I had lunch with two co-workers yesterday and, once again, found myself deeply engaged in a theological dialogue. One co-worker is a very young and fervent non-denominational Protestant and the other is a 30-something secular materialist who sporadically attends a church and is interested in "spirituality." During the course of our meal the topic of conversation settled on the Bible, philosophy, and the nature of faith.
Consider the following quotes. A prize to anyone who can correctly identify the correct speaker in each instance:
"Faith is something unique to each person and is different for each person. My faith and what I believe does not depend on anyone else telling me what to think."
"There is no way to know for sure if everything in the Bible is totally true. There is no authority that will prove that Jesus physically rose from the dead."
"What the Bible says to me may not be what it says for you. And that is ok."
"The Bible doesn't tell me what church I need to belong to. Each person has to make the decision for themselves and should be free to pick whichever one best fits their needs."
Can you see a common thread? I sure did. My two co-workers differ on a few points (of course) but they share a disturbing number of foundational assumptions about the nature of faith and truth. It never ceases to amaze me how, on paper, one would think two people would have very different views of reality, but when closely examined turn out to be almost carbon copies of each other.