"We should not let the theologians have the word faith. We should not give it to them. We should not give them the word hope, or other words like grace or even prayer. They don’t belong to the theologians; they belong to us. They are part of the furniture of human existence, part of the structure of human existence...Don’t give religion to the theologians. Don’t let them have it. It’s not theirs. They don’t get to build their fence around it. You have to keep the police away from literature, and keep them away from religious questions, too.
Religious authorities are terrified of genuinely thinking about religion in a deep and probing way, because they know that will expose all the uncertainty in religion and the fact that nobody knows just what’s going on. The stronger and the louder you shout your confessional faith, from my point of view, the more insecure you prove yourself to be...
Paul was a great theologian, had a great imagination. So he supplied them with a story to cover the fact that the End Time didn’t come."
Some interesting comments from John Caputo, taken from an interview over at Common Atheism.