quick preview of my next book, “The Bible Tells Me So” (or, respecting the Bible enough not to defend it)

My next book is coming out at the end of August and the title is The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It

I lobbied for Pete Enns Tells Me So: Why Arguing with Pete Enns Is Futile (by Pete Enns), but the legal team at HarperOne would have none of that (using words like “sales figures,” “stupid,” and “get help”  in their email).

The book is just over 65,000 words long, and I am proud of each and every one of them. All that remains for me now is to arrange them in the right order and make sentences out of them (at which time I will give an exerpt or two).

Until then, here are some of the words that will appear in the book, some more than once.

  • the
  • a
  • Jesus
  • dipwad
  • Alexander Graham Bell
  • New Jersey
  • Kansas
  • Bible
  • Megatron
  • Yankees
  • Balrog
  • God
  • went
  • lawyer
  • iPhone 17
  • tube socks
  • Klingon
  • Red Sox
  • Herman Munster
  • White Russian
  • moron
  • Screen Actors Guild
  • have
  • dagnabbit 
  • Justin Bieber
  • of
  • cagefighting

That’s the first paragraph.

Here is the basic idea of the book:

If we come to the Bible expecting (as so many do) something like a spiritual owner’s manual complete with handy index, a step-by-step field guide to the life of faith, an absolutely sure answer-book to unlock the mystery of God and the meaning of life, we are setting up an expectation the Bible simply is not designed to handle.

The end product is a fragile, nervous faith. Faith like that produces stress, because it has to be tended and defended with 24/7 vigilance in order to survive—like a sickly baby robin in a shoebox. And even with constant tending, it still may not survive.

Is a life of faith in God truly supposed to be this stressful? Is this what God wants for us? I don’t think so. So let’s stop making it that way by setting the Bible up to be something it’s not prepared to be and then anxiously smoothing over the rough parts to make it fit false expectations. The cost is too high.

So here’s my not so radical thought: What if the Bible is just fine the way it is? What if it doesn’t need to be protected from itself? What if it doesn’t need to be bathed and perfumed before going out in public?

And what if God is actually fine with the Bible just as it is? Not the well-behaved version we create, but the messy, troubling, weird, and ancient Bible that we actually have. Maybe this Bible has something to show us about our own sacred journey of faith, and that God wants us to wander off the beach blanket to discover what that is.

A well-behaved Bible isn’t a sure foundation of faith, but a barrier to true faith and deep trust in God. The Bible, just as it is, isn’t a problem to be solved. It’s an invitation to a deeper faith and actually models that faith for us.

I’ll blog more about the book soon–I’ll have the cover design and I’ll give a quick overview of the chapters.

 

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  • Derek

    You might want to re-think that publication:
    “Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.” Jude 1:3.

    • Benjamin

      Derek, you must have mistyped that. It goes “…contend earnestly for the Bible…”, right?

      • Derek

        Right and “the faith”, of course, has nothing to do with the Bible, not to mention Paul’s epistle’s demonstrate an utterly lackadaisical approach to doctrine.
        Just compare Paul the Apostle’s care and concern over doctrine and Scripture with what Dr. Enn’s says above. Its like night and day bro.

  • Jeff M.

    How will this book compare/contrast with Christian Smith’s, “The Bible Made Impossible”? I benefitted greatly from that book.

    • peteenns

      I did too! My book is FAR more popular and deals with specific issues in the Bible.

      • Casey

        YES!!!!! I loved Smiths book but i have an M.Div – and i was thinking from page one – someone needs to make this more accessible! Can’t wait.

        • peteenns

          Though, also, Smith’s book is really a critique of evangelicalism. Mine is more about looking at 5 issues in the Bible that shout loud and clear that the Bible cannot operate as a consistent book of information, rules, whatever.

  • Bob Ramsey

    When I was teaching, I used to point out how uninterested the Bible seemed to be in defending itself or in telling the story of where it came from.

    You can see the second point most easily in the contrast with the two faiths that claim to “fix” the Bible, Islam and Mormonism, which both have extensive stories about the divine origin of their scriptures. The Bible, not so much. In fact, Luke’s prologue is the only extensive place where a biblical author explains how he worked, and Luke tells us that he… did research.

    And to my first point, knowing that religious literature is always contested literature, it’s amazing how much the Bible itself lacks the nervous contentiousness of its contemporary defenders. It simply (gracefully?) assumes its own authority.

    I’m really looking forward to your book.

    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship Censored

      > the two faiths that claim to “fix” the Bible, Islam and Mormonism

      Why did you leave out Christianity itself? Jesus said again and again, “Ye have heard that it was said … but I say unto you.”

      • Bob Ramsey

        By using the term “the Bible” – I meant the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible and the New Testament together. How the NT addresses and builds on the OT is another question that I don’t think is in view here.

      • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

        Holy Cow, Brian. You are everywhere. I think I’m glad for that.

      • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

        “Ye have heard that it was said

        It’s almost as if Jesus were pointing out that there are precursors to outward behaviors, precursors inside a person, in each of our inner lives. In other words: to properly discipline your outward behavior, you must discipline your inward behavior. What in the OT does this “fix”? It’s all there:

        “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. (Deut 6:4-6)

        Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn. (Deut 10:16)

        And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. (Deut 30:6)

        The use of the word heart in ancient Hebrew is complex; here’s the beginning of Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament on heart:

        Concrete meanings of ‏לֵב‎ referred to the internal organ and to analogous physical locations. However, in its abstract meanings, “heart” became the richest biblical term for the totality of man’s inner or immaterial nature. In biblical literature it is the most frequently used term for man’s immaterial personality functions as well as the most inclusive term for them since, in the Bible, virtually every immaterial function of man is attributed to the “heart.”

        • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship Censored

          Are you or are you not still following Mosaic law?

          • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

            I am a member of the New Covenant:

            “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (Jeremiah 31:31-34)

            “Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came. And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Lord GOD, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes. I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. And I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. And I will summon the grain and make it abundant and lay no famine upon you. I will make the fruit of the tree and the increase of the field abundant, that you may never again suffer the disgrace of famine among the nations. Then you will remember your evil ways, and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves for your iniquities and your abominations. It is not for your sake that I will act, declares the Lord GOD; let that be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel. (Ezekiel 36:22-32)

            Members of the New Covenant are not under man-made law, but God-made Law. Sin is lawlessness, but not-lawlessness is not legalism. Now we can understand:

            “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. (1 Corinthians 10:23-24)

            Paul notes that things which do not build up and things which do not contribute to the good of one’s neighbor ≥ one’s own good fall short of God’s Law.

            At most, the Mosaic law was an approximation of Law, sort of like F = ma was an approximation of General Relativity. I believe we still thing it’s terrible to murder. We don’t worry so much about cloth made of two fabrics or eating swine.

          • Ross

            Luke. These are very moving and powerful words. I’m just wondering here, how you may read and interpret “house of Israel”. Particularly in regards modern concepts and definitions of what “Israel” may now mean.

            Maybe also any thoughts with the original covenant being on the day he took them by the hand out of Egypt, is that the same as giving the Law at Sinai?

          • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

            Thanks. :-) I take Israel to mean a spiritual Israel, along with Paul in Romans. I think ancient Israel was meant to become spiritual; the people rejected this in Deut 5, not wanting direct contact with God. To examine this metaphor more, we could see the naturalization guidelines for foreigners in ancient Israel. We can note that they weren’t allowed to bring their pagan practices into Israel. Likewise, we cannot bring our sinful hearts and attitudes into the Kingdom of Heaven without the Kingdom starting to crumble. Either the Kingdom sanctifies our hearts, or our hearts corrupt the Kingdom, driving it from our presence.

          • Ross

            Thanks :-)

          • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship Censored

            Sounds like the new covenant “fixed” the Bible’s old one.

          • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

            Yep, because there is no heart in Deuteronomy…

          • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship Censored

            Then we’re in agreement that the two faiths that claim to “fix” the Bible, Islam and Mormonism [Bob Ramsey] are actually three faiths, including Christianity itself.

            I do concur that Mosaic law has no heart. The whole Old Testament tends to be “degrading and injurious,” “irreconcilable with the sound dictates of reason and morality,” and “repulsive and anti-social,” as Jefferson put it.

            “II. Jews. I. Their system was Deism; that is, the belief in one only God. But their ideas of Him and of his attributes were degrading and injurious.

            “2. Their ethics were not only imperfect, but often irreconcilable with the sound dictates of reason and morality, as they respect intercourse with those around us; and repulsive and anti-social, as respecting other nations. They needed reformation, therefore, in an eminent degree.

            “III. Jesus. In this state of things among the Jews, Jesus appeared. His parentage was obscure; his condition poor; his education null; his natural endowments great; his life correct and innocent: he was meek, benevolent, patient, firm, disinterested, and of the sublimest eloquence.

            Thomas Jefferson, letter to Doctor Benjamin Rush, April 21, 1803 from Washington D.C.
            deism.com/jeffersonversusrobertson.htm

          • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

            No, we do not agree; we are not in agreement. I do not think you have listened to me; you have ignored anything and everything that does not fit with your preconceived notions. When you look at the OT, you see mostly blackness.

            “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

          • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship Censored

            Myself: Sounds like the new covenant “fixed” the Bible’s old one.
            You: Yep, because there is no heart in Deuteronomy…

            So “yep” now means “no agreement” and I’ve “ignored” you?

            I’ve got to ask: what does “yep” mean to you?

            And what is the difference between “mostly blackness,” and “no heart” to you? Why don’t you apply condemnation verses to your own dark views of the OT? Mote, beam, and all that.

          • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

            I quoted verses in Deuteronomy to you which included heart, so the “yep” was blatant sarcasm. That you did not see it indicates to me that you aren’t really reading my posts all that well, except to pick out bits that you agree with and disagree with, as if your judgment of good vs. bad/evil is perfect.

            As to why I don’t condemn, see here:

            How do you know that these verses aren’t your example of ‘irreducible complexity’? Why must I explain every single verse, or join you in rejecting it as evil? You seem to want me to make this binary choice, instead of admitting some of the time, “I don’t know.”

          • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship Censored

            Blatant sarcasm? And now I get blamed for your inability to communicate in an open and honest way? What a fellow can’t learn from evangelical behavior.

          • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

            Sarcasm has its uses. You just don’t like that you were exposed by it. You ignored the instances of heart in Deuteronomy, because your model of the OT does not allow Deuteronomy to talk about heart in meaningful ways. That doesn’t fit with your picture, and you believe your picture to be more likely correct than the evidence. What am I to do with this?

    • peteenns

      Although Luke’s research produced a creative–somewhat midrashic–take on Jesus, which is a point that is often difficult to get across to some.

  • Matt Jacobs

    I’ve encountered too many who seem to have made the Bible into an idol. They try to make increasingly ridiculous connections to aspects of the world it was clearly never intended to address, and avoid any difficulties whatsoever. As I’ve sometimes tried to explain it: the Bible points us to God, and tells us about Him and what He’s done, but the Bible is not God.

    • Ross

      Amen to that!

  • Ryan Hite

    Christians have misinterpreted the story and purpose of Jesus almost as soon as it became popular (or legal) because they wanted control. The bible is a little more authentic if we are able to apply it to our individual lives in such a way that makes it true for us.

  • rvs

    The dude drank White Russians in The Big Lebowski. This fact may or may not be relevant, I realize.

    • peteenns

      Are you saying I’m the Dude?

  • Ross

    Another book! I’ve only just bought the Adam one. Slow down already, there’s only so much time and money okay!

    • peteenns

      No. You hurry up and read.

  • toddh

    I really enjoyed Roncace’s Raw Revelation (which I learned about here). How will it compare to that one?

    • peteenns

      I think mine is more focused on just 5 issues, which allows me to go into more depth (but without losing broad, popular audience).

  • SirThinkALot

    You know I’m going to buy your book just to see how you use the words “Balrog” “Klingon” and “screen actors guld” in a book about biblical interpretation

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      I’m the guy who’s seen more Biblical parallels and echoes in certain My Little Pony fanfics — and they’re better handled that anything I’ve heard of in Official Christianese fiction.

  • http://labreuer.wordpress.com Luke Breuer

    A well-behaved Bible

    This reminds me of A Brief Word Study on Skuvbalon, where the author, well-known Daniel B. Wallace, argues that the word often translated ‘dung’ or ‘garbage’ in Philippians 3:8 ought to be so-mistranslated:

    In Phil 3:8, the best translation of σκύβαλα seems clearly to be from the first group of definitions. The term conveys both revulsion and worthlessness in this context. In hellenistic Greek it seems to stand somewhere between “crap” and “s**t.” However, due to English sensibilities, and considering the readership (Christians), a softer term such as “dung” is most appropriate. The NET Bible, along with a few other translations, grasp the connotations here, while most modern translations only see the term as implying worthlessness. But Paul’s view of his former life is odious to him, as ours should be to us. The best translation, therefore, is one that picks up both worthlessness and revulsion, and probably a certain shock value.

    Translation: I will translate the Bible according to my view of how the world ought to be. Over here, I argue that this leads to judgment by appearances and a failure to understand that language can build up and destroy regardless of whether you use four letters words or not. The focus on four letter words is a complete and utter misdirection, away from discerning the heart of what is spoken. It provides surface-judging Christians an easy way to dismiss someone: if they don’t speak pretty, they must be ugly inside and sinful. Terrible stuff!

  • http://timebottle.weebly.com/ Beau Quilter

    I reeeallly hope that “dipwad” is one of the words that appears multiple times.

  • Ross

    The point I’m at now, having walked out on the inerrantists a while back, is still reading the bible, with some help from various sources. Generally I have found reading the bible in its entirety over and over again has been very helpful. It took me about 10 years of this to be in a position of being able to read it, so the last 20 years have been getting to know it better.

    I’m not particularly convinced of it’s sufficiency in and of its-self, so extra biblical help in terms of books on theology, reading aids, lives of others, talking to people, listening to sermons etc all add to the mix and I’m definitely getting some glimmers of what it’s all about.

    Throw into the mix, the conclusions of non-inerrancy, I’m now being confronted with what to make of a non-historic Adam (the books in the post, thanks Dr Enns) David as a hazy metaphor etc, this is a bit of scariness and unsurety for me. It’ll soon be time to revisit Genesis and a lot of water has flowed since the last time.

    This time I think I’ll be approaching the bit up to the expulsion from Eden “imaginatively”, thinking of Adam as an “everyman” and me, considering the position of being out in a dark world, looking for the light that draws me back to God. Jesus here I think is the point where I will be meeting God in person for the first time since the garden.

    Not sure how that’ll go, I wonder how I might fit Justin Bieber in, as a White Russian, Klingon from New Jersey, who is a dipwad lawyer moron for the Screen Actors Guild maybe?

    • peteenns

      That’s a great opening sentence at the end there, Ross. Mind if I steal it?

      • Ross

        feel free, what’s mine is yours and yours is yours (as I say to the beloved wife!…not).

    • http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/ Lotharson

      “I’m not particularly convinced of it’s sufficiency in and of its-self,
      so extra biblical help in terms of books on theology, reading aids,
      lives of others, talking to people, listening to sermons etc all add to
      the mix and I’m definitely getting some glimmers of what it’s all about.”

      Hello Ross.

      If you read my comment above, this is exactly what I pointed out:

      http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/on-the-inspiration-of-the-bible-and-other-books-von-der-interpretation-der-bibel-und-anderen-buchern/

      Cheers.

      • Ross

        I was just generally tossing round a few ideas there not making any major concrete statements, thanks for listening. I did miss out the Holy Spirit in my “extra biblical help”, by forgetting not purpose, as He is probably the greatest help but recognised less. Not sure about my confidence in his help and how to balance that with my confidence in me:-0.

        There can be a big problem with the fundamentalist atheists, though “don’t ask me I don’t know” is often the best answer, even if it get’s derided. “Yes there is a God and the World is a very dark place”. Not sure how much lighter it gets if you take God out of the equation!?!

        • http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/ Lotharson

          Militant atheists are most often former religious fundamentalists and they have the same kind of bigoted mentality.

          http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/the-link-between-religious-fundamentalism-and-militant-atheism/

          Otherwise, would it be possible perhaps to correspond a bit privately?
          My email is lotharson57@gmail.com

          On my blog I am striving for a nice and respectful conversation between all types of people about theology and philosophy.

          I am seeking for intelligent Christians and you seem to be an excellent candidate :-)

          Lovely greetings from Europe.

          • Ross

            Thanks for the reply, email sent.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy

            Militant atheists are most often former religious fundamentalists and they have the same kind of bigoted mentality
            -
            Like the phenomenon of pathological haters hanging around various odd fandoms, they are just as passionate and zealous as the drooling fanboys they so hate, just flipped one-eighty from Total Blind Adoration to Total Blind Hatred.
            -
            Communism begets Objectivism.

  • Just Sayin’

    You’re torturing me by the fact that this won’t be available until late August/early September!

    • peteenns

      It’s what I do.

      • Just Sayin’

        I see that Iain Provan’s new tome Seriously Dangerous Religion is just about to hit bookstore shelves. I await with baited breath your review of it.

        Seriously, PLEASE review it.

        Make that PRETTY PLEASE!

        • peteenns

          I will look out for it. I know Iain and like what he does.

          • Just Sayin’

            Thank you.

  • http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/ Lotharson

    This seems to be a book worth being read by everyone, especially fundamentalists.

    “And what if God is actually fine with the Bible just as it is? Not the well-behaved version we create, but the messy, troubling, weird, and ancient Bible that we actually have. Maybe this Bible has something to show us about our own sacred journey of faith, and that God wants us to wander off the beach blanket to discover what that is.

    A well-behaved Bible isn’t a sure foundation of faith, but a barrier to true faith and deep trust in God. The Bible, just as it is, isn’t a problem to be solved. It’s an invitation to a deeper faith and actually models that faith for us.”

    I mostly agree with this but would go much farther.
    The results of critical scholarship showing the Bible to be quite messy are a formidable challenge for Evangelicalism and its doctrine of “Solo Scriptura” and make it extremely hard to single it out as our unique foundation.

    I really think we should view the Bible as an important part of the Judeo-Christian tradition instead of the ground of everything.

    If we don’t, we are extremely vulnerable against the objections of the New Atheists who very aggressively ask why God included genocidal stuff in a book which He intended as the unique foundation of the only true religion.

  • scott caulley

    you had me after the first paragraph. Looking forward to it. Although I’m fortunate that they don’t listen (and so apparently don’t repeat what I say to their pastors or parents), I tell my students that if they don’t want their faith to collapse like a house of cards, they need to not build it like a house of cards….. btw, Amazon’s author bio needs updating, unless I’m really mistaken.

  • Raborn Johnson

    This sounds like some possible podcast fodder for the Beyond the Box podcast again, Pete. What say you? http://www.beyondtheboxpodcast.com

    • peteenns

      Sure, when we get closer to the release date!

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    If we come to the Bible expecting (as so many do) something like a
    spiritual owner’s manual complete with handy index, a step-by-step field
    guide to the life of faith, an absolutely sure answer-book to unlock
    the mystery of God and the meaning of life, we are setting up an
    expectation the Bible simply is not designed to handle.

    -
    Chaplain Mike over at Internet Monk has commented that this was fallout from the Age of Reason and Industrial Revolution; the Bible became a “spiritual engineering manual”, a checklist of FACT FACT FACT instead of the Old, Old Stories.
    -
    You see this in Dispensationalism and End Time Prophecy checklists; Dispy was an attempt to reconcile apparent discrepancies by splitting them around into various “Dispensations”. Taking every word as exact face value. Check, check, check, Fact, fact, fact.
    -
    “When you point at something with your finger, the dog sniffs your finger. To a dog, a finger is a finger and that is that.” — C.S.Lewis
    -

    And what if God is actually fine with the Bible just as it
    is? Not the well-behaved version we create, but the messy, troubling,
    weird, and ancient Bible that we actually have.

    -
    Unlike all the Uber-Spiritual Uber-Christains, my life and reality IS messy, troubling, and weird.

  • Dianna

    Sounds amazing, and can’t wait to read this, Peter. I’ve only this past fortnight heard of you and immediately bought your “The Evolution of Adam”. which I have just started reading. Having been pumped with YEC fundamentalist thinking for over forty years, my new (retired) interest and love for archaeology in the past 5 years began to create a problem in my YEC brainwashing which I had never anticipated.
    I have in the past year or so wanted to throw in the towel with my Christian faith, but thank my son, Steve for introducing me to BioLogos and your site here.
    West Sussex, UK

  • James M

    “The Balrog went and [killed] Justin Bieber [by] cage-fighting, dagnabbit”. Makes sense to me.

    I knew Balrogs were in the Bible. The description of Leviathan in Job could be used as “proof” that Job was familiar with Balrogs – doubtless he had scaled the Misty Mountains at some point. Why stop at positing the in-Bible presence of dinos ? The references to “dragons” are obviously prophecies of Harry Potter. On Fundamentalist logic (of a certain sort) – why not ? The problem with that kind of logic is that it uses prediction & God’s Power as an infinite “lucky bag”, out of which anything can come – plausibility (& much more) is ignored. “God can” produce Balrogs, if the Bible can be tortured into saying He has done so – therefore, Balrogs exist.
    Fundamentalists ought to test their doctrine by trying it out on some other text, and asking the same sort of questions: different book, same MO. If treating the Lord of the Rings (say) in that way makes nonsense of it – maybe the same holds for the Bible.

    “”When you point at something with your finger, the dog sniffs your
    finger. To a dog, a finger is a finger and that is that.” — C.S.Lewis”

    ## Cats are just the same – they look at what points, not at what is pointed to. So it’s just as well none of them are preachers.

    Might I suggest a further title for a book ? How about “A Balrog Looks at the Bible”, as an introduction to it ?


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