Archive for August, 2011

Kissing Fish, by Roger Wolsey

Posted in Book Review with tags , , , on August 22, 2011 by seguewm

What picture comes to mind when you hear the word ‘Christian’?

Though the media prefers to present the shrill and abrasively loud fundamentalist voices within the faith, Christianity isn’t a monolithic religion by a long shot. In fact, there have always been, ironically, rather vicious battles among Christians over what defines orthodoxy and, consequently, heresy.

Rogers new book tackles the job of differentiating conservative Christianity from progressive Christianity. He makes it clear that neither category is uniform in its beliefs and practices, yet there are characteristics that are unique to conservative and progressive ways of thinking. Though some basics remain the same, thus the ‘Christian’ moniker, the differences are so well defined that they are, for all intents and purposes, two religions.

Roger isn’t at all squeamish when it comes to discussing the difficult issues. Conservatives and progressives have different pictures of God, what happened on the cross, the nature of sin, the origins of life, how to interpret scripture, what it means to be ‘saved’, their notions of heaven and hell, the origin of evil, and what is meant by ‘the end’.

Here is why you should to read this book. If you are an honest follower of Jesus, you ought to understand both sides of the major issues that face and divide Christianity in the 21st century. If you are a progressive, you need to have clarity on conservative talking points. Don’t assume you know. There is only one ‘body’ of Christ, the church, and we would all do well to at least seek to understand one another – maybe even to ‘love one another’. If you are tired of Christianity and are ready to or have already jettisoned the whole kit and caboodle, you may well discover that you unnecessarily tossed out the baby with the bath water. Maybe all you knew wasn’t all that is Christian. Take another looksee.

This book is not merely a compare and contrast textbook. It is chock full of fascinating stories, quotations, history lessons, definitions, resources, and references. You’ll likely not agree with everything, nor find your every question completely answered, but you will be challenged to think more deeply about what it means to be a Christian – whether or not you like ‘Christianity’.