself.

Mistake #2: Giving undue authority to their particular interpretation of that text.

These lead naturally to…

Mistake #3: Defending that interpretation at all costs, b/c what they really think they are defending is the text, itself.

This leads me to ponder three questions:

Question #1: In what ways have I confused my interpretation of the text for the text, itself?

Question #2: What leads me to believe my interpretation carries any weight?

Question #3: In what ways do I behave like a fundamentalist? It seems the moment I fall into a defensive mode regarding my beliefs, I’ve earned the moniker.

Some wise words from Michael Hardin to keep in mind here:

Religion needs to defend itself, the Gospel needs no defense. Religion is about certainty, the Gospel is about assurance. Religion needs every “I” dotted and every “T” crossed while the Gospel dwells in ambiguity and mystery. Religion seeks perfection, the Gospel offers wholeness. Religion validates sacred violence and a wrathful god, the Gospel speaks of the nonviolent, non-retributive God. Religion takes the State as its consort; the Gospel refuses the State and takes a peace loving people as a Bride.

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