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September 14, 2007



Once in a while I get a bug-eyed "You mean you don't think all religious people are stupid?" Tribalists are funny.

Amanda F.

Your last sentence is really interesting. I'm still thinking about it. How would perceiving the Bible as literature help their values? I think that I see what your saying as far as critical thinking but I'm not sure about the values part of it. On a related note, OU has a Bible as Literature course. That would probably be pretty interesting.


Greg can speak for himself, but what I take away from that last sentence is that churches spend more time teaching apologetics, doctrine, and assume ideas that their pastors told them when they were in Sunday School at age 12 or have gleaned from the public "culture war" without taking the time to read for themselves and make up their own minds. As such, many in the church are woefully ignorant of their own holy book, preferring to listen to their pastor, their favorite Christo-celebrity, or crappy fiction depicting the end of the world. People forego reading the stories for the systematic explanations.


"... the greatest problem the Church has when it comes to instilling critical thinking and robust values in their offspring is in their inability to perceive their own holy book as literature"

That is true ... imagine how stunted our understanding of Shakespeare or Joyce or Hemingway would be if we only saw individual sentences or paragraphs pulled out of context from their respective works.

I would also suspect that if you sent contemporary American Evangelical Christians on a true apostolic mission; that is, if you required them share the essence of the Gospel with absolutely no references whatsoever to the Bible (the Apostles didn't have one) or to any kind of Western theology or Protestant doctrine (which the Apostles also did not have) -- most of them would end up as abject failures.

It's not just that we don't understand the book. We don't understand God either, and we have replaced Him with rules and lists and guidelines that bear only semblance to the life that God would have us live.

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