Common Sense Christianity by C. Randolph Ross
C. Randolph Ross has a degree in analytic philosophy from the University of Virginia and has spent time in theological studies at Yale Divinity School. After seminary he has served full time in a United Methodist parish in upstate New York for five years, then spent part time work in churches while holding down secular administrative work spending ten years wrestling on the issues which have produced this book. Published by Occam Publishers, Cortland, New York, 1989, copyright by C. Randolph Ross. Used by permission. This material was prepared for Religion Online by Ted and Winnie Brock.
In these first four chapters we lay the groundwork. In Chapter One we demonstrate how our common sense has changed over the years.
In Chapter Two we look at why we cannot simply assert the truth of the Bible over our modern common sense and show that Biblical literalism/inerrancy is an approach to the Scriptures that is acceptable neither to our reason nor to our faith.
In Chapter Three we examine the question of whether we can conceive of God as going "zap" -- intervening in the physical processes of the world in particular instances. This forces us to confront the problem of suffering, for this is where this question matters the most. We conclude that neither our reason nor our faith in a loving God can allow us to conceive of God as acting in this way.
In Chapter Four we consider different ways of "explaining" miracles, but point out that miracles are in fact not religiously significant -- a point apparently recognized by Jesus himself.
With this preparation, in Part Two we then proceed to address traditional Christian doctrine.