The Bible is a large book containing many words and letters


Many people treat the Bible unlike other very long texts. They see it as as a kind of magical code. They treat that book as though its 700,000+ words were not language — as though they were something to decipher rather than to read. [Read more...]

‘He’s had one goal in life: That’s to go to Heaven’

"The Bible carries a perfect unity from cover to cover regarding its message and content, which speaks of its divine origin as ultimately written by God and not man. "

The otherworldly religion of white Southern Christianity cannot tolerate the Lord’s Prayer. All it can offer is a single-minded focus on leaving this world behind — a life that consists of waiting until it’s over. Rechristening sloth as piety is not just sinfully disobedient, it’s depressing as Hell. [Read more...]

For Team Jonah, the Bible condemns interracial marriage


One of the biggest such disagreements is the heated argument that pervades much of the Bible between what I call Team Jonah and Team Book of Jonah. For Team Jonah, God’s plan of salvation is for the chosen few — the righteous elect. Ninevites and Pagan sailors need not apply. God picked Abraham and rejects everyone else. You can find this view presented, asserted and defended in a host of passages throughout the Bible. But you can also find this view attacked, rebuffed and rebutted in a host of passages throughout the Bible. [Read more...]

Clobber verses: ‘I’m crushing your head!’


Clobber-text clobberers are the biblical equivalent of the Head-crusher from that old Kids in the Hall sketch. They imagine they’re doing something powerful and meaningful, but none of it actually matters — it’s a meaningless act that has no effect on the reality it pretends to be reshaping. It’s a delusion based on distorted perspective. Hold your thumb and finger right next to your eye and then squint and they’ll appear huge and powerful. You can do the same thing with your clobber-text, but that’s just as silly, and just as meaningless. [Read more...]

I think that I shall never see a theology lovely as a tree


This isn’t a dispute about the meaning of facts, but rather a dispute about whether or not there can be any such thing as facts. The sort of Christian fundamentalist most likely to embrace young-Earth creationism is also likely to be the sort of person who rails against “post-modernism” and who insists on the essential importance of “absolute truth.” Yet scratch the surface of any young-Earth creationist and you’ll find an epistemology more radically skeptical than anything Hume or any of the French deconstructionists ever imagined. Far from the defenders of “absolute truth” they claim to be, young-Earth creationists actually embrace a philosophy that says nothing can be known about the world around us. [Read more...]

Christians have not been ‘reading the Bible this way for 2,000 years’

For much of Christian history, many of the biblical texts read by most Christians were neither texts nor biblical. ("Descent of Christ to Limbo," church fresco in Florence by Andrea di Bonaiuto, ca. 1368.)

Christians haven’t been reading the Bible this way for 2,000 years, because for most of the last 2,000 years, most Christians weren’t reading the Bible at all. [Read more...]

‘Inerrancy’ is just Round 2 of the Bible-battle over slavery

Bookgun by Robert The. (Click photo for link.)

In every iteration, the conflict is the same. On the one side are those who declare that they stand for the absolute truth of the inerrant scripture. And on the other side are those who say that such an appeal to scripture can never be contrary to the “twofold love of God and our neighbor.” [Read more...]

On the whiteness of Al Mohler’s White Theology


It is impossible to understand Al Mohler’s 21st-century idea of “biblical inerrancy” without understanding its roots in the 18th- and 19th-century defense of slavery. That’s what this hermeneutic was created to do. That is the function it has always existed to provide. It is White Theology — culturally bound, culturally created. And it makes no sense at all unless we acknowledge its intrinsic, insistent whiteness. [Read more...]