Go Sell, Then Tell

I think that it should be a principled stance of educated Christians that we only take seriously someone’s claim to be a “Biblical literalist” when we are dealing with those who have sold all they have and have given it to the poor. Those words are found in the Bible and are as plain as day. Only those who consider it relevant to consider a broader range of passages and applications, contexts and considerations, can conclude that that does not apply to them if they consider themself a disciple of Jesus. And if they are willing to proceed in this way in that case, then to be consistent they cannot simply say “The Bible says…” and quote a single verse, or even a small number of verses, in relation to other issues. Because what is needed to determine “what the Bible says” is not a verse or a selection of verses, but a detailed study, and perhaps above all else, a conversation. And if they aren’t willing to have that conversation about some issue or other, then they need to figure out why. But I can tell you that “because it’s what the Bible says” will not, in the end, be the underlying reason.

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