The Kingdom of God is Within You
Leo Tolstoy, 1894
Although it’s not an agnostic text per se, The Kingdom of God is Within You is worthy reading for any agnostic Christian due to its highly critical stance of the (Russian Orthodox) Church and its Christ-centred perspective.
Tolstoy’s central thesis is that the primary directive in Christ’s teaching is nonviolence. At that time, the Russian Church was merged with and supportive of the government, which engaged in taxation, warfare, imprisonment, and other non-Christian endeavours. This deeply critical book was banned in Russia and famously influenced Mohandas Gandhi.
The Christian Agnostic
Leslie D. Weatherhead, 1965
In this insightful, eccentric, and little-known book, theologian and minister Leslie D. Weatherhead lays out a foundation for an agnostic approach to Christianity. He questions age-old church doctrines like the Immaculate Conception, and writes extensively on what “true” faith is and how the modern church discourages it.
One of the main focuses of The Christian Agnostic is on intellectual engagement with the Christian faith. Weatherhead is dissatisfied with creeds and statements of faith, believing that they create shallow believers. Faith, Weatherhead believes, is a matter of personal conviction generated by a process of gathering and weighing evidence, not of assent to doctrine.
With or Without God
Gretta Vosper, 2008
The famous “atheist minister” from the Canadian United Church, Gretta Vosper has been a voice for change in Christianity for decades. With or Without God is an exploration of what the church might look like in the future.
The subtitle to this book is “why the way we live is more important than what we believe”, which accurately captures the main thrust of Vosper’s work: that the church needs to focus on just and compassionate living in order to survive.
The Biblical Lecture Series
Jordan B. Peterson, 2017-2018
Dr. Peterson, one of a few professors at the University of Toronto rated as “life-changing”, has extensively studied the psychology of religion for decades and presents the Biblical stories within the context of evolutionary biology, neuroscience, literary analysis, and human psychology.
This agnostic approach to age-old Christian myths illustrates how these stories are some of the earliest attempts to express the nature of being… and what to do about it.
Kathy Escobar, 2014
This book may be a useful read for Christians who are questioning or doubting their faith. Written by a pastor and mentor to countless Christians in difficult situations, Faith Shift draws upon anecdotes and personal stories in order to help people navigate their own faith-based journeys.
Many Christians with serious doubts develop a new relationship with their faith over time. For some Christians, this may mean embracing certain aspects of the faith – the teachings, for example – while rejecting others.