The twin notions that being Christian is about "believing" in Christianity and that faith is about "belief" are a modern development of the last few hundred years.One thing that I was thinking while talking with L and P about all this stuff tonight was that I really think it sucks that hermeneutics (fancy word for how you read the bible) is so blasted complicated sometimes. Basically from my perspective it should be simple. If you are a christian you have faith that God loves you, and you love God and other people, and that's that. The end.
But then the bible comes into play, and everyone has different lenses on how to read it. That's why churches split, because believing the same right things about christianity becomes most important. And if you don't believe the right things you get called that bad word, the worst thing one christian can call another christian, a heretic.
I wonder a lot what the relationship is between educational level, training in a seminary, and economic status has to do with how one reads the bible. These three things impact how so many people read scripture because they are just a few of the things that create our cultural glasses that we use to read anything. Um. I don't think sometimes we are meant to read the bible all the same.