I believe it’s important to make the church as a whole aware of materials being written by professing Christians that compromise the authority of the Word of God. This latest publication seeks to help Christians reconcile Scripture with controversial issues such as the idea of evolution, homosexual behavior, and salvation in other religions. The very title says a lot about the book’s message! Written by a pastor, this book is another example of how even the church is at fault for the attack on the authority of God’s Word.
Martin Thielen, the senior pastor of Brentwood United Methodist Church in Brentwood, Tennessee, has written a new book titled What’s the Least I Can Believe and Still Be a Christian?
Pastor Thielen says in the preface that he will list 10 things Christians do not need to believe (what he calls “closed-minded faith”) and then 10 things Christians do need to believe, which he summarizes, “They need to believe in Jesus—his life, teachings, example, death, and resurrection.” Pastor Thielen encourages churches to use his book for small group Bible studies, and indeed there are some churches doing just that. He’s even made the study leader’s guide
Pastor Thielen hits on creationism early in his book, writing that while he respects creationists, creationism “has scientific problems. It denies virtually every branch of science” (p. 16). He continues, “Not only does this literalist approach have scientific problems; it also has biblical problems. Contrary to what this view teaches, the Bible is not a science book” (p. 16). Pastor Thielen’s bottom line? “Theistic evolution is a perfectly acceptable Christian belief” (p. 18). He even states his own position:
Yes, I believe in creationism. And yes, I believe in evolution. I believe God created the world, but I believe God created through evolution. (p. 17)