Saturday, December 31, 2005

Great Radio - Heretics

This American Life did a fantastic show called Heretics a couple of weeks back. I'm a huge fan of the show and Heretics is one of their best shows of the year. It's the story of Carlton Pearson who was a big name evangelical preacher who was declared a Heretic for saying that Jesus will save everyone, not just those who go to church.

What's a fascinating about this piece is that gives the listener a view into the evangelical mindset that I haven't seen before. I came to the conclusion that the belief that those who have not been born again are all going to hell, is really a form elitelism. It's why hard-core evaneligcals think they are better than everyone else. They excuse the moral issue of most humans suffering for eternity by meekly claiming they didn't make the rules but then refuse to consider may their view of the rules in incorrect even when their trusted pastor preaches another interpretation.

A great companion to Heretics is Bart Ehrman's The Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew which I'm reading now. Ehrman shows how the today's Christian beliefs about Jesus and God were not always the only or even the predominate beliefs but rather the set of beliefs that won out after a protracted struggle in the 3rd century.

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