I believe that some forms of Christianity are far better than others. I also feel that Christianity, like most religions, can do some veryt good things. But their are obvious horrible things religion that religion can and has done too.
So, I am not all about deconverting people from their religion, but more about changing the dangerous, destructive, self-righteous, exclusive and bigoted ideology that informs the nasty parts of religion. Sometimes, stripped of that, a person will become an atheist/agnostic, but that is not my primary aim by any means.
Many believers feel the same way and write to change the bad ideas in their religion too. And certainly, for many Christians, these messages are best heard when a fellow Christian writes to them.
To that end, if you click the “continue” button, you will see a list of books recommended by Christians which address two of the most pernicious ideas in Christianity: Biblical Literalism & Inerrancy and Exclusive Salvationism. Most of the authors are themselves Christians — I have listed them in alphabetical order.
Even though Christians may prefer reading fellow Christians, they would often prefer Christians they feel closest to their flavor of Christianity. For example, an conservative Evangelical would prefer a moderate Evangelical whereas they’d consider post-modernists as silly heretics. Some Catholics would never read a Protestant, for instance. So in the list below I will try to list the flavor of Christianity of the author — I wish more books were up-front about that. I wish people would not stay so safely in their echo chambers, but it is a fact of life, eh?
Again, these are not my suggestions (I have not read most of them) but those of readers on Christian sites where I ask this question). Sort through them yourself! I may chose my favorites in the future.
To my Readers: please make suggestions !!
Again, click to see the recommendations:
Against Biblical Literalism & Inerrancy (AKA: biblicism, bibliolatry)
Borg, Marcus J. (progressive Christian scholar)
Barr, James (Church of Scotland)
Ehrman, Bart (former conservative Christian)
Enn, Peter (progressive Evangelical ?)
- Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament (2005
Smith, Christian (Evangelical become Catholic)
- “The Bible Made Impossible: Why Biblicism is Not a Truly Evangelical Reading of Scripture”
Spong, John Shelby (retired Episcopal bishop, progressive Christian)
Against: Exclusive Salvationism (critics of Hell)
Beauchemin, Gerry (conservative Christian universalist)
- Hope Beyond Hell: The righteous purpose of God’s Judgement
Bell, Rob (post-modern, emergent Christian)
- Love Wins: book about Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of every person who ever lived. (224 pg, 2012)
Merton, Thomas (mystical Catholic)
- Anything of Merton’s points away from exclusivism
Zender, Martin (?)
- Martin Zender Goes to Hell (80 pgs)