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My Take On: “My Take: How Thomas Jefferson’s secret Bible might have changed history – CNN Belief Blog – CNN.com Blogs”
One man (Jefferson) takes razor & glue to the NT. Why? Because he wants to reconstruct it in a way to better reflect his sensibilities, most particularly Christ’s “moral code”.
1) The NT wasn’t/isn’t/never will be about a “moral code” – Christ’s or otherwise. Nope, it’s all about the fact that Christ, and Christ alone, could die to pay for our sins. Christ as propitiation & Redeemer.
2) What Jefferson did was in direct contradiction to Biblical admonition against adding to/subtracting from the Word of God (Dt 4:2 & Rev 22:18-19).
In other words, TJ’s NT is merely a man-made work of fiction with no more authority than _The Davinci Code_, or _The Book of Mormon_.
So, to speculate on its potential impact in the early 19th Century is certainly (well, *possibly*) fascinating, but it in no way because the book was Christian or an accurate depiction/take on Christian doctrine.
Spagettios w/Franks were, are, & always will be a gift from above!
— Glen Piper (@glenpiper) January 8, 2012
Believe not the rantings of naysayers; Spaghettios w/Franks are one of God’s sublime culinary gifts to His beloved children. It’s one Kingdom of the Left way that we can know that He loves us.
Additionally, Sw/F were a way that I knew my mumma loved me, as that is my earliest memory of a way in which she made me feel special by using food to indulge me, even at the risk of sneaking it by my dad (right, bigsis?).
While plain Spaghettios were ok (but w/Meatballs were, simply, caca) Sw/Franks were my manna. I loved those little sliced franks so much that it was no effort at all to get enough labels to send away to get my very own Spagettios spoon!
Which I then used so much that the finish was warn away after a very short while! It is, and will always be one of my prized posessions!
For me & my tastes, there is but one acceptable substitute for the “real” franks, and I owe to my Grandpa Piper and his belief that Sw/Franks was too expensive compared to plain ol’ Spaghettios…
Thanks to Grandpa, I developed a taste for vienna sausages, which I still have to this day (though my wimminfolk are loathe to let me indulge this particular taste…). For this, and many, many other things, I am grateful to my paternal grandfather!
In closing, @frankgillespie, I’m sorry my green friend but no matter what you misguidedly contend in your reply, you’re wrong! :^)
So, TIME Magazine’s latest cover story — What If There’s No Hell? / Is Hell Dead? — is perhaps most interesting because it indicates that Rob Bell’s heretical Universalism has generated enough of a blip on the pop culture radar so as to warrant MSM coverage. (Of course, TIME having pegged Bell as a potential member of their 100 Most Influential People might have something to do with it, too…)
For me, the most interesting part of the essay wasn’t the discussion of Bell’s theology; frankly, it’s so clearly flawed, and has been dealt with enough elsewhere, that I don’t need to throw in my $.02 worth. Rather, I’m more fascinated by TIME’s (and thus, Jon Meacham’s) skewed meta view and framing of the whole issue.
Evangelical Christians are held out as a monolithic bloc when convenient, but the trope of “conservative”/”traditional” vs. “progressive”/”liberal” is trotted out as the definitive bifurcation. While “mainline Protestant” denominations are separated out from “Evangelicals”, the main framing focus of the essay is that of “traditional” vs. “new thinking”. Not a bad distinction, mind you, but one that is questionable when “traditional” is framed in pejorative terms like fear/threatened/judgmental/dominance/power, while “new thinking” is couched as scholarly/progressive/inclusive/loving/modern. This is just an old trope trotted out & sloppily applied as fact.
Subjective vs. Objective… I’ve very specifically used the term “essay” to describe Meacham’s piece, as it more aptly describes the 5 pages of text than does “report”, largely because this is much more a piece written from a specific viewpoint than it is an unbiased report on a current event. To be fair, objective reporting does exist in the essay, in spots; it’s just that Meacham can’t seem to help himself, and in several places lapses into digressions where he is clearly making theological statements (e.g., “Things many Christian believers take for granted are more complicated than they seem.”, which begins a 7 paragraph journey wherein Meacham makes pointed theological statements, along with repeating some tenuous tropes like “Like the Bible – a document that often contradicts itself…”) rather than engaging in straight reporting.
Bad Theology… The biggest problem with Meacham’s theological excursus, though, is that it’s deeply flawed, at least if one wants to be considered within the pale of orthodox Christianity. For example, at one point Meacham sets about explaining the “new thinkers” (i.e., Bell and N.T. Wright) view that “One thing heaven is not is an exclusive place removed from earth.” He then explains that, “If earth is, in a way, to be our eternal home, then its care, and the care of all its creatures, takes on fresh urgency.” This view of “a new earth” as linked to the old/current earth, especially its thinly veiled linkage to modern environmentalism, is misguidedly flawed at best, and damnably irresponsible at worst. Why? Because it totally glosses over/ignores the fact that the current earth is a fallen & totally broken-by-sin place; a place that needed Christ to come and redeem it. This redemption, then, is what results in the post Judgment Day “new earth” — that is, a new earth that has been completely remade by Christ, not one that has been nursemaided along into a more pristine state by our work in it. If all this is a description of what Bell espouses, rather than Meacham laying out what he believes, well, then he did a terrible job in making that clear to his readers.
Bad Hagiography… The bulk of the latter half of the essay is dedicated to a mini-bio of Bell. Perhaps the biggest flaw perpetuated here, and thus in service of the essay’s overall viewpoint, is this, “The easy narrative about Bell would be one of rebellion… The opposite is true.” Meacham then sets about recounting how Bell did not rebel against his family or his faith tradition upbringing; rather, he’s the natural, albeit (r)evolutionary product of both. Unfortunately, this interpretation, while arguably valid in the narrow view, is just plain wrong when taken in the proper context of Christianity writ large. It’s quite clear that Bell is most certainly rebelling against two millennia of orthodox Christian thought. To posit that his is not a narrative of rebellion is simply false.
Some might say that I shouldn’t be surprised by this type of religious commentary coming from a MSM icon like TIME. I’m not, truth be told. Rather, I’m just a bit saddened about how obvious the subjective bias is, and that there was so little attempt at slathering a veneer over top of it.
But reading it wasn’t a bad way to spend a few minutes of my day…