Karen Armstrong writes about multiple faiths in her bestselling books, including Muhammad, A History of God, Buddha, The Battle for God, and The Great Transformation. In her critical studies and the memoirs Through the Narrow Gate and The Spiral Staircase, Armstrong's perspective is based on compassion instead of reduction.
"It doesn't really matter what you believe as long as it leads you to practical compassion," Armstrong has said.
Her most recent book is The Bible: A Biography, a brief study of the sacred text and the centuries of biblical interpretation.
I found the discussion of getting off the treadmill of beliefs to be very provocative. Additionally, I like Armstrong's attitude toward finding answers from stringing together random texts. When you think about the lists of abstracted verses or even sentence fragments that some folks base their beliefs on and you compare that to the history of Jewish interpretation and early Christian story-telling, it becomes clear that we need to rethink our mainstream communication of hermeneutics.
Furthermore, I agree with Alan Jones's point about how both literalism and some criticism have ruined the Bible for most of us. There some good truth here for Adventists, I hope we can present this truth. Listen for those great Augustine quotes.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/393