Two Books You Have To Read.

Hey, I’ll even buy you a copy if you’re the first person to contact me (kjajmix1@msn.com) and ask nicely.

I’ve just finished “The Bible Made Impossible” by Christian Smith, which argues convincingly that the “inerrant handbook with answers to everything under the sun” approach to Scripture is not only unwise, indefensible, and illogical, but also has the effect of dethroning the Lord Jesus and his death resurrection from his position as the sole focus and purpose of the Bible. The Word presents the Word/Logos, Smith writes, and using the Bible to prooftext arguments about dating, dieting, taxation and testosterone (I’m paraphrasing here) leads to disunity in the Body and disgust from those outside. It’s a rare theological treatise that ends up affecting the reader as a devotional, and I found myself with a deeper appreciation of the Bible and an intense drawing-near to the Savior while reading it.

If, by chance, you know of a Christian pastor who, say, defends slavery as Biblical, or who believes that the only problem with the Crusades is that they happened too late, or who associates with other men who claim that the indigenous peoples of the Americas were better off being slaughtered by “Christian” conquistadors, why not loan him a copy of “Must Christianity Be Violent?,” edited by Kenneth R. Chase and Alan Jacobs and published by Brazos Press. It’s a collection of essays that explore the theological, historical, and practical justifications for and condemnations of violence, particularly as practiced by Christians. I’m only halfway through, but I’ve read enough to know that this collection is a treasure, a gift to the Body that, if taken seriously, would be a gift to a lost, suffering, dying world desperately in need of peace. It’s a challenge to read and a greater challenge to dismiss, and I’ll be sending a copy to someone I know in Moscow who actually DOES say the things I mentioned above.

Take me up on my offer: Copies of both to the first person who emails me and asks. Certain local pastors, however, don’t have to beg. They just have to risk having their scaly, calloused hearts polished and buffed by these fresh, powerful words grounded in the Spirit and fragrant with love.

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