What Barton and Copeland get wrong about war and faith

barton and copeland

In this video Kenneth Copeland and David Barton argue that soldiers returning from war should not suffer PTSD or self-condemnation because of their experiences. I know they mean well, but their treatment of the scripture is baffling."Look how many people in Hebrews 11 faith hall of fame are warriors," says Barton."Almost the whole list, man," says Copeland."The whole thing," affirms Barton.But, no, not actually. Here are the individuals listed in Hebrews 11:Abel, not a … [Read more...]

George Orwell and bending the Bible for our own purposes

George Orwell

Florence King once called George Orwell “Every conservative’s favorite liberal and every liberal’s favorite conservative.” Why? Conservatives invoke his critiques of totalitarianism. Progressives appeal to his attacks on reactionary politics. Orwell is easily bent to many ends -- like the Bible.Here's an enlightening quote from a review in The New Statesman:Since whoever we are (save for a few sad Leninists) we all agree with George Orwell, it usually follows that Orwell must agree w … [Read more...]

Read the Bible if you’re going to have an opinion about it

Neil deGrasse Tyson

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has a list of books you should read. His selection concerns works of profound and lasting influence, such as On the Origin of Species and The Wealth of Nations.Topping the list -- not too surprisingly -- is the Bible. But curiously Tyson slanders the book. Why read it? "[T]o learn that it’s easier to be told by others what to think and believe than it is to think for yourself," he says.It reminds me of a comment by Fr. Tom Hopko: If you're going to h … [Read more...]

Why you need the church to read your Bible

'Shady Characters' by Keith Houston

It's easy to bash the church, and there are many that do. Of course most bashers are blithely unaware of the countless things they owe their battered victim, everything from doctrinal formulations they mistakenly assume are plainly explained in the Bible to holidays. What makes December 25 so special, anyway? You'll need to consult the church on that.I grew up around Christians who thought that all they needed for their spiritual life was a Bible. Not all of them, of course. But there … [Read more...]

Cherry picking the Bible? Yes and no

There's been a little dustup recently about people supposedly "cherry picking" the Bible. Holy writ, goes the charge, is the highest authority in all matters, provided we can isolate certain verses and use them to support our predetermined positions.Neale Donald Walsch started the ruckus at the Huffington Post saying that -- surprise, surprise -- people actually do this! In fairness, he invoked another loaded metaphor, the buffet.Thomas Whitley responded for the Associated Baptist Press, … [Read more...]

We are losing our consciousness of the Bible

David Brooks flubbed the Bible, and his June 13 column for the New York Times now bears this correction:An earlier version of this column incorrectly identified the biblical texts in which three figures -- Saul, David and Esther -- appear. Their stories are told in other books of the Jewish Bible, but not in the Torah. The column also incorrectly described a passage from I Corinthians that ends with the statement, “God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” It was wri … [Read more...]

One forgotten Bible study tool every Christian needs

Everyone's got a Bible, or twelve. We've got access to commentaries, dictionaries, and other lexical aids -- any tool you need to dig deep into the original Hebrew. But what about the Greek?No, not the Greek New Testament. The Greek Old Testament. I've mentioned the Septuagint a few times in recent posts, though I've not done much to direct people to any resources for their own study.There are definite reasons for at least consulting the Septuagint in the course of Old Testament study. … [Read more...]


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