Bible Bunker

This is yet another provocative cartoon by David Hayward. What is your impression of it?

Sabio Lantz suggests taking it even further, that liberal Christians use Christian identity in the same way. I'm not persuaded, but see what he wrote and then let me know what you think.

But I can imagine fundamentalists saying that what is depicted in the cartoon is a good thing – just taking the “whole armor of God” to the next level. How would you respond to that?

 

  • prophetsandpopstars

    It’s strange how we think of the Bible as something to “use.” This cartoon makes it clear that neither progressives or conservatives belong inside the Bible bunker. The Bible is supposed to get inside us. It’s the original bunker buster.

    • joriss

      You have to get into the bible to get the bible inside you.
      You have to get into Jesus and his words to have Jesus inside you. The word of God is the sword of the Spirit, Paul says. What word he is talking about? What is this word of God?

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

        Just out of curiosity, what leads you to think that the reference is not to actual divine speech (although that is itself a metaphor, unless you think God has vocal cords), but instead to human writings such as those which would, after Paul’s time, be consider part of a collection known as the Bible?

        • joriss

          “…what leads you to think that the reference is not to actual divine speech….but instead to human writings….. known as the Bible?”

          I can’t separate actual divine speech from divine speech in the bible, which is in many ways actual. When the God speaks directly to someone e.g. to Ananeas that he should go to Paul, to lay his hands on him, that he might see, it is the word of God. It can happen nowadays as well.
          When I read in the Bible the words of Jesus to come to Him and find rest for my soul in his meekness and humbleness, it is the word of God. I thank God I can find these words of Him in the Bible! How could we have remembered his words, if they had not been written? So this separation is, in my opinion, artificial.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

            But why would you treat as “the Word of God” letters to which Paul signed his name?

            • jaap

              Paul preaches the gospel, which is the word of God. Does it matter if he speaks in the air or with pen and ink? Of course he had to sign, that they could be sure the letters came from him. Also false letters were sent to the churches which caused unrest.

              • joriss

                sorry jaap =joriss

                • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

                  OK, so a letter that was received could in theory be false. And so evaluating the authenticity of letters is appropriate, is it not? Or is doing so only appropriate, in your view, when it supports the letters you want to view as authentic and not more or fewer?

                  Be that as it may, you still have not explained how you get from Paul proclaiming the Gospel, which is the Word of God, to everything Paul writes in his letters to churches being the Word of God. If you proclaim the Gospel today, does that make your letters some sort of special divine revelation? There seem to be steps missing from your argument.

                  • joriss

                    Sorry James, I didn’t know you had responded to my latest comment yet.

                    “If you proclaim the Gospel today, does that make your letters some sort of special divine revelation? There seem to be steps missing from your argument.”

                    Well, I am not specially chosen and set apart by God to explain the Gospel to the gentiles as Paul was. In Romans he is explaining how we are reconciled with God by grace through the blood of Jesus, not by works. Isn’t that the very Gospel? In the same letter he tells us how we can live as sons of God, if we not only have the Spirit, but also live through the Spirit. Isn’t that explaining how the Gospel works and how we can stand in the freedom God has provided for us in Christ? These are things Paul has preached to the world and now he writes it in a letter. It is the same Gospel, whether it is spoken or written. You can say the same about the letter to the Ephesians which tells us that the wall is broken down between jews and gentiles and how we are chosen in Christ before the world was there.Of course this is Gospel, so how could this NOT be the Word of God? Every letter of Paul reveals other aspects of the Gospel and how it should work in our lives. We would have forgotten this a long time ago if it had not been written down.
                    So if the Gospel is at the core of your heart, there is always a source that supplies us again with that Gospel and we need it and have to be sure it is the very Word of God, so that we can rely on it.

  • http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/ Lothar Lorraine

    I’d say that the whole building is unstable and should (logically speaking) collapse several seconds after its construction.

    This the case due to the numerous contradictions it contains.

    Fundamentalists generally pick and choose the verses they like while completely distorting the meaning of other verses saying the contrary.

    What is worse, they even say that their contrived, distorted interpretation of these verses is the only correct one.

    According to the verses one cherry-picks, many different Bible bunkers are possible and do exist.

    And when they’re not firing on godless liberals, the bunkers are fighting each other. In many respects, bad exegesis is one of their best ammunition, for this prevent many parts of the building to crumble.

    James, have you already visited such buildings and would you confirm my impression?

    Lothar’s son – Lothars Sohn

    http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      I haven’t merely visited such a building, but have attempted to reside in it. Your point about the selective use of the Bible by fundamentalists is a good one. The very things they use to construct their bunker contain bunker-busting materials that, when noticed, will eat away at the bunker.

      (I am trying to stick with the same metaphor…)

    • Robert Orlando

      More troubling to me than living in bunkers – we all do – is the unawareness that we do. I’m hoping my film (apolitebribe.com) will penetrate the hardened surface, by exploring the human drama at the birth of Christianity. Showing, how even these divine stories are made from a series of well intentioned improvisations. But so far, I have needed to cross through enemy fire (love the metaphor) holding a white flag, wearing a shirt saying “truce” or “I’m not bad intentioned.” As one who has lived on both sides of the faith and scholarship issue, it is never an easy road. Fundamentalism, aside from the word’s original historical meaning, today is not about intellectual questions of the bible, but psychological questions about assurance. The bunker allows us to block out the rest.

      • http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/ Lothar Lorraine

        Hello Robert, thanks for your answer and your short testimony!

        I’ll definitely check out your film as soon as it is available in Europe.

        I’m myself writing a fantasy novel taking place in a modern world and which will touch the issues of God, Scriptures and inspiration.

        “Fundamentalism, aside from the word’s original historical meaning, today
        is not about intellectual questions of the bible, but psychological
        questions about assurance.”

        It’s obviously true but you know, nowadays there is a atheistic fundamentalism called the New Atheism which works in pretty much the same way.

        I’m neither a liberal nor a conservative as I explain here:

        https://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/on-the-definition-and-meaningfulness-of-progressive-christianity/

        I’m currently searching for critical and challenging comments from liberal Christians on my blog and provided you’ve the time, you are more than welcome to write there on anything you’ve interest for.

        I believe we desperately need, nowadays, people promoting openess and dialog instead of sending bullets from their own ivory towers.

        Lothar’s son – Lothars Sohn

        http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/

  • http://triangulations.wordpress.com/ Sabio Lantz

    @ James,
    Well, we know you aren’t persuaded, but you don’t offer us one bit of evidence why or why not — here or on my post. Odd.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      Sorry for not elaborating. It just isn’t clear to me that Christian identity serves as a bunker for liberal Christians. If anything, we tend to be accused of playing fast and loose with Christian identity and tenets, rather than taking shelter in them. And so it isn’t clear how the cartoon could apply. I suppose in some contexts you could argue that the label works like the blood of the Passover lamb. It aims at keeping attacks away or something like that. Except that again, it seems like choosing the Christian label as a non-conservative Christian, at least in certain contexts, gets one more attacks rather than fewer, even if they are a different sort than conservatives get.


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