When the wifey and I left the world of structured Christianity and started reading other sources, I dropped most the Christian authors and pastors from my Twitter (which by the way is @beachdaze if you want to connect with me).
I started reading books like;
- “Did Jesus Exist?”, “Lost Christianities”, and “Misquoting Jesus” by Bart D. Ehrman
- “The Future of God” by Deepak Chopra
- “Living Buddha, Living Christ” by Thich Nhat Hanh
- “Irish Paganism” by Morgan Daimler
- “Brigid: History, Mystery, and Magick of the Celtic Goddess” by Courtney Weber
- “The English Translation of the Qur’an” by Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan
And many more mostly on ancient history. I seem to be drawn to stories and information of the first century CE. Basically the beginnings of the Christian church. For too long I had been told that the bible was inerrant, so it contained no mistakes and no contradictions. Well that didn’t last long. Even as a child I had trouble believing in the flood story. I knew that almost every race of people on the planet had some kind of flood story. Especially in the Mesopotamian area. And I won’t even get started on “Jonah and the whale”.
I have started again reading books from what would best be called “Christian authors”;
- Rob Bell – “Velvet Elvis”, “What We Talk About When We Talk About God” and my favorite of his “Love Wins”.
- Pete Enns – “The Sin of Certainty”, “The Bible Tells Me So”, and “The Evolution of Adam”.
- Sarah Bessey – “Jesus Feminist”.
- Marcus Borg – “The God We Never Knew” and “Meeting Jesus Again For The First Time”.
Mixed in with all these are Hunter S. Thompson, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Carl Hiaasen to name but a few. Many baseball books, some books on the ancient Picts (still looking for books on the Dal Riadia) and even “The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus” by Amy-Jill Levine, an atheistic Jew that attends a conservative synagogue. If you want to learn about the anti-Semitic views in the New Testament, this is a good place to start.
Gone are the old school folks – Max Lucado, John Ortberg, Phillip Yancey and Beth Moore. Oddly, I still rely on Bishop John Shelby Sprong and the late Phyllis Tickle. We meet Ms. Tickle at a UMC event some years ago. My favorite quote of that event was hers;
“The best thing about being Anglican is where ever there’s three or four of us, there’s bound to be a fifth!”
But to get back to the original idea of this post; Twitter followers. Since the election I have found myself gravitating backs towards the “Christian” authors and pastors I dropped long ago. I find my social justice and political views aligning back to that compass point. My faith hasn’t changed, I’m still very agnostic and maybe even more so as I age. But it’s these faith leaders that I find on the front lines, at least electronically, that stir my heart and soul (if there is such a thing).
I won’t call these folks out by name. I know that don’t do these things for any kid of recognition, they do it because their faith calls them to do it. I admire that. I wish I had that kind of faith. Some are folks everyone has heard of, others are just friends and family that only know by a few. Some are near, others I’ve never met, but hope to some day (we’re going to make it to The Wild Goose festival one of these years).
So for all the unsung heroes who blog, tweet, facebook, snapchat or otherwise call out those that need calling out (and there’s lots of them there folks these days), thank you.
I got your back.