So GQ (formerly Gentlemen’s Quarterly) decided to try and get a few more people to look at it’s magazine and website by bashing the Bible. Specifically GQ included the Bible in a list of “21 Books You Don’t Have to Read”. I would like to publicly respond to a couple of items.
But first, let me quote their write-up:
“The Holy Bible is rated very highly by all the people who supposedly live by it but who in actuality have not read it. Those who have read it know there are some good parts, but overall it is certainly not the finest thing that man has ever produced. It is repetitive, self-contradictory, sententious, foolish, and even at times ill-intentioned. If the thing you heard was good about the Bible was the nasty bits, then I propose Agota Kristof’s The Notebook, a marvelous tale of two brothers who have to get along when things get rough. The subtlety and cruelty of this story is like that famous sword stroke (from below the boat) that plunged upward through the bowels, the lungs, and the throat and into the brain of the rower. —Jesse Ball, ‘Census'”
My issues include (not that I’m important, but I’m as important as Jesse Ball):
- You don’t have to READ anything. Most Americans choose to not read anything and it is a free country. I will choose not to read Jesse Ball’s book Census. But the problem is that, “my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” and the man that does not read is as ignorant as the person who cannot read. How can a man choose not to read a book that is believed by millions or billions to be the word of God? Is he afraid that it might turn out to be just that? Many would argue that since billions of Muslims believe that the Quran is the word of God that I would want people to read the Quran. To that, I respond: YES. Read the Quran. Find out why it claims to be God’s word and check it out. Only a fool would hide his head in the sand and not check it out. These facts make the Holy Bible to be a MUST READ BOOK.
- “The Holy Bible is rated very highly by all the people who supposedly live by it but who in actuality have not read it.” What does that mean? The only way to know that is to read the Bible to find out if that is true or not. But since I have read the Bible, I can say that Mr. Ball is correct. Most people who rate the Bible very highly, don’t read it very much and that is part of my calling to get people to read the Bible and truly look into it. Mr. Ball want people to just take his word for it. He is the real authority (sarcasm).
- “It is certainly not the finest thing that man has ever produced.” This is the typical response of the lost sinner towards any form of holiness. Man didn’t produce it. Man couldn’t have produced it. And man certainly would not have produced it, had he tried. That is why it is called a HOLY Bible. Man wouldn’t have written Genesis 1, they way that Genesis 1 is written. Man wouldn’t have written a book where the root of all of our problems is from eating fruit in Genesis 3. Man wouldn’t have picked a nomadic sheepherder in Genesis 12 and his descendants, Isaac, Jacob, and the 12 tribes of Israel to the exclusion of all others. Man wouldn’t call the tribe of Levi to be priests and then say that he was going to smear crap on their faces. (Mal 2:3). Man wouldn’t say that the only way to get to heaven is to trust a dead Jew hanging on a cross outside Jerusalem 2000 years ago that really was the sinless Son of God. If you think that is something men would write, then you are hanging out with some different folks than me. Considering these facts, I think it is safe to say that man didn’t produce the Bible.
- “It is repetitive.” I will not disagree with this point, except in how Mr. Ball is using the Bible’s repetitiveness as a reason to not read the Bible. Again, I wonder if man wrote the Bible and corrected it over the millennia (as people would have us believe), then why didn’t man correct the boring parts out of the Bible? The supposed “boringness” when properly examined, turns into a reason why the Bible was probably written by a being who didn’t share our dismissive attitude towards “boringness”. I say read the Bible anyways.
- It is “self-contradictory.” Again, this is true if you approach the Bible like a funnymentalist. But I have taught for a decade that men ought to take the Bible in context. By that I mean, ask the questions, “Who is speaking? and “To whom is he speaking?” If a man approaches the Bible with a basic decency, then there are only apparent contradictions. Notice how nothing specific is mentioned. Richard Dawkins is famous for the same thing. If he were to give a list of Bible contradictions, it would be among the many that have been debunked over and over again. Mr. Ball lies. Read the Bible anyways.
- It is “sententious.” One might argue that Mr. Ball’s little write-up is “sententious”, but that would be a little too accurate. “Sententious” is defined as “given to or abounding in aphoristic expression or given to or abounding in excessive moralizing”. Again, there are no examples given, but I must ask the question, “Wouldn’t a holy God writing to an unholy people seem excessive in his moralizing”. I wonder if Mr. Ball is ever surprised that his tomatoes taste like tomatoes or that the sky looks like the sky. I say, read the Bible anyways.
- It is “foolish.” Again, no examples are given. But not surprisingly, Mr. Ball somehow manages to prove that the Bible (which he doesn’t believe) is true. As any Bible Believer will tell you, the Bible is true because of fulfilled prophecy. Mr. Ball’s reaction is prophesied in I Corinthians 1:27-29, “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. ” God wrote the Bible the way he did so that Mr. Ball would reject it. He thinks that he is so smart and so proud that he’ll never lower himself to accept the Bible and get saved. It is a “stumblingblock” to people like Mr. Ball. One day Mr. Ball will stand before the Creator of the Universe and he wouldn’t dare tell God that his book was “foolish”.
- It is “at times ill-intentioned.” No argument here. God wrote the Bible the way he did in order to damn the souls of men like Mr. Ball. 2 Thessalonians 2 says, “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” That is why the message to Mr. Ball would be REPENT. Admit that you aren’t as smart as you think you are. If you do not, you’ll never get saved. And in Hell, atheism, literature, philosophy, and science are no help for the burning and the weeping and the wailing and the gnashing of teeth.