Friday, 7 December 2007

The drama of God

“Only by giving The Bible a devotional spin when we read it, by taking isolated verses out of context and ignoring the raw whole, by filtering and interpreting, do we “civilize” it. Civilized, The Bible has become a devotional prop of middle class values instead of being the rude challenge to false propriety it actually is. The Bible is a dangerous, uncivilized, abrasive, raw, complicated, aggressive, scandalous, and offensive book.

The Bible is the literature of God, and literature, as every book burner knows, is dangerous. The Bible is the drama of God; it is God’s Hamlet, Canterbury Tales, and Wuthering Heights. The Bible is, among other things, about God, men, women, sex, lies, truth, sin, goodness, fornication, adultery, murder, childbearing, virgins, whores, blasphemy, prayer, wine, food, history, nature, poetry, rape, love, salvation, damnation, temptation, and angels. Today The Bible is widely studied but rarely read. If The Bible were a film, it would be R-rated in some parts, X-rated in others. The Bible is not middle-class. The Bible is not “nice.” The Bible’s tone is closer to that of the late Lenny Bruce than to that of the hushed piety of some ministers.

In some centuries, the church did not allow the common people to read The Bible. Now by spiritualizing it and taming it through devotional and technological interpretations, the church once again muzzles the book in a “damage control” exercise. We now study The Bible, but through a filter of piety that castrates its virility.”

(Franky Schaeffer – Sham Pearls on Real Swine)

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