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June 27, 2014



Have I said that I'm glad you're done with school and writing?

I'm curious to know your thoughts on this statement: There is one consistent biblical narrative: Yahweh/Jehovah's siding with the oppressed for economic justice.

I think people believe because of the need for catharsis? So, is catharsis impenetrable?

Greg Horton

Thanks. It's good to be back writing. Sorry it took me a bit to get back to this. I actually have things to write for which I receive money. I guess you could say there is a consistent message in parts of the Bible that god champions the oppressed, but it's not "the Biblical narrative." I think the very idea of a single Biblical narrative is fundamentally flawed, and that's part of the problem of looking for the "scarlet thread of redemption" in the text. As for catharsis, I don't know if it's impenetrable. The idea was that our reasons for believing aren't always or even usually consciously known. We believe or not for a multitude of reasons.

Sent from my iPad


It seems like any book whose popularity endures more than a century or two will have multiple narratives, though certainly with some stronger than others. I suspect this is because life itself cannot be reduced to a single narrative without violence or dishonesty. Before I continue, let me say that I think economic justice is a far stronger and more consistent biblical narrative than the typical Americhristian salvation by narcissism hermenutic.

In the bible, you have Israel uber alles in Exodus, Joshua and Judges. You have contemplation of faithfulness in an unjust and meaningless world in Job and Ecclesiastes. You have expectations of a better, different world (not necessarily redeeming this one) in John, e.g. Jn 18.16. And you have policies and procedures for church politics in the deutero-Pauline epistles.

You can't sneeze on the major and minor prophets without getting germs on a dozen examples of where US evangelicals' priorities don't line up with biblical authors. And there are echoes of this in some of Jesus' rants against the Pharisees in the gospels. It's a powerful theme, and a relevant one. Just not the only one on the market.

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