Happy Holidays: It's the Time of Year Where News Magazines Trash Christians and the Bible. Can Any Good Come from Reading and Responding to This? You Be the Judge (Yes, I Delight in the Irony of That Last Part)

If you catch this on New Year's Eve 2014, great. Otherwise, I fear you will miss it

Free on Kindle:

What if...: How to Kill Worry and Anxiety Before They Kill You! [Kindle Edition]
The author, Caleb Suko, is a missionary to Ukraine

The Bible: So Misunderstood It's a Sin


My reaction:  First, the Newsweek piece has an outdated Bible image. Ecclesiastes reads like very old English, Ecclefiaftes, for example.  Take a look at it yourself and see how unattractive it would be to read a book that you struggled to make out most of the words' pronunciations, let alone a script that is dis-inviting for modern eyes. 

Then, right out of the gate, Eichenwald delivers a broad-stroke characterization of Christians that would make straw men feel inadequate by comparison.  To believe the author, we spend all of our time angrily waving our Bibles at passing cars, spewing hate speech at homosexuals and worshiping granite depictions of the ten commandments.  

Whether it be fringe groups like Westboro Baptist or parents who throw out their offspring for declaring themselves homosexual, Eichenwald uses the bizarre or hard-hearted minority as a tool to condemn the majority of Christians. No movement of any kind should be judged by the worst of its members yet this is exactly what this Newsweek piece does. 

His convoluted interpretations of the Bible are numerous but I'll give you two examples. Pat Robertson prays with his concerns about the policies of President Obama so he deserves to go to hell.  Jesus told people only to recite the Lord's prayer. Speaking of convoluted interpretations of the Bible, if a writer wants to be taken seriously by devout Christians, he most certainly wouldn't prooftext his comments by quotes from Bart Ehrman. 

To the author the Bible is not to be trusted.  It is loaded with contradictions and translation errors. Several of the New Testament books are forgeries. 1 Timothy is virulently anti-woman.  According to him, Jesus wasn't born in a manger and the wise men never came. It's astounding how this man seeks to be taken seriously when he does such violence to what is clearly in the Bible and the attacks he makes on it but then he has the gall to say, "Hey, this isn't an attack on the Bible." Maybe he should run for office or look for work at an Ivy League religious studies department in need of another heretic professor. 

However, I must say that there are important points brought out in the article.  Introspection is good and if a criticism is valid, even if it comes from the world, Christians should take it to heart. Cases in point are the very real polls that are cited, including those by the respected Barna Group. Woefully biblically illiterate would be a good description of too many American Christians, I'll grant the author that. Attitudes more akin to Pharisaism then to Christ are very real problems to address, not only in others but in ourselves and in me. 

In short, this Newsweek piece is the latest in a long history of Christian and Bible bashing.  It almost always comes around Christmas and Easter.  There is no mistake to this timing. However, where we have sinned, we do need to repent even if the author is wrong in the vast majority of what he writes. 

Here are some reactions from others to the piece: 

Happy 2015? Newsweek hit piece smears Bible, Christians

By Todd Starnes Published December 30, 2014
blog post by Dr. Albert Mohler, Jr.
MONDAY • December 29, 2014

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