I gave Dr. Moore my “business card” and he immediately pulled up my website on his computer and looked it over. He complimented me and said, “I like what you are doing but why do you do it?”
The question was unexpected so I replied lamely, “I had time on my hands.” I should have said that I had preached the gospel for more than fifty years and had more to say.
Like Gloria Neufeld Redekop, I have engaged the fundamentals of evangelicalism. As a young man I was attracted to the fundamentals. I preached them fervently, but now I question them. I’ve concluded that the Bible is not inerrant, not a book of science, and not a history book.
Gloria Neufeld Redekop described her withdrawal from the fundamentals of evangelism as similar to the five stages of grief. The five stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. If I understood Redekop correctly, she advised against taking these five stages too literally or expecting to experience them in exact sequence.
Yes, there is struggle and grief in loosening oneself from the past, but renewal is pending. I found this to be true when I retired from active church administration. “Transitions,” a book given to Rhoda and me helped me to move quickly to another life. And it just now occurs to me that an unconscious use of the coping strategies of that book helped me to find my “Joy”, and begin a new life.
This past Sunday morning, my “Joy” and I went to Waterford Mennonite Church to hear my Son-in-law preach the morning sermon. His use of the Bible demonstrated its lasting value after belief in the fundamentals is gone. The Bible is not a history book, nor a science book, and not inerrant, but the stories, though mythical, remain to teach some lessons for a good life and a calm death. Fear of hell is gone.
I post this on Halloween. One hundred eighteen years ago on October 31, 1895 my father was born.