What’s the Least I Can Believe and Still Be a Christian?: A Guide to What Matters Most
by Martin Thielen
Martin Thielen, a senior pastor at Lebanon First United Methodist Church in Lebanon, Tennessee, is widely recognized as a national worship and preaching consultant, seminary teacher, and author. In his latest book, Thielen tackles the title question with his best effort to provide a comprehensive answer. The book is divided into two parts, each focusing on distinct aspects of Christian beliefs.
Part I of the book presents a list of ten things that Thielen believes Christians don't need to believe. These include notions such as "Everything in the Bible Should Be Taken Literally" and "Good Christians Don't Doubt." By debunking these commonly held misconceptions, Thielen aims to challenge rigid interpretations of scripture and encourage a more nuanced understanding of faith.
Part II of the book offers a contrasting list of ten things that Thielen asserts Christians do need to believe. These essential beliefs revolve around the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. By emphasizing the importance of these core tenets, Thielen underscores their capacity to provide meaningful and hopeful answers to life's profound questions.
It is worth noting that Thielen's book specifically addresses moderate Christianity, presenting a perspective that is accessible and easily comprehensible. The author aims to distance his message from the judgmental, strident, and narrow-minded version of Christianity associated with the religious right. In doing so, Thielen seeks to promote a more inclusive and compassionate understanding of the faith, encouraging readers to explore the depths of their beliefs and engage with Christianity in a thoughtful and open-minded manner.
This post was orignally published in the May 2023 of the Lighted Cross. Please use the links below to view the full newsletter.