We often think of religion as being centered around a series of beliefs. To be Christian, I must believe in the veracity of the Bible as a literal account of historical events. Doubt, then, is a problem to be dealt with. Understandable for a while, perhaps, but something which must be overcome in order to be in good standing with the faith.
T.K. Coleman offers an alternative approach to Christianity: a Sacramental approach, which focuses not on the belief requirement, but on the personal and transformative aspect of interacting with the Bible and with the faith. To be a Christian is not to have a set of beliefs, but to seek transformative experiences of intimacy with the divine. The literal truth of the Bible is, to an extent, secondary. Doubt becomes an inescapable part of interacting with the faith as a Sacrament. In the end, some stories may well be literally true, says Coleman; others best seen as metaphorical. For the second half of the interview, we discuss at length the metaphysical and epistemic issues surrounding belief in these stories, and in miracles broadly.
Next week: Stephen Read: Liar Paradox
I’ve discussed Christianity before, in my interview with professor Jim Slagle.
0:19 – Intro to TK Coleman
4:30 – TK’s childhood with Christianity
15:11 – The importance of philosophy
27:53 – Doubt
39:55 – Sacramental Christianity
55:33 – Literal veracity of Biblical events
1:07:37 – Metaphorical v. literal interpretations
1:21:40 – Belief in miracles
1:28:18 – Personal experiences and the role of evidence
2:04:05 – Religious pluralism
2:11:40 – Conclusion