The start of a new year brings us a wide variety of read-through-the-Bible-in-a-year plans. Some of these are more sophisticated than others, but ultimately all such checklist approaches boil down to basic arithmetic. Our Bibles have been conveniently chopped into 31,102 verses, divided by 365 days in a year. So then it’s just a matter of slicing it into little 85.2-verse chunks for daily consumption. This is a very strange, unhelpful way to read a book. [Read more…]
“How can we know the way?” Thomas asks.
“Read the Bible,” says the evangelical preacher down the block from me.
“Read the Bible as absolutely true and authoritative, in every word,” says Tim Keller.
But that’s not what Jesus said. Not at all. [Read more…]
Spent my weekend rack-diving at the Big Box. Hope yours was more fun. Some Monday thoughts and links, including: Farewell John Glenn; what Mr. Rogers taught me about religion and ETI; the Bible is not a reference book; and don’t be confused about the meaning of Donald Trump’s endorsement by the Klan. [Read more…]
If you wrote something that was half in poetry and half in prose, you’d probably have a good reason why you made that choice. You’d mean it to mean something. The same was probably true for whoever wrote the book of Joel, but what that choice meant for them is, to us, a bit of a mystery. (Plus: Suggestions wanted for a First Testament iTunes playlist.) [Read more…]
Concordance-ism doesn’t ask us to read the Bible. It asks us to “look up” things in the Bible — to consult the Bible without reading it. I would say this is a terrible, terrible way to read the Bible, but, again, it’s NOT reading. And it often winds up being terribly misleading. [Read more…]
Haidt’s use of that word “righteous” is primarily, almost entirely, negative, implying a kind of self-righteousness or a sense of self-justification. This is righteousness as rectitude, as uprightness, or moral purity and correctness. It is righteousness as the acquisitive and proprietary possession of truth. This form of righteousness is not a virtue, but it’s what American Christians have learned from their American Bibles. [Read more…]
Christianity Today interviews Nate Parker about his film “The Birth of a Nation,” which is, among other things, one of the most Bible-saturated movies of all time. Plus: Donald Trump’s ever-shifting history on Iraq; 23 years of tax returns; and the Train Job in India. [Read more…]
“This is a round up,” featuring two very different analyses of two very different candidates’ economic proposals; the perversity of pretending children are adults; folklore as memory and history; and North Carolina’s admission that it seeks to disenfranchise black citizens. [Read more…]