Though mainline Christianity is the founding religious philosophy of the United States of America, it is withering on the vine. Americans have been casting about, with Evangelical faith being the dominant direction. But the 21st century will not be kind to orthodox faith of any kind. We need new voices who can create a human institution that, for once/finally, protects and enlarges the role of spirit in the world. We continue to look to the sources of Christian faith as we move forward into the 21st century.
|Traditional||Liberal doubt||Over it||Chrysterie (21st century-viable investigation of ancient sources)|
|The Bible is the inerrant, literal Word of God. [evangelical]||The Bible is a human creation inspired by God. [mainline]||The Bible is a human creation, not the Word of God.||Documents of the Christian tradition (broadly, not just canonical) are the primary source for our examining our faith.|
|God acts in the world, for example in response to our prayers.||God might act in the world, though we can’t find a consistent principle governing what prayers are answered.||The “laws” or tendencies of nature dictate action in the world. Nothing more.||God does not act directly in the world, but probably/possibly exerts a pull in the form of Love as an active principle of Creation. Further, we can’t be sure what influence our prayers have in the spiritual realm.|
|To be saved, you must accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior.||I have faith in Jesus Christ, but there’s room for other faiths in this world.||I do not subscribe to the Christian faith.||Our personal salvation is not a meaningful goal in our Christian faith. But to the extent that we can and should save ourselves and others from suffering the consequences of our sins, that is our work to do.|
|God is a Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.||God is best understood by humans as the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.||God does not exist.||God is not definable as Persons, single or multiple; the Trinity is a human formulation to make sense of the divine as described in scripture.|