Tuesday, February 02, 2010


Christopher Hitchens (atheist author of God Is Not Great), was interviewed in The Portland Monthly, January 2010, by Unitarian minister Marilyn Sewell. Here is one very interesting part of their exchange:

Sewell: The religion you cite in your book is generally the fundamentalist faith of various kinds. I'm a liberal Christian, and I don't take the stories from the scripture literally. I don't believe in the doctrine of atonement (that Jesus died for our sins), for example. Do you make and distinction between fundamentalist faith and liberal religion?

Hitchens: I would say that if you don't believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ and Messiah, and that he rose again from the dead and by his sacrifice our sins are forgiven, you're really not in any meaningful sense a Christian.

h/t to CWB for sharing this with me.


Marisa Lynn said...

when I read this on facebook i couldn't help but think... hmmm... myself. hmm indeed. How very interesting.

lisa b said...

Yeah . . . I hope that people don't confuse "fundamentalist" (the interviewer's word) with "judgmental." I believe that Jesus' identity as God's son and the teaching of sacrificial atonement are essential tenets of Christianity. However, I believe that God's grace is much bigger than I will ever understand so I don't think it's my job to judge whether or not someone else is forgiven.

Make sense?

Coleman Yoakum said...

As the kids in high school would say...

"OOOOOOOhhhhhhh! Snap!"

But that is totally true. There are authors out there (The Jesus Seminar comes to mind) who say "I am a Christian, but I don't believe that Christ died for me, or came back to life again."

These are pretty incongruent in my mind.