What Not to Believe

Martin Thielen wrote a book called “What’s the Least I Can Believe and Still Be a Christian?: A Guide to What Matters Most.” If you want a quick synopsis, you can check out this article. The opening is great:

“When I first met Danny, he said, ‘Preacher, you need to know that I’m an atheist. I don’t believe the Bible. I don’t like organized religion. And I can’t stand self-righteous, judgmental Christians.’

I liked him right away!”

They become friends, have lots of talks about faith, and slowly Danny moves from atheist to agnostic to reluctant Christian minimalist. When Danny asks him the question that became the title of the book, Thielen first listed things that Christians DON’T need to believe. I liked the list:

• God causes cancer, car wrecks and other catastrophes
• Good Christians don’t doubt
• True Christians can’t believe in evolution
• Woman can’t be preachers and must submit to men
• God cares about saving souls but not saving trees
• Bad people will be “left behind” and then fry in hell
• Jews won’t make it to heaven
• Everything in the Bible should be taken literally
• God loves straight people but not gay people
• It’s OK for Christians to be judgmental and obnoxious

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