Jay Bakker Reads the Bible More than You

Jay Bakker Reads the Bible More than You January 18, 2011

That’s pretty much the bottom line of my post at Patheos on Jay’s new book:

Most likely if you agree with Jay Bakker on the full acceptance of gays, lesbians, bi-sexuals, and trans-gendered persons, then you don’t read the Bible that much.  Now, before you get your undies in a bunch, take a long, deep breath.  It’s true that evangelicals read the Bible a lot less than they claim to — Robert Wuthnow’s study of small group Bible studies showed that most spend only about 10 minutes actually studying the Bible.

But that’s still more than most liberals spend reading the Bible.

via Recovering “Grace” | {Take & Read}.

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  • Isaac

    Wuthnow’s study showed that small groups study the bible only 10 minutes per group gathering? The individuals of the group only study 10 minutes (per week/month)? What are the comparables? And what is considered “study”?

    I’d agree anecdotally, but would like further clarity.

  • Scot Miller

    You are correct, (almost) Dr. Jones, I agree with Jay Bakker, and I don’t read or study my Bible (anymore). But I grew up annotating and re-annotating and marking and cross referencing every scripture I read. It is nice to know that Jay has arrived at his conclusions about accepting those in the LGBT community by carefully reading scripture, whereas I prefer to use more philosophical/moral arguments. For what it’s worth, I now view the Christian tradition much more broadly than I did when I was immersed in the Bible as a Francis-Schaeffer-fundamentalist. I recognize that the Bible is the central text which mediated God’s presence to me, but that God speaks in many more places and many different ways as well…. which is why I’m also sympathetic to universalism…. but I digress….

  • Paul Clifford

    We’re missing the point. Are gays sinners? Yep, but we all are. If we found original manuscripts tomorrow that got rid of the troubling sections, that doesn’t change the fact that all have sinned.

    The Holy Spirit convicts of sin (not stupid signs at funerals of little girls) and since we’re told not to judge, but to love, I’d say Jay is MUCH closer to right than Fred Phelps.

    What if, we all agreed that even one other sin apart from homosexuality is enough to separate a person from God and concentrate on the solution–Jesus? Let the Holy Spirit convict if it grieves Him.

    I’ll radically accept the prositute and other sinners that Jesus was called a friend of.


  • I’m with Paul Clifford.

  • Matt

    I am halfway through Jay’s book and I am enjoying it. As someone with some extensive background in inter-religious dialogue I find his understanding of Paul and grace limiting to those of other religious traditions. I think he approach is a tremendous scripture based antidote to a rigid and narrow fundamentalist notion of grace but wonder if the emphasis on faith in the sacrifice of Christ as the mechanism through which grace is accessed does full justice to the truly boundless nature of grace. Grace is too often talked about as if it is a thing that god dispenses…..I understand it to be the term we give in the aftermath of an encounter with the God who is the vine to our branch. This I believe is available to all but it always lead us toward paschal life.

  • Kathy

    Matt: What interesting comments! Can you say more about your definitions of grace and the paschal life?

  • The LGBT movement in the United States has been a hot cultural topic for some years now, and seems to heat up in Christianity now and again.

    Proposition 8’s voting in California seems to have been a major indicator of the democratic cultural desire. If gay marriage were to have a broad acceptance in American culture, where the majority vote wins usually, it would have been seen in Prop 8. However, some believe that the voting was strongly manipulated by Mormon influence. This is interesting.

    Mormonism seems to be on the ascent, and from what little I know about there religious beliefs, homosexuality doesn’t help or fit into there theological beliefs of human behavior. The Mormons are currently trying to by the bankrupt Crystal Cathedral that at one time was the most advance place of worship in the nation. This will be interesting to see.

    What is also of interest is the raise of Islam in the West. While Muslim communities in the United States have not matured enough to be a major political force, this is not the case for Northern Europe and Canada. Homosexuality is definitely not viewed in a favorable light by the Muslim community.

    China is also on the raise. I find it kind of a dark humor, but the male to female ratio in China is not that good for guys – a quick Google and I find 120 males to every 100 females. China is not very tolerant, and is on the ascent. It will project it’s cultural influence as it raises.

    Homosexuality is open in the US, and Evangelical Christians that do not want to accept GLBT cannot do much about the openness. The GLBT culture will remain a strong cultural influence on the US culture for quite some time. However, this being the case there will be congregations that will interpret an acceptance of GLBT, and others will not. My guess is that the majority of congregations will not interpret a biblical view that will accept GLBT into the fold.

    So, Christianity in America will continue with a hodgepodge of congregations that will accept GLBT, and those that won’t. And, the GLBT Christian community, and the GLBT at large will eventually be facing cultural opposition form many other groups other than Conservative Evangelicals.

  • Matt


    Friend me on Facebook. It looks like I am the only Matt on Tony’s Friend’s list.

  • Kathy

    Yikes, I saw at least two Matthews and two Matts…
    email me or facebook friend me at: katsmith007@aol.com