My Story: A Brief Overview
I grew up in the world of fundamentalist Protestantism. After trying to be a mainstream evangelical for a while, I became a religious progressive. What follows is a brief overview; I plan to write the full story eventually.
Several things happened to me after I received my first master’s degree in philosophy of religion. First, questions about biblical inerrancy arose in my mind. Things in the Bible increasingly seemed incompatible with each other. I read, analyzed, and talked to scholars and ministers, but the list of apparent contradictions and inconsistencies kept growing. Eventually, they were no longer just apparent in my mind–they were real. Second, as the doubts worsened, so did the responses from many evangelicals whom I knew. One of the problems with the doctrine of inerrancy is that people make it the foundation of their lives. To question it or worse, to deny it, is very unsettling for them. One good friend told me to repent. Several gave me an obvious cold shoulder. I even lost a teaching job over it. Third, I discovered really impressive people and texts from other religious traditions during and after my Ph.D. program. I met Muslims, Jews, atheists, Mormons, and eastern religionists who impressed me with their intelligence and character. I read many Scriptures from other world religions that impressed me, as well.
All of this had a profound impact on me. I began to see religion from a global/universal perspective. I climbed the mountain of education and deep analysis and saw all the religious villages in the valley. I realized that my village was just one of many. At that point I realized that I had a lot of theological work to do. I still feel that way, although I’ve made a lot of progress in my own mind and am comfortable with the conclusions that I have drawn. I’ll be sharing them here as time goes on.