By James Woody
Translation Louise Thunin
The Bible is not the word of God, but a collection of beliefs about what gives value to life. Religion is not a magical practice that attracts supernatural favors but the art of examining what gives meaning to our lives in the light of what is universal, unconditional – God. Faith is not insurance against problems but our personal agreement with a spiritual consideration of life, the world, people, and situations. This is where I am in my meditation on what constitutes Christianity.
God is neither all-powerful nor the bearer of a design – however intelligent – because he is not a being – however intelligent – not a being in the sense of a special being – even superior to all that we know. God designates what he allows to be, to exist, in this case what makes us human – free, fraternal, creative… And don’t count on me to apologize for having a liberal theology, that is for seeing that freedom is the gravitational center of Christian faith, enriched by the experience of the Biblical authors. I will not apologize for practicing liberal theology freely, that is for having scientific doubts, for comparing Biblical texts to other religious texts, for referring to archeological data, for integrating work in social studies. Why betray the Biblical heritage so rich in these demanding dialogues with other cultures, rich with the numerous observations in tension with one another ? Because the superstitious say I am not a believer and certainly not a Christian ? To be faithful to God in Jesus Christ is to engage face to face, without concession, with God and certainly not submit to the power trips of those who wish to be spiritual directors.
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