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.