Friday, November 23, 2012

What is "biblical" behavior?

Like many in the United States I am enjoying the four day Thanksgiving weekend. But I did take some time to look thorough some blogs to see what others are saying.

Over at the CNN blog I found a post in which Rachel Held Evans responds to some statements made by Mike Huckabee on Jon Stewart's The Daily show. Huckabee was talking about 'biblical values" and Stewart really challenged him on it. In many ways I don't think Stewart gave Huckabee a fair shake, even though I disagree with Huckabee. I think there are better and far more important questions that we can ask about what it means to be "biblical."

Rachel provides some good food for thought on what it means to be "biblical." Here is some of what she says:


And yet evangelicals have grown so accustomed to talking about the Bible this way that we hardly realize we’re doing it anymore. We talk about “biblical families,” “biblical marriage,” “biblical economics,” “biblical politics,” “biblical values,” “biblical stewardship,” “biblical voting,” “biblical manhood,” “biblical womanhood,” even “biblical dating” to create the impression that the Bible has just one thing to say on each of these topics - that it offers a single prescriptive formula for how people of faith ought to respond to them.
But the Bible is not a position paper. The Bible is an ancient collection of letters, laws, poetry, proverbs, histories, prophecies, philosophy and stories spanning multiple genres and assembled over thousands of years in cultures very different from our own.
When we turn the Bible into an adjective and stick it in front of another loaded word, we tend to ignore or downplay the parts of the Bible that don’t quite fit our preferences and presuppositions. In an attempt to simplify, we force the Bible’s cacophony of voices into a single tone and turn a complicated, beautiful, and diverse holy text into a list of bullet points we can put in a manifesto or creed. More often than not, we end up more committed to what we want the Bible to say than what it actually says.

Read her full post here.

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