While setting up a new-to-us house with all the little surprises that come with that endeavor, I just finished a new book that I recommend: Saving Jesus from the Church: How to Stop Worshiping Christ and Start Following Jesus, by Robin R. Meyers.
The chapter titles give a good overview of the perspective of the author:
Prologue: A Preacher's Nightmare: Am I a Christian?
One: Jesus the Teacher, Not the Savior
Two: Faith as Being, Not Belief
Three: The Cross as Futility, Not Forgiveness
Four: Easter as Presence, Not Proof
Five: Original Blessing, Not Original Sin
Six: Christianity as Compassion, Not Condemnation
Seven: Discipleship as Obedience, Not Observance
Eight: Justice as Covenant, Not Control
Nine: Prosperity as Dangerous, Not Divine
Ten: Religion as Relationship, Not Righteousness
Epilogue: A Preacher's Dream: Faith as Following Jesus
In keeping with the main direction of this blog, here is a paragraph from the book that you might appreciate:
Faith itself is a relationship, and scripture cannot be objectified without destroying that relationship. We continue to speak of a "battle for the Bible," when in fact the Bible is a conversation. We overhear it at a great distance, translated (and corrupted) from foreign tongues, and spoken by those who never imagined us as the intended audience. It is always wise to remember that not a single word of the Bible was written for you or for me – so how can we be having a "battle" over it? One only competes for what one wishes to possess, yet how does one "possess" a conversation? We can only listen carefully and thoughtfully and in the posture of one who, in search of wisdom, is listening through a keyhole to the distant echoes of a love affair. [p. 205]