Liberal Christianity in Three Books

Liberal Christianity in Three Books October 15, 2013

Rod Dreher shared a challenge aimed at combating religious illiteracy: offer a list of three books – and no more than three – that will together give an adequate introduction to a particular religion. Other bloggers have already responded.

So which would I choose for my own liberal Christian tradition? There is a real sense in which, if the aim is to provide a history of this tradition, then my choices would be different. But if the aim is to introduce the substance of the worldview itself, in a way that made a powerful impact on me, then I would probably go with these:

Paul Tillich, Dynamics of Faith

Keith Ward, What the Bible Really Teaches

Rudolf Bultmann’s contribution to Kerygma and Myth

There are other works that I am probably neglecting, whose impact on me is greater in substance than it is in my own recognition of indebtedness. There are certainly other works by authors like John A. T. Robinson, John Hick, John Macquarrie, A. T. Hanson, Marcus Borg, Arthur Peacocke, and many others that have influenced and challenged me. But of them, these three seem to pinpoint key aspects of liberal Christianity: the issues related to expressing an ancient faith in a modern setting, the nature and meaning of religious language, and how we interact with the Bible. These seem to me to be more fundamental than any specific attempt to articulate a theology.

Which three authors would you pick to convey the core of your own tradition?

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