Preparing for the Journey: Resources for those not yet ready to enter into an Open & Affirming Journey. (See also The Skeptical and Reading the Bible.)

Making Sense of the Bible: Rediscovering the Power of Scripture Today

Adam Hamilton, 2014 (format: Book)

Making Sense of the Bible by Rev. Adam Hamilton is a clear, readable book which, in about 300 pages, gives an introduction to the entire Bible and wrestles with the questions that cause 21st century Christians to struggle with the Bible and their faith.

In this book, Pastor Hamilton describes how his own faith story intersected with the Bible, bringing him to faith and forcing him to question his faith.

This book is especially valuable for groups that have a conservative background and have started asking questions such as “I’m finding it difficult to believe that the Bible is literally true – how do I honor the Bible and struggle with it at the same time?”

Church members studying this text will come away with a fresh perspective on how to read the Bible and with basic tools for examining their own relationship to their faith and scripture.

Click here for the leader guide.

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Reading the Bible Again for the First Time

Marcus J. Borg , 2002 (format: Book)

Sometimes a congregation needs to start its affirming journey at the basics: how to read the Bible. Without seminary training, many of the members in our pews read the Bible like our fundamentalist neighbors. Marcus Borg is a great place to start teaching our members how to read the Bible.

Rev. Dr. Terrye Williams, pastor of Hilton Christian Church in Newport News, VA, writes this in her review of Reading the Bible Again for the First Time in GLAD’s Crossbeams newsletter:

Borg guides the reader to the understanding that it is, in fact, possible to reconcile the Bible with both scientific and critical thinking as well as deep faith. Borg actually takes readers along his personal journey of faith, sharing how he was able to move from unquestioning childhood belief, through a crisis in faith when his childhood belief struggled to a more mature understanding, to an ability to encounter the text in a more powerful way – seriously, but not literally.

Read Dr. Williams’ review in Crossbeams here, and also take a look at other resources from Marcus Borg, The Heart of Christianity and Living the Questions 2.0

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Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth

LeDayne McLeese Polaski and Millard Eiland (Eds.), 2013 (format: book)

Developed to assist clergy and lay leaders in leading a healthy and respectful congregational dialogue on the most difficult task of discernment facing the church in our time, Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth features wisdom distilled from 13 congregations who have undertaken this dialogue. Other materials include articles focused on Bible study and theological reflection, as well as scientific/medical and psychological studies. Stories from gay and lesbian Christians and their families are included, as well as from congregations who have struggled with the questions of sexual orientation and Christian faith.

Can be purchased for download here.

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