It is a little difficult for me to describe what I believed after I gave up on my view that the Bible was the inerrant revelation from God with no mistakes in it whatsoever. In part that is because there was a long transition period, and over time my beliefs evolved as I studied more, talked with friends and colleagues more, encountered more ideas, thought more.
I was in the perfect situation for this kind of study and reflection. I was already a PhD student at Princeton Theological Seminary and I was literally surrounded by people who spent most of their days, every day, reading, studying, talking, and thinking about the Christian faith from both a personal and an academic perspective. I spent every day for lunch with people doing research and thinking about the Christian faith. Every day I read significant books and articles on everything having to do with ancient Christianity. Every day I had conversations about religious topics – mainly about the academic study of the New Testament and early Christianity, but also about personal faith issues. This went on for years. From the time I started Princeton Seminary to the time I finished it was seven years altogether. Seven years of this.
I know now that this was an extraordinarily unusual experience. Most people of course have nothing like it. And for me,
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