The following passage made me think about what people actually believe, not faith, belief. Are you a Christian? If you are, do you believe in things like the virgin birth, walking on water, water into wine, the resurrection, etc.. And what about your God, do you believe in the white haired old man sitting in a place called Heaven? Read the following and let us know.
The following is excerpted from a recent book by Bishop John Shelby Spong titled, "A New Christianity for a New World; Why Traditional Faith is Dying and How a New Faith is Being Born" (Harper San Francisco, 2001).
"Between 1910 and 1915, in response to biblical criticism in general and to the challenge of Charles Darwin in particular, a group of conservative Christians published a series of pamphlets under the title "The Fundamentals." From those pamphlets the word fundamentalism as a description of the literal beliefs of conservative Christians entered the religious vocabulary.
"The tracts defended such things as the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch, the Davidic authorship of the Psalms, and the accuracy of the biblical prophecy predicting specific events in the life and death of Jesus Christ. Each of these suppositions has been successfully challenged by modern scholarship. Beyond that, these tracts also defended the literal accuracy of what they called "the primary Christian themes," in time these basic fundamentals of Christianity were said to be five in number. To question or to deny the truth of any of these five doctrines was thought to be an act not just of heresy, but of actual apostasy.
"These five fundamentals were:
1. "The inspiration of scripture as the literal, revealed word of God.
2. "The virgin birth as the miraculous and literal means by which the divine nature of Christ has been guaranteed.
3. "The substitutionary view of the atonement that was accomplished in the death of Jesus. The affirmation of the saving power of his blood and the gift of salvation that was accomplished by his death.
4. "The certainty of the physical bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead. The accuracy of both the empty-tomb and the appearance stories in the gospel tradition.
5. "The truth of the second coming of Jesus, the reality of the Day of Judgment, which would be based on the record of one's life, and the certainty of heaven and hell as eternal places of reward and punishment."