Those of you who believe in the power of prayer should pray for Mark Driscoll. Most of you have probably heard of him, as he is quite infamous. Not only does he regularly refer to a Bible he doesn’t believe in and set himself up as the representative of a God he seems not to know, but he also tweets things that show this to be the case. Here is an example of the result from earlier today:
If Driscoll thinks that Obama doesn’t believe the Bible but he does, then Driscoll clearly has not read the Bible in full or carefully. I am sure that president Obama doesn’t believe the entire Bible, because no one who has read the whole thing carefully could do so, not only because it says things that no one today can accept, but also because its contents include different authors saying different things. But president Obama has shown himself to be aware of such issues related to the Bible’s diverse contents, and inspired by some of its core principles – even if also failing to live up to others of them, as we all do.
And so Driscoll’s tweet simply highlights the sad truth, namely that those who are most likely to accuse others of disregarding the Bible, with an implicit or explicit contrast with themselves, can only be those who are profoundly unfamiliar with the Bible’s contents. And yet so many Christians who share that unfamiliarity with the Bible follow after those who praise the Bible and denounce others based on their own ignorance of its multifaceted contents.
I had the privilege of listening to most of the presidential inaugural address live while watching it on a big screen at the Indiana History Center. I was impressed by the vision for progress, the clarity, the stand for equality, the appeal to core historic shared principles as a basis for that stand, and the passion with which president Obama appealed to the American public as part of “we the people,” calling on us to overcome obstacles and seek to do away with persistent injustice and inequality to the extent that we can. The challenge remains how to win over to a commitment to equality, love, respect, and consideration those who resist those things, the most disturbing and offensive of which, for me, are those who use a selective appeal to the Bible to justify selfishness, bigotry, racism and a variety of other things.
If you didn’t hear it, here’s the video: