America: Bible Literacy (03:21)
Biblical literacy in the U.S. is "pretty thin" according to Rev. Peter Gomes of Harvard University. The Bible has become an integral part of American culture, to the extent the country has invoked the Bible as the "American way."
America's Legacy of Biblical Interpretation (02:39)
In 19th-century America, Protestants split over the Bible's historical accuracy and the degree to which the Bible is inspired by God. Evangelicals and liberal Protestants continue this disagreement today. The Bible is a compendium of 66 books.
Evolution vs. Biblical Creation (02:18)
Many people who accept the biblical account of creation as scientific proof find evolutionism threatening to their religious faith. Every story of creation cross-culturally must be understood in the context of historical conditions in which it came into being.
Biblical Creation Myth (05:04)
In the 6th century B.C.E., the biblical priestly order in Babylonia wrote the creation story as a source of comfort for the homeless Israelites. Instead of a violent creation myth, they wrote of a god greater and more loving than Marduk, the Babylonian god.
Value of Biblical Stories (03:43)
Most people talk about the Bible as a set of stories as opposed to abstract theological principles. The stories become models for how people think about themselves. The parables of Jesus are effective in teaching moral and spiritual guidance.
Moral Imagination and Biblical Parables (02:56)
If the moral imagination conceives of a time or circumstance that is redemptive and good, then one can go from reality as it appears towards that which is better. The moral imagination takes the parables of Jesus and transforms them into a path to goodness.
Spiritual Courage to Seek a Better World (04:19)
The biblical parables of Jesus are not just moral tales. Like the Zen koan, the parables force people out of the confinements of their worldviews into a new light of perception. The Pilgrims demonstrated the courage to seek out a better world.
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