I just heard a pastor cite this quote in a talk he was giving. I googled it and found the interview he referenced. It’s between renown atheist, Christopher Hitchens and Unitarian minister Marilyn Sewell.
It reminded me of a German theologian I heard about a few years ago who had the courage to renounce the Christian faith because he realized he didn’t believe anything (or, at least, anything substantial) that was distinctively Christian. He then chastised other like-minded theologians and professed Christians who essentially have to put their hands behind their backs to cross their fingers when they recite the Apostles’ Creed.
Here’s the exchange…
The religion you cite in your book is generally the fundamentalist faith of various kinds. I’m a liberal Christian, and I don’t take the stories from the scripture literally. I don’t believe in the doctrine of atonement (that Jesus died for our sins, for example). Do you make and distinction between fundamentalist faith and liberal religion?
I would say that if you don’t believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ and Messiah, and that he rose again from the dead and by his sacrifice our sins are forgiven, you’re really not in any meaningful sense a Christian.
Well stated indeed.
Click here to read the whole transcript.