Religion replaces sex on the Banned Book list

Last week was Banned Books Week, the American Library Association’s tribute to books they get complaints about.  Now this observance is essentially bogus.  None of the current books they list every year have actually been banned.  Complaints are not the same as censorship.  Libraries have a certain budget and select what books they want to purchase.  The closest thing to censorship would be if librarians refuse to buy, say, conservative books or Christian books because they don’t agree with them and so prevent their patrons from reading them.

Nevertheless, it’s telling to see what books make the “Banned Book” lists, which are sort of a bellwether of the hot button issues from year to year.

Previously, most of the “banned books” raised objections because they contained sex scenes that parents considered unsuitable for children.  But this year, five of the ten most “banned” books drew objections because of their religious perspective.

Number 6 on the list is the Bible.  Secularists are wanting it to be banned because of its violence, intolerance, and because they think having it in a school or public library violates the separation of church and state.

Of the other titles that draw objections for religious reasons, they aren’t so Christian friendly:  one is pro-Islam, one promotes atheism, and the other two deal with LGBT issues and are probably critical of conservative religion. Most of the other titles that raised objections had gay and transgender themes.

But those are the flash points today:  LGBT and religion. [Read more…]

The world’s favorite Bible verses

The Bible app You Version has some 200 million users from all over the world. Christianity Today has a story on which verses are the most “bookmarked, shared, highlighted, and listened to” in the 10 countries where You Version is most popular.  See which ones they are after the jump. [Read more…]

Scripture alone vs. Scripture by ourselves

Canadian Lutheran Mathew Block discusses the study that shows how common ancient heresies are among American evangelicals.  He blames a confusion over the meaning of “sola Scriptura,”  which does NOT mean that we can interpret the Bible anyway we want.  “Scripture alone” does not mean the same as “Scripture by ourselves.” [Read more…]

What the LCMS believes about the Bible

We blogged about the Brief Statement of the Doctrinal Position of the LCMS.  President Harrison has now posted an excerpt from the Statement of Biblical and Confessional Principles, passed by convention in 1973, in response to the church schism over the inerrancy of Scripture.  But that’s not all the statement affirms, setting off the Lutheran view also from that of some other theologies, including those that also affirm inerrancy. [Read more…]

What the Bible is all about

On Sunday we read the entire Passion narrative from Matthew 26-27.  Read what our pastor said about it in a sermon that contains the “God  who didn’t act like a God” bit that I blogged about yesterday.  From Rev. James Douthwaite, St. Athanasius Lutheran Church: Palm / Passion Sunday Sermon:

You just heard the story that all the Bible is about. This is not just part of the story, this is what it’s all about. Take this story out and the Bible is just another holy book – teaching us what to do and how to be good. But with this story, the Bible becomes a wholly different book, and everything in it gains new meaning. Everything in the Bible must be understood through the lens of this story, or not be understood at all. [Read more…]

The Bible TV show

The Bible on the History Channel is a smash hit, even though most critics hate it.  The mini-series reportedly takes a reverent stance towards its source material.  I have not seen it.  Have you?  How is it?  (After the jump, a critic of the Hollywood scene discusses the show.) [Read more…]