I am a Christian and ordained minister. I am also a heretic in the sense of the Gnostics. I believe it is always fair to question one's faith and beliefs. I hope there are other Christians who will say so as well. I am a recently retired Presbyterian minister, having two Degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary, one for ordination, the second, an academic Masters Degree. Having served my last church in Colorado (USA) for 30 years, I honorably retired to pursue my passion for early Christianity and particularly the Gnostics, given that name by the church, and their response to Jesus. An Independent Scholar, I seriously study all things "gnostic." I am dedicated to the church and Christ. I am gnostic in my faith as a Christian, which means in more modern terms, that I am a "Seeking Christian," and that is how I identify myself. I am a Christian -- not a Gnostic, and as a seeker, I believe there are many paths for authentic faith. Thus the title of my Newsletter is "Seeking Christians Newsletter." Rev. Larry Angus
Like many parts of the Bible, the Gnostic books are challenging reading. The best introduction would be The Gnostic Gospels, by Elaine Pagels, a Professor at Princeton University. She has written several outstanding books that the layperson can understand. Instead of "right belief" as she teaches in her wonderful best selling (2003) book, Beyond Belief, these Gnostic scriptures "preach" God is found primarily within oneself, not in the externals like doctrines, creeds, bishops, priests, and church proclamations.
For example, the Gospel of Thomas suggests the intent of Jesus was not a church, which had exclusive truths, but a spiritual relationship open to all. The Gospel of Mary (ascribed to Mary Magdalene) shows total openness to women. (Read The Da Vinci Code!) The Gospel of Philip challenges some questionable doctrines.
Not denying the validity of the New Testament writings, the authentic Gnostic scriptures lift up a different way to be Christian. It is more about relationship than beliefs.
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Also another source to learn more is found in the book described next, The Hidden Messages of Jesus, which many have found very inspiring and helpful --