6th September NewObserver.com
Article by Yonat Shimron – Staff Writer
Imagine Pat Robertson, champion of the Christian right, and retired Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong, bad boy of the Christian left, coming together for a hug.
That unlikely scenario is exactly what Philip Clayton, a theologian at Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, Calif., called for in a video clip posted to YouTube recently. Clayton is among a group of theologians eager to move beyond the culture wars that have pitted the Christian right and left for so long. His challenge to the two aging leaders – part stunt, part provocation – was a way of calling attention to the way Christianity has become bitterly polarized.
That polarization is turn-off to a younger generation not as invested in the old battles.
“Generation X and the Millennials are fed up with the disputes that define American church today,” Clayton said. “They want to talk about the Gospels; what Jesus taught and did.”
At a conference Wednesday and Thursday in Raleigh, Clayton and an impressive group of contemporary Christian thinkers will consider whether the gulf between the two Christian worlds can be bridged. Called “Big Tent Christianity,” the conference is an attempt to rethink what it means to be a Christian in the 21st century.
Comment left by reader:
Believe what you want, but if you are going to profess Christianity, you had better believe that the Bible is the Word of God. Not just the parts that make you feel warm and fuzzy, but all of it. And the Bible, either in the original languages or in legitimate translation, does not leave much room for opposition to its basic tenets. To take exception to the words of God is nothing but an excuse to continue in sin.