Thursday, April 21, 2011

God's Calling Card


Feeling a bit put out at the way the Bible is too often (mis)used, I once wrote:

I believe that the Bible is God's calling card, an invitation to conversation. Why do so many people use it as a trump card to end conversation?

In my last few posts, I have argued that the discrepancies in the Bible, especially the Gospel accounts, are due to the fact that the writers have different theological agendas. We do the Bible, and ourselves, a grave disservice if we try to "moosh" its varying viewpoints together into a sort of "Gospel of St. Cuisinart" as John Petty so nicely put it.

This morning on his Exploring Our Matrix blog, Dr. James McGrath linked to two items worth reading. Both highlight the diversity of voices to be heard in the Bible.Thanks, Dr. McGrath!

The first is Kristin Swenson's article at CNN's Belief Blog, "Read the Bible, Even If You Don't Believe It."  Dr. Swenson writes:
If you're not biblically literate, you can get along all right, but you're missing out. It's like a cocktail party with raucous conversation. You're invited, but until you know something about the Bible, you'll be stuck talking about the weather at the punch bowl.

Read the entire piece here. It is well worth it.

Also worth the read is Timothy Beal's piece "The Bible Is Dead; Long Live the Bible" at the Chronicle of Higher Education website. A quote from Dr. Beal:

Bible debunkers and Bible defenders are kindred spirits. They agree that the Bible is on trial. They agree on the terms of the debate, and what's at stake, namely the Bible's credibility as God's infallible book. They agree that Christianity stands or falls, triumphs or fails, depending on whether the Bible is found to be inconsistent, to contradict itself. The question for both sides is whether it fails to answer questions, from the most trivial to the ultimate, consistently and reliably.

Dr. Beal goes on to cite Dostoevsky and  Blind Willie Johnson. Intrigued? Read the whole article here.

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