Question the Bible. Don’t Worry, It Can Handle It.

Question the Bible. Don’t Worry, It Can Handle It. December 6, 2013

As part of my work with sparkhouse, I was involved with the launch of lectionary-based website several years ago. The brainchild of the irascible Rev. Russell Rathbun, it’s called The Hardest Question, and we’ve posted two lectionary posts every week for three years, covering the entire cycle of the Revised Common Lectionary. It’s been great, hosting the thoughts of commentators like Phyllis Tickle, Lauren Winner, Nadia Bolz-Weber, and many, many more. This week, the posts are by Mike Stavlund. The site itself has been the indefatigable work of David Schoenknecht.

With the end of the lectionary cycle, THQ is coming to an end. But, happily, Russell Rathbun’s midrashic zestiness is not. He has launched a new site, Question the Text. So far, it’s looking awesome.

This week, Mark Stenberg launches his post on the Gospel lection thusly:

And with this name-calling of the Baptist we hereby are going live! No, calling you sons of snakes is not a best practices model of exceeding customer expectations and building brand loyalty. Deal with it. That’s the jolt of the Baptist, spewing forth his most gloriously damning words right in the middle of our Advent season, just when church leaders are looking to make that perfect first impression on their highly anticipated holiday shoppers.

And it goes on from there, ultimately asking if Matthew is really trying to silence the Baptist rather than give him voice.

Preachers and others who follow the lectionary would be wise to bookmark Question the Text. But be warned, its weekly offerings are not for the faint of heart.

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  • Craig

    But can your faith handle it?

    • Silva Helmer

      I think that faith that cannot stand up to questioning may be only skin-deep.

      • Craig

        The distinctive faith of Jehovah’s Witness will not, in an important sense (perhaps the most important sense), stand up to questioning. But this doesn’t mean that the faith of all Jehovah’s Witnesses in their distinctive doctrines is only skin deep.

        • Silva Helmer

          Perhaps skin deep is a bit extreme. However, I do think that it is important to be able to explain why you believe what you believe. Otherwise, where is the starting point for a discussion?

        • LoneWolf343

          I would argue that if a faith will not stand up to questioning, then it is too generous to call it skin-deep. It’s better to call it a delusion.

  • Brad

    This seems to be a good website for Protestants. If you think truth comes FROM Sacred Scripture, rather than affirmed by Scripture, I imagine it would be very frightening to question it. Perhaps Protestants could take a chapter out of the Orthodox and Catholic traditions for this one. One of the more recent sources might be Pope Benedict’s Jesus of Nazareth. It digs into the historical intricacies and discrepancies in the Scriptures to challenge Christian thought and action in a very profound way.

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