SOMEONE YELLED AT ME.
Not with a voice, but with machine-gunned exclamation points.
They did it in a book review I read yesterday, though it was written several months ago.
The reviewer goes by the nickname of CB.
CB’s review is below in bold type—with CB’s published title, but without the misspellings, which I corrected; the original version was not infallible.
I don’t think it matters which book CB reviewed; I suspect CB would say much the same thing about any of my books because I approach most of them the same way—as a reporter covering the Bible beat. I let readers know some of the different ways Christians interpret Bible teachings.
So, here’s the review.
Tries to Undermine the Authority of GOD!!! Disgusting
I am so sick and tired of people trying to reinterpret God’s word through man’s fallible ideas.
This book condones the reinterpretation of God’s word based on a Secular Worldview.
- Yes God did create the universe in six days!!!
- Yes the Flood of Noah was Global!!!
- Yes the Red Sea was parted!!!
- Stop trying to add millions of years!!!
- Because scientists say something is “unscientific” in the Bible so you try to change God’s word because of man’s fallible and sinful ideas???
- This is exactly what’s wrong with the world today!!
- God’s word NEVER changes!!
- Stop trying to reinterpret it!!!!
- Where are the True believers These Days!!!??
- Are there any Left?????
That’s pretty much what I’m wondering now about exclamation points.
In every statement CB makes about the Bible, CB might be right. Who knows?
CB is wrong about at least one thing, though. I do not condone “the reinterpretation of God’s word based on a Secular Worldview,” whatever the heck a secular worldview is.
I don’t condone one interpretation over another. I report them.
That’s what reporters do.
I fill my readers in on the various ways Christian experts explain Bible stories and teachings—especially the ones that are hard to believe or tough to understand.
In my books, I report that there are Christians like CB who say they read the creation stories like a history book. Polls by Gallup and others report that most Americans interpret those stories the way many of us have heard them preached most of our lives—as literal fact.
But I also report that some Christians beg to differ. These other Christians, probably a minority, say they read the Bible not only with scientific facts in mind, but with insights from Bible experts who make a living studying the Bible’s original languages, ancient history, and archaeological discoveries.
Study of the original languages, for example, is why many Bible experts say Moses may have parted some body of water other than the Red Sea. The Hebrew language calls the water the “sea of reeds.” Scholars say this may refer to one of the many reed-framed, freshwater lakes alongside what is now the Suez Canal that connects the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea.
CB’s review, with its dogmatic statements substantiated by nothing more than the volume expressed in exclamation points, reminded me of my growing up years. Preachers thumped the pulpit, shouting out what I was supposed to believe and how I was supposed to behave.
They didn’t do well with “why” questions.
“Just do it.” “Just believe it.”
“But it doesn’t make sense.”
“Take it on faith.”
That’s exactly what many Christians do. They fall in line. Do as they are told. Believe what they don’t question.
I don’t write books for folks like that, even though Gallup says they are the majority.
I write for people who doubt the Bible, question the justice of God, and wonder if religion is more a pain in the butt than a healing balm.
Some readers say they think I’m being disrespectful of God and the Bible.
If I wanted to diss God and the Bible, I’d ignore them.
I’d not be spending my entire career trying to help people outside the faith wrestle through the tough questions that stand between them and the kingdom of God.
I chose this career because of the Great Commission.
I’m doing the best I can to avoid exclamation points—giving them, or getting them.
Mixed results. Happily, more encouragement than spanking.
Keep doing what God gifted you to do and ignore the haters.
Stephen this is great journalism! I appreciate how you were willing to report CB’s comments in your blog!
Your response to the comments/review show where the “true believers” are!
Keep up the good work, Stephen! Your work is appreciated, and we need more “true journalists” like you!
I will try and balance the exclamation marks (!!!) with my quote marks (“”)!
Stephen M. Miller
Bless you, Ted. Thanks for your kindness.
Your work makes me think and occasionally laugh. Thanks for both.
Thank you, Stephen Miller, for what you do!!! The “why”s are very important!!! Keep reporting!!! Inquiring minds want to know!!! 😉 (I just wanted to see for myself if there were some exclamation points left. .. and there are! )
Stephen M. Miller
Thank you Francie. God bless your life.
You’re a good man Stephen and I love and respect you. Keep up the good work — I think your next book (from what I see in the samples) will be more “Milleresque” and will get a more positive response. Question and Answer books are tough, especially when you report different viewpoints. I have discovered, after being raised in Evangelical circles (and I was a member of Grace Community Church with Pastor John MacArthur) for over 20 years) — that we don’t think critically of the Bible. My Christian walk is so much richer today (and I love the Bible even more now) because my salvation is not based on the theology and “sound doctrine” but on a living God who changes my life and a relationship with a loving Jesus.
Stephen M. Miller
Thanks Wayne. God bless your life.
As much as I love the Bible, Christianity isn’t about worshiping the Bible. It’s about worshiping Christ.
The Bible helps reveal him. But so does the Living Spirit of God…in ways that allow us to adapt to a changing world by giving us guidance in areas that writers 2,000 years ago would never have anticipated.
Stephen, I think you are wrong on something you wrote. You stated “I write for people who doubt the Bible, question the justice of God, and wonder if religion is more a pain in the butt than a healing balm.”
I disagree. I don’t doubt the bible like I use too, in part because of books like yours that show me evidence, I don’t question the justice of God necessarily and I certainly don’t think religion is a pain in the butt, although it is about relationship not religion.
Your books are thought provoking, intelligent, historically accurate and simple yet informative. Love your writing style….don’t change.
Legalistics are out there. Jesus was not legalistic, He wanted us to think, hence His parables.
Stephen M. Miller
Thanks Robin. Good to hear that my writing hits a broader target than I shoot for. But I target the hardest group I can. I figure if I can get non-Christians to read a book about the Bible then some Christians might read it, too. It’s like that song about NYC. “If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.” It’s a pretty simple philosophy. I like simple.