So, how did everyone like the Christmas present from Newsweek? I’m sure you’ve read the tome by Kurt Eichenwald “The Bible: So Misunderstood It’s a Sin.” Some article, huh? Kurt’s scholarly and fact filled argument against the veracity of the Bible and the backwoods fundamental and evangelical movements was so moving and compelling I have decided to renounce my calling in the ministry, my walk in evangelical faith, and my relationship with Jesus Christ. I’ve seen the light, Kurt! Thank you for saving me from my pitiful blind and misplaced faith in the Bible. I’m free from the Word of God. Yay! Ok, Kurt, now what? <Crickets chirping>
(Sigh). Once again, another progressive/liberal has decided his own mental acuity and genius so far surpasses all the believers in the world that he can with the stroke of a pen (uh, I mean keyboard) obliterate the source of their faith. Kurt, I hate to tell you this but your article is passé. It is unimaginative, uninspired, and unlikely to accomplish much of anything beyond exciting your own choir (as is evidenced by the majority of the comments following it). You know, for people who are disgusted by the idea of an actual Messiah I find it extraordinarily interesting that so many of them think they just might be the One to take down once and for all the Word of God (I think Kurt is probably a huge fan of The Matrix movie series).
There have been plenty of responses from authentic biblical and theological scholars who have decimated Kurt’s logic and scholarship. No need for that here. So let’s move in another direction. Why do the Eichenwald’s of the world do it? As far as I can tell there can only be three reasons for writing a hit piece on the Bible at Christmas.
The first, I’ve already alluded to. The writer is delusional and thinks he has unlocked a door no one else in the world has been able to open. Its truly the Messiah complex. “I’ve got information that no one else in the known world has.” I guess poor Eichenwald never heard of the Gnostics, Marcion, Montanus, Pelagius, etc., etc. Long is the list of people who thought they were about to “explain” things to the smelly masses of ignorant Christians. And shocked they all were that the faithful were unmoved and that Christianity marched on in the face of their best efforts. Despite the obvious satire of my first paragraph I can’t see Eichenwald’s diatribe moving anyone out of the kingdom of God or off their faith in the Bible. I sincerely doubt Mr. Eichenwald really thought he would become the toast of the world for exposing the Bible as a mishmash of error, myth, and fraud.
That brings me to a second reason for sending the Church such a present on Christmas. Could it be that Eichenwald is sincerely trying to help people recognize the error of their ways and seeks to point them to something better? But if he really was trying to “set the captives free” I couldn’t find it in anything he wrote. I can understand calling evangelicals “God’s frauds, cafeteria Christians” for shock value if you are going to eventually lead them to some green utopian pasture. But said pasture is nowhere to be found. The impression I got from reading the article is that Eichenwald just wants Christians to stop…being Christian by having faith in the Bible and living out their beliefs in public. He can’t seem to stand the idea that Christians believe in Creation, pray, and trust that the Holy Spirit was involved in the canonization process. He certainly despises the idea of bringing faith into politics or outside the walls of the church for that matter. He trashes almost all of the Old Testament, the Nativity, and various and sundry New Testament books. Oh, and he condemns Pat Robertson to hell. So, I guess Eichenwald didn’t send out his present on Christmas in hopes of saving the lost and helpless evangelicals.
That leaves only one other possibility. And this is one the evangelical faith community better get used to. Hate. Pure and simple. There’s no redemptive quality in Eichenwald’s article. There’s no plea for change. All there is is a rhythmic pulse of disdain and hatred. Eichenwald has embarrassed himself and Newsweek with a shameful attempt to legitimize hatred. It is incredible that Newsweek didn’t seek to make sure his historicity and theological “scholarship” were legitimate. But great minds think alike right?
Two things are crystal clear after reading the Newsweek hit piece on the Bible. Kurt Eichenwald has never read it (its easy to tell when someone is writing a report from Cliff’s Notes). And secondly, he did exactly what many of the preachers he despises do when preparing a sermon: used the Bible to support a statement and call it enlightenment.
But here is where I find hope in the Newsweek article. There are legitimate questions that people are seeking answers to concerning the Bible. Is the Bible trustworthy? Even more to the point…is it true? If a sourpuss like Kurt Eichenwald is mulling over these questions then I am certain many more are searching with him. Perhaps they have sense enough not to presuppose answers (like Eichenwald) in their sincere search for truth. And there are far better resources than Newsweek magazine in getting to the bottom of it.
One last thing. Hey Kurt, you know that quote from Jesus you used to end your article (“Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself”)? Followed by your pithy “That’s a good place to start”? Yeah, that wasn’t original to Jesus. He borrowed it from the Old Testament you seem to hate and ridicule so much. Check it out, its Leviticus 19:18. Sheesh.