Letter to The Editor - Erroneous ‘faith-based theology’
to THE AUSTRALIAN
Tom Drake-Brockman is right to call for a major reorientation of Christian tradition (‘We need to reignite the self belief and values that Jesus held so dear’, 17/7), but his suggested ‘new creed of spiritual humanism’ is not the answer. The essence of Jesus’s teaching was not faithfulness, but an invitation to seek ‘the kingdom of heaven’, a search that requires a ‘new birth’ in the sense of a new understanding of human nature itself. At the heart of the gospels is a recipe for initiation within a metaphysical framework.
Some scriptural passages, such as a few in in chapters 3, 5, 6 and 11 of John’s gospel, can, however, be adduced in support of the erroneous ‘faith-based theology’ which Luther forged into ‘an iron-clad dogma’; for the four canonical gospels are inconsistent and can be read in different ways; but their major thrust is the promotion of a salvation or gnosis that only a few can fully attain in this life, but which can bring partial light and comfort to all the pious faithful.
NJ, Belgrave, Vic