Just Simply Bizarre

A few bizarre odds and ends:

I just saw this on Amazon. As everyone knows, Debbie Maken’s book is out of print. Of course, there are plenty of used copies, and even some new copies that have never been used. What is so funny is that there is someone on Amazon who is selling an unused copy of Debbie Maken’s book for $928.00, plus $3.99 shipping. Yes, folks, we have someone demanding nearly a thousand dollars for the worst book I have ever read.

Also, I read something disturbing this morning from Dr. Russell Moore. To illustrate why it was so disturbing, first listen to Gary DeMar discuss the liberal political interpretation of the birth narrative of Jesus:

Then, go and read what Dr. Russell Moore had to say about the birth narratives of Jesus. The similarities in methodology are striking.

Let me first of all say that I am firmly pro-life and entirely against abortion. I believe it is murder, and I believe it falls under the condemnation of Exodus 22. That being said, the birth narrative of Jesus is not about abortion, or about children, or even our view of children. Dr. Moore is simply reading his views into the text at this point. The text has to do with kings, not babies. The issue is submission to the baby who is coming into the world as God incarnate, and the fact that Herod refused to submit his will to God. Also, it has nothing to to with Joseph and gender roles of providing and protecting. It, rather, shows Joseph’s obedience and faithfulness to God, that he did exactly as God had commanded him! Here you have a man of great faith, and all Dr. Moore can see is the fact that he protected and provided for Mary and Jesus. The real contrast here is between Joseph who submitted to the lordship of the baby in the manger, and Herod who did not submit to the lordship of the baby in the manger.

This is a clear example of politicizing a text. There are plenty of clear texts to go to in order to prove that abortion is wrong. There are also plenty of clear texts to go to in order to show that the covenant community must have some of its people about the task of having and raising covenant children.

Now, it is bad enough that this takes place in interpretation. Politicizing of interpretation of the Bible can be corrected by simply allowing the text to speak for itself. However, what do you do if the actual text of the Bible is changed for political reasons? A case in point is the Conservative Bible Project, which is being undertaken by Andy Shlafly, the son of conservative advocate Phyllis Shlafly. I first heard of this from a New Testament major here at Trinity who works for Creation Ministries International, and informed me of their translation of Genesis. Now, let me first of all say that, like Dr. Mohler and Dr. Moore, Phyllis and Andy Shlafly have done much good for the body of Christ. I highly respect all of these people.

However, there are some things about the Conservative Bible Project that are disturbing. Dr. Daniel B. Wallace, Professor of New Testament at Dallas Theological Seminary, wrote the following about this translation:

Conservapedia.com is sponsoring a new Bible translation called the Conservative Bible Project. The project involves open-source editing, which has been an open source of woe or comic relief, depending on your perspective. The Tennesean.com reports that Gen 1.1 was changed by fans of Stephen Colbert as follows: “In the beginning, Stephen Colbert created the heavens and the earth”! The text was later fixed. Al Gore may have invented the Internet, but Colbert did not create the universe. Elsewhere, someone changed ‘Pharisee’ to ‘liberal’ to show that liberals were responsible for Jesus’ death. Schlafly changed it back to Pharisee but admitted to the Tennesean.com, “The possibility that Pharisees, which is a term that’s not familiar to most of us, could be better translated as liberal is intriguing. But we haven’t gone with that yet.”

I think Dr. Wallace summed up the major problem that I have with the interpretations that have produced this movement that makes marriage and children a requirement for virtually everyone, the interpretations that Dr. Moore gave in the above article, as well as the Conservative Bible Project, when he wrote that the “political ideology is so strong that it overrides everything else.” I fear that, if this is not stopped, we will be doing the exact same thing to the text that liberation theology does, only, we will be reading right wing political ideas into the text, rather than the left wing, large government, anti-oppression ideas that you find liberation theologians reading into the text. I hope God calls the evangelical community to its senses before this happens.

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One Response to “Just Simply Bizarre”

  1. LadyElaine Says:

    I agree. I pray that this foolishness will be exposed for what it is and eventually die out.

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