Here are some materials and books which have been helpful along the way:
Altizer, Thomas JJ and William Hamilton. Radical Theology and
the death of god. Indianapolis:
Bobbs-Merril Company, 1966.
Published in the mid-1960s, this thinking, following Neitzsche, proclaims the actual death of God, as a historical event in our time. Much analysis of subjective/objective faith is done. Altizer finds much compatibility with many contemporary progressives in saying, "Jesus is himself the exact opposite of Christianity."
Bultmann, Rudolf. Primitive Christianity.
Cleveland: World Publishing, Meridian Books,1956.
This work is primariy a look at the various factors that impacted the formation of the fundmental doctrines of the Christian faith during the first two centuries of its development.__________. Theology of the New Testament.
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1951,1953,
A two-volumn study on the meaning and message of the Christian message. Comprehensive, classic Bultmann.
__________. Jesus and the Word. New York:
Charles Scribner's Sons,1958.
__________. Jesus Christ and Mythology,
Groundbreaking work on a number of Xn topics: Scripture's authority, the god of the future, prayer, faith, God the Father. To understand where progressive theology is today, one must have some knowledge of Bultmann--not always an easy read.
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1958.
One of the greatest Christian scholars of the mid-twentieth century, Bultmann's name is almost a synonym for "demytholigizing" the Scriptures. He was constantly and sometimes visciously attacked by the fundamentalists. Here he clearly spells out his teaching and defends it brilliantly.
Borg, Marcus J. Reading the Bible Again for the First
Time. San Francisco,HarperSanFrancisco, 2001.
One of the most readable and understandable biblical scholars of our time, who says the Bible is not a divine product, but a human product, telling the stories and testimonies of those individuals and communities who have had, and continue to have encounters with the living Christ. The Bible is "history remembered" and metaphorically recorded. Borg is among those progressive theologians who will become known as those who made the Bible relevant again to modern man.
__________ The Heart of Christianity. Rediscovering
a Life of Faith. San Francisco,
Vital Christianity is not about "belief". We can believe many wonderful things yet still behave scandalously. In other words, whether one believes in the literalness of Scriptures is fruitless unless there is this a transforming relationship with the living God. And at the heart of that relationship is dynamic love for truth and justice.
Borg, Marcus J. and Dominic Crosson, The Last Week.
the Day-by-Day Account of Jesus' Final Week in Jerusalem. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2006.
I have only read the first chapter, but this book looks to be an excellent read for Lent, or Holy Week. The authors lay out the conflict between the Roman Empire and the young Christian movement in a way not often considered.
Borg, Marcus, J. and Dominic Crosson, The First Christmas.
What the gospels really teach about Jesus' birth.
New York: Harper One, 2007.
This book strips away the sentamentalism that has gathered around the nativity story for two thousand years, and gives fresh new meaning to the birth of Jesus. A great Advent read.
Crossan, John Dominic. The Historical Jesus. San Francisco:
HarperSanFrancisco, 1991. 502 pp.
In the field of studies about the
historical Jesus, this book stands out. It is readable, scholarly, fair
and clear. Painstaking in detail. Continues in the tradition of Albet Schweitzer. Crossan is a member of the Jesus Seminar.
Davies, J.G. The Early Christian Church. A history of its
first five centuries. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1967.
Published 42 years ago, this book remains a foundational text of early Church history. This book was one of my textbooks in seminary.
Ehrman, Bart. D. Misquoting Jesus. The Story
behind who changed the Bible and why.
San Francisco: Harber Collins, 2005.
I have misplaced my copy of this book, but I remember it as being an
excellent study on the way differing manuscripts of the gospels have come
to be. Scribal interjections, deletion of offensive
passages, harmonizing various verses to fit the understanding of the church,
etc. Ehrman is beginning to make his mark as a top-notch scholar.
Fox, Matthew. The Coming of the Cosmic Christ.
San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1980.
It has been many years since I first picked up this
book. I remember Fox making a case for the Christ to be an
appelation that transcends Jesus, perhaps even incorporation other earthly
religions. If you remember differently, pleaso commet.
Funk, Robert W. and Roy W. Hoover & the Jesus Seminar.
The Five Gospels. What Did Jesus Really Say? New York:
New York: Macmillan Publishing, Polebridge Press 1993.
A truly marvelous and ground-breaking book in which .c 150James, William. The Varieties of Religious Experience.
modern biblical scholars opine on the four gospels---considering which verses
are authentically Jesus. It also includes a copy of the Gospel of
Thomas. Not for the more conservative reader.
New York: Collier Books, 1961
Mitchell, Stephen. The Gospel According to Jesus.
New York: Harper Perennial, 1991.
Otto, Rudolf. The Idea of the Holy.
London: Oxford University Press, 1923
Ricker, George M. What You Don't Have to Believe to
be a Christian. Austin: Sunbelt-Eakin, 2002.
Robinson, James M. The Gospel of Jesus. In
Search of the Original Good News. San Francisco:
Robinson, John A.T. Honest to God.
Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1963.
__________. The Human Face of God. Philadelphia:
Westminster Press, 1973.
Sanders, James A. From Sacred Story to Sacred Text.
Philadelphia: Fortress Press,1987.
Spong, John Shelby . Rescuing the Bible from
Fundamentalism. San Francisco:
__________. Born of a Woman. A Bishop Rethinks
the birth of Jesus. San Francisco:
__________. This Hebrew Lord. San Francisco:
__________. A New Christianity for a New World.
San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2001.
Spong, Christine M. Ed. The Bishop's Voice.
New York: Crossroad Publishing, 1999.
Tillich, Paul. The New Being. New York:
Charles Scribner's Sons, 1955.
__________. The Shaking of the Foundations.
Charles Scribner's Sons, 1948.
__________. The Eternal Now. New York:
Charles Scribner's Sons, 1963.
Ward, Keith. What the Bible Really Teaches.
New York: Crossroad Publishing, 2004.
Ward's thesis is that many of those who most loudly proclaim Bible truths, do not actually know the Bible. Rather, they have memorized key verses which support their peculiar perspective, and use those verses over an over in polemical argument. In this book, Ward lays out what the Bible actually teaches about a wide range of doctrinal statements.
[currently working on this list. ca]