A Pastor and a Philosopher Walk into a Bar

The B-I-B-L-E, Part II

February 10, 2021 Randy Knie, Kyle Whitaker Season 1 Episode 16
A Pastor and a Philosopher Walk into a Bar
The B-I-B-L-E, Part II
Chapters
A Pastor and a Philosopher Walk into a Bar
The B-I-B-L-E, Part II
Feb 10, 2021 Season 1 Episode 16
Randy Knie, Kyle Whitaker

Ever had an issue with violence in the Bible? How about the many inconsistencies in the Scriptures? What about the rampant patriarchy, sexism, and misogyny? There are all sorts of issues and problems within Christianity's sacred text, but does that mean that we have to choose between believing that everything is prescriptive and inspired, or walking away from the Bible altogether?

In this episode, we offer a different and more nuanced way of approaching and engaging with the Bible.

The beverage featured in this episode is Wollersheim's Press House Brandy.

If you're local to Milwaukee, check out our friends at Story Hill BKC.


Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/apastorandaphilosopher)

Show Notes Transcript

Ever had an issue with violence in the Bible? How about the many inconsistencies in the Scriptures? What about the rampant patriarchy, sexism, and misogyny? There are all sorts of issues and problems within Christianity's sacred text, but does that mean that we have to choose between believing that everything is prescriptive and inspired, or walking away from the Bible altogether?

In this episode, we offer a different and more nuanced way of approaching and engaging with the Bible.

The beverage featured in this episode is Wollersheim's Press House Brandy.

If you're local to Milwaukee, check out our friends at Story Hill BKC.


Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/apastorandaphilosopher)

welcome to a pastor and philosopher walk

00:16

into a bar

00:16

the podcast where we mix a sometimes

00:18

weird but always delicious cocktail of

00:21

theology

00:21

philosophy and spirituality

00:28

on this episode we are continuing our

00:30

discussion of the bible

00:32

we're calling this one the bible part

00:35

two

00:35

so on the last episode if you didn't

00:38

catch it we talked about what the bible

00:40

is

00:40

what the bible isn't what biblical

00:42

authority is what inspiration is

00:44

inherency infallibility all that good

00:46

stuff

00:47

so if you're interested in that i would

00:49

recommend listening to

00:50

the previous episode prior to diving

00:52

into this one but what we're going to

00:54

talk about here can easily stand alone

00:55

as well

00:56

so stay tuned we've got some

00:58

controversial stuff coming up we're

00:59

going to talk about

01:00

violence in the bible we're going to

01:02

talk about misogyny

01:03

in the bible we're going to talk about

01:05

what hermeneutics means all sorts of fun

01:07

stuff

01:08

juicy speaking of juicy we're drinking

01:14

a grape randy's wearing his juicy pants

01:17

oh boy and he can't deny it because you

01:20

can't see him

01:22

i can deny kyle i'm sure there's some

01:24

philosophical take on how i can deny it

01:26

yeah but it's my word against yours

01:28

well and elliot there really is no

01:30

authority they'll agree with me

01:33

all right i'm wearing juicy pants fun

01:34

next week will be hammer pants

01:37

for those of you old enough to remember

01:39

hammer pants

01:41

like m.c hammer pants yeah parachute

01:44

pants or is that something else

01:45

yeah it's mc hammer pants give me a rick

01:47

those should come back yeah you can

01:48

pause

01:49

google come on back we'll wait

01:53

all right well now now i really do

01:55

actually need a drink

01:57

today we are drinking a brandy first

02:00

time

02:01

on pastor and philosopher walk into a

02:02

bar that we're drinking a brandy it's

02:04

usually always been

02:05

beer or whiskey bourbon particularly

02:08

but we're drinking a brandy because our

02:10

friends at story hill bkc supplied us

02:12

with some wisconsin

02:13

brandy yeah this is so woolersheim

02:16

distillery i think i'm saying that right

02:17

yep

02:18

it's their press house brandy and

02:20

wollersheim is

02:21

a distillery but they're i think they're

02:24

more of

02:24

a winery now storehill people might want

02:27

me to come in and edit this if

02:28

it's not the case but i think they're

02:30

doing wine and they figured why not do

02:32

brandy because brandy comes from grapes

02:34

and so they started doing brandy

02:36

their distillery is in spring green

02:38

wisconsin which if you're from the area

02:40

if you're local you know that's a

02:41

beautiful area of the state just

02:43

gorgeous

02:43

wisconsin rivers cutting through it so

02:45

we're gonna have their

02:47

brandy which elliot's drinking it neat

02:50

i'm drinking it

02:51

with a couple of rocks and kyle what are

02:53

you doing there

02:54

i mixed it into a cocktail so i made a

02:56

sidecar with it

02:57

uh mostly because when i went to the

02:59

website it said it was mostly intended

03:01

for

03:02

it said it was perfect for cocktails so

03:04

i thought well what the heck

03:06

uh so i made a very simple cocktail just

03:08

brandy lemon and orange liqueur

03:11

uh and so it's a fun side by side

03:12

because i still have some here awesome

03:14

as well all right well cheers i do not

03:18

have a lot of brandy experience

03:20

nor do i i mean i've had some i've had

03:22

some fruit brandies like apple and peach

03:24

and whatnot

03:24

i don't have wide experience with normal

03:27

brandies i

03:28

if i'm going to make a cocktail that

03:29

calls for brandy i usually use copper

03:31

and kings which honestly takes more like

03:32

whiskey than it does like brandy so

03:34

i don't know a ton about brandy this is

03:36

fun i i

03:38

don't drink brandy just don't do it at

03:39

all and so instantly i feel like i'm

03:42

tasting something for the first time

03:44

almost even though you know

03:46

wisconsin is the brandy capital of the

03:48

world because of the brandy old fashions

03:50

that we consume but

03:51

just with a couple of rocks here which

03:52

are not old fashions let's just

03:54

no no no no yeah no no

03:58

wisconsin also makes some really

04:00

delicious real

04:01

old fashions but we digress what i'm

04:04

tasting here though

04:05

is instantly fruit it's much much

04:07

different than whiskey where you're

04:09

tasting that grain

04:10

similar to whiskey i'm tasting the oak i

04:12

really am those are the two main things

04:14

right away

04:15

like rich fruit and

04:18

toasty oaky woody flavors coming in

04:21

which is very pleasant

04:24

yeah it's sweet it yeah it tastes like

04:27

uh

04:28

it's like an apple pie is that uh is

04:30

that blasphemous to say about brandy

04:31

i like this no i think like a tart apple

04:33

pie yeah

04:34

yeah i wouldn't know as soon as you said

04:36

the toasted flavors

04:38

like i was still kind of trying to pick

04:40

it apart and that that hits strong it's

04:41

like a it's like a charred toast it's a

04:43

yes

04:44

a lot of smoke really yummy yeah

04:47

so i read that in the united states if

04:50

if it's less than two years old they

04:52

have to put

04:52

immature on the label which i think is

04:55

hilarious because nobody would want to

04:56

put that on their label

04:58

which is a great way of ensuring that

04:59

they actually age their branding yeah

05:01

i'm a fan of this brandy roller shine

05:03

yeah i will say it makes a delicious

05:05

cocktail so so look for it uh

05:07

wisconsinites in particular i don't know

05:08

if it's found outside of wisconsin

05:10

but this is a delicious little treat

05:13

here

05:14

it's definitely found at story hill bkc

05:16

so

05:17

my takeaway from this is that we need to

05:19

relabel our podcast

05:20

since we're less than two years old

05:30

i think that's pretty accurate still

05:32

aging

05:33

cheers so friends as kyle said

05:37

in the introduction last week we spoke

05:40

all sorts of things about just framing

05:42

up what the bible is the bible is not

05:44

just a book the bible is a

05:46

library of 66 books written by dozens

05:49

of authors and we don't even know how

05:52

many authors

05:53

have written the bible because it's an

05:55

ancient document

05:57

more than a thousand years old and it's

06:00

a

06:00

fairly messy library at that it's a

06:02

messy document

06:03

it's a messy process and that's kind of

06:06

why it's also kind of beautiful to me

06:08

but the bible is this what we call

06:11

inspired which

06:12

there's all sorts of take on what that

06:14

inspired word means

06:15

the bible is authoritative to some of us

06:18

to different degrees for others of us

06:21

and it held no authority for

06:23

for many of us and here's here's what we

06:25

touched on a little bit but i want to

06:26

really kind of

06:27

dig into this just a little bit the

06:29

bible is a source

06:31

of deconstruction and walking away from

06:33

the faith for a lot of people

06:36

deconstruction is this kind of fancy

06:38

trendy term

06:39

in the church right now a lot of younger

06:41

people will identify themselves as

06:43

deconstructing their faith

06:44

can't deal with it as it is and many

06:48

many people have a story of entering

06:49

into a season of deconstruction because

06:51

too many people poked holes in the

06:52

scriptures

06:53

and pointed out a bunch of problems with

06:55

the bible and they

06:57

just doubt filled their world and they

07:00

were given a faith

07:01

that if you doubt a little bit that

07:02

means you doubt everything and you can't

07:04

have doubt in your in your faith journey

07:05

you can't have doubt

07:06

in the bible in the authority of the

07:08

scriptures and when you do

07:10

everything falls apart and so if it's

07:11

this literal jenga tower

07:13

where you pull out one little block and

07:15

the whole thing crumbles and falls

07:17

they say i'm out i'm done that to me

07:21

is exhibit a for how

07:24

we in the church have

07:28

given the generations that have

07:31

come after us a really faulty way of

07:34

holding and

07:35

seeing and approaching and engaging with

07:38

the scriptures

07:39

that's i mean that to me that's just

07:41

obvious right

07:43

if you're if the way that you're telling

07:45

people to engage with

07:48

and approach the scriptures is actually

07:50

causing them

07:51

to walk away from the faith we got to do

07:53

something different

07:55

do you know what i'm talking about kyle

07:56

yeah yeah i mean i've been there

07:58

for sure and i had to do something

08:00

different i mean there's no way i could

08:02

have

08:02

held on to the the vision of the bible

08:04

the interpretation of the bible that i

08:06

was given

08:07

as as a young evangelical so

08:11

the fact that i'm still a person of

08:12

faith is a testament to the fact that

08:14

you

08:14

you can do this yes exactly there is

08:17

another there is a better way

08:18

exactly so in our last episode i said

08:21

that i have an ulterior motive

08:23

to some to these episodes and that is

08:25

that i want to i hope that these

08:27

episodes are revealing and previewing

08:29

and promoting a different way that we

08:30

can actually talk about the scriptures

08:32

with one another a different way that we

08:34

can can give

08:36

the people that we're giving this

08:38

approach to the scriptures we can give

08:39

them a different way of operating a

08:40

different way of holding and approaching

08:41

the scriptures

08:42

that actually can hold the

08:44

inconsistencies and makes room for the

08:46

problems

08:46

makes room for the for the

08:49

contradictions

08:50

and still says you can put your trust in

08:52

this in some way shape or form

08:54

you can ask the hard questions about

08:56

this book you can you can be

08:58

uncomfortable

08:59

and actually have issues with this book

09:02

and still be a legitimate follower of

09:03

christ

09:04

those are important things to me that i

09:06

hope church leaders and not just church

09:08

leaders but

09:09

people who are speaking as authority in

09:10

the church are actually engaging with

09:13

and i hope

09:14

that maybe these episodes man this would

09:16

be awesome

09:17

if these could be a way back in for some

09:20

people who have said i can't settle for

09:22

that version of the bible i can't settle

09:24

for that way of

09:25

approaching the bible i can't do it if

09:26

that's the way i have to do it i'm out

09:29

and i want to tell you if that's you if

09:30

you've if you've said that if you said

09:32

i'm

09:32

out because of that i want you to know

09:35

that there's all

09:36

sorts of space for you to just ask those

09:38

questions have those doubts

09:40

have those conversations in community

09:43

and you're welcome here

09:44

yeah so man randy used some buzzwords

09:46

there i think i heard the word

09:47

contradiction

09:49

that's going to raise the hackles here

09:50

we go a lot of potential listeners

09:52

what do you think the problems are what

09:54

what contradictions you speak of because

09:56

i remember when i was uh really into

09:58

apologetics which is something we've

09:59

we've mentioned on the podcast

10:01

one of the like main tasks of

10:04

evangelical apologetics

10:06

is to show that there are no

10:07

contradictions

10:09

what is sad task i don't know right i

10:11

remember looking at websites where

10:14

the whole thing was just devoted to

10:17

here's all the

10:18

contradictions that atheists and secular

10:20

people have pointed out and here's why

10:21

they're not actually contradictions

10:23

i can't imagine spending your time

10:25

trying to formulate some kind of

10:28

adequate explanation of every single one

10:29

because they're literally thousands

10:31

i'm pretty sure there's like that right

10:33

there that website

10:35

is is like the illustration in the

10:37

dictionary for

10:38

straw man right good grief

10:43

so i mean if i had heard you say even 10

10:46

years ago

10:47

what you just said my hackles would have

10:49

been going up and i would have been

10:50

saying well

10:51

what are you talking about randy there's

10:53

there's no such thing

10:54

so what do you think the what problems

10:56

are you alluding to there

10:58

i mean i can't even go into it even a

11:01

little bit

11:02

because there are many many

11:05

contradictions in the bible

11:06

many many inconsistencies one that i

11:09

think

11:09

pops to my head more than others is

11:12

second samuel

11:13

and first chronicles speaking to the

11:15

same thing where where david takes a

11:17

census

11:17

and second samuel 24 says that god moved

11:21

david to take a census in first

11:23

chronicles 21

11:24

says that satan moved david to take a

11:26

census and we're all left wondering

11:29

which is it because that's a lot that's

11:30

a big extreme right there

11:32

god moved him where satan moved him

11:34

nothing in the middle

11:36

that's a that's a contradiction that's

11:38

that's that's a

11:39

definition of a contradiction right

11:41

there's there's all sorts of them here's

11:42

one that

11:43

many people i didn't honestly i didn't

11:46

realize until

11:47

man i don't know five ten years ago

11:51

there is not just one creation story in

11:53

the bible

11:55

i'm not sure if any yeah it's one of

11:57

those things that just smacks you in the

11:58

face the first time you think about it

12:00

right but but you have to be told it

12:02

yeah absolutely absolutely

12:04

absolutely genesis 1 is the first

12:07

creation account

12:08

in narrative in the bible genesis 2 is

12:11

not

12:11

this like and here goes the story it's

12:14

actually a

12:15

second creation story and there's

12:18

different order to it

12:19

right genesis 1 is this linear but it's

12:22

also

12:23

poetic it's this poetic way of talking

12:26

about the way god

12:28

created earth and humanity and all

12:31

that's

12:32

all all of this life and we in our

12:36

in our evolution and creation uh episode

12:38

talked through

12:39

what actually the original writers meant

12:42

by this creative

12:42

creation story but genesis 1 is

12:44

beautiful it's

12:46

linear it's poetic it's fun and god

12:49

creates

12:50

light and night and day in the sun in

12:53

the celestial

12:54

bodies in and he creates separates water

12:57

from

12:57

earth and he creates vegetation and

12:59

plant life you create

13:01

god creates animals and then the

13:03

pinnacle of creation

13:04

genesis i think 26 27 is creating

13:07

humanity god creating humanity and god's

13:09

own image

13:11

and he's very pleased at all these

13:13

different

13:14

takes of genesis 1 he's very pleased

13:16

then all of a sudden genesis 2 takes off

13:18

and you get a totally different story

13:20

right you get

13:21

i believe i'm not looking at it right

13:23

now i should be i have my bible

13:25

five feet away but i believe what you

13:28

find is that god creates adam first

13:31

and he creates adam out of dust and then

13:33

he begins creating everything else

13:34

and and he begins walking with adam and

13:37

giving him this vocation of caring for

13:39

creation and doing all this stuff and

13:41

it's not poetic anymore you'll notice

13:43

genesis 1 and genesis 2 have a different

13:45

feel to them

13:46

and that's because the genre is

13:47

different genesis 1 is poetry genesis 2

13:50

is prose

13:51

so that right there is very interesting

13:53

if we're playing no it's it's almost as

13:54

though

13:55

they had different authors interesting

13:58

interesting right

13:59

so different different genres

14:02

in different order first adam then

14:05

everything else

14:06

then god notices that it's not suitable

14:08

for man to be alone so he creates

14:10

eve out of adam's side the story is very

14:13

different

14:14

it's it's told in a different fashion

14:17

it's told in a different

14:18

rhythm and order and what we find

14:22

is that many biblical scholars believe

14:24

that

14:25

and and really have good reason to

14:26

believe that two different people wrote

14:28

those two different stories

14:30

and what we find as well is many of us

14:33

were given this idea of the

14:34

of the old testament particularly the

14:35

pentateuch the first five books of the

14:37

bible

14:38

is being written by moses all of almost

14:41

all of us have

14:42

been handed that thought well it turns

14:45

out most biblical scholars don't think

14:46

that moses wrote the pentateuch the

14:48

first five books of the bible they

14:49

believe that there were four main

14:51

rabbinical traditions that each wrote

14:54

different portions of the pentateuch and

14:56

it goes in and out

14:57

and you can look it up and man i'd love

14:59

to have a pentateuch scholar on at some

15:01

point to tell us about it because

15:02

there's

15:03

there's the j the the j narrative which

15:06

is the the yahweh

15:08

in german yahweh is is spelled with a j

15:11

rather than a y so there's the the j

15:13

school there's the e school the m

15:14

elohim they primarily refer to god as

15:17

elohim

15:18

this other school this other rabbinical

15:19

school primarily refers to god is

15:21

yahweh then there's so there's a j

15:23

there's the e there's the d

15:24

the deuteronomic school of thought that

15:28

wrote the pentateuch and then there's

15:29

the the p school the priestly

15:32

vein the priestly rabbinical tradition

15:34

that wrote into the pentateuch as well

15:36

so they most scholars believe most good

15:38

scholars believe that there's four

15:40

rabbinical schools that wrote bits and

15:41

pieces of the pentateuch and they put it

15:43

all together

15:43

and there was an editor that picked and

15:46

chose between these four rabbinical

15:47

schools and put

15:48

in what we have and it's super

15:51

interesting

15:52

that there's two creation accounts two

15:54

creation narratives

15:55

that the editors of the pentateuch

15:58

decided to take one from one school

16:00

one from another school and both put

16:02

them there that tells us something first

16:04

about the jewish faith

16:06

which really is based on in large part

16:08

on debate

16:09

and argument they love debating and

16:12

arguing

16:12

over theology over who god is what god's

16:15

like how this

16:16

came to be how this happened that's very

16:18

jewish and it's

16:20

our heritage as christians as as

16:23

coming from the jewish roots it makes a

16:25

lot of sense that there's four different

16:26

schools that they didn't feel the need

16:28

to say let's pick the best school

16:30

the best author and put it in let's

16:32

actually fit it in

16:33

and have this beautiful debate

16:37

but also beautiful diamond-like prism

16:41

where you see creation from a couple of

16:43

different angles and

16:44

you see the story of god and his people

16:47

from a couple of different angles so you

16:48

could say there's a problem there

16:50

and many probably atheists have said

16:51

well did you even know that you have two

16:53

creation accounts in your in your own

16:54

sacred texts

16:55

and then many christians would go oh no

16:57

we don't what are you talking about

16:59

and the reality is is we don't have to

17:01

be scared of that that's

17:03

it doesn't have to be contradiction even

17:05

though it does contradict one another

17:06

we can say what are the writers of the

17:09

scriptures

17:10

slash what is god trying to teach us

17:13

through these two different stories that

17:14

are getting at

17:15

a very similar thing which is

17:19

god wants his people to dwell on the

17:21

earth as his temple

17:22

and they are going to be his image

17:24

bearers that

17:26

show the rest of humanity what god is

17:29

like

17:30

that's kind of what the story is about

17:32

and it's told in this

17:33

multi-faceted sort of way and it's not

17:37

just the old testament where you have

17:38

this

17:39

multitude of voices and multitude of

17:41

opinions and directions the new

17:43

testament is like this as well

17:45

and again many christians might be

17:47

uncomfortable with this thought

17:48

but if you actually just think your way

17:50

through the new testament it's obvious

17:53

peter has a different view of the church

17:56

and of

17:56

jesus and of god than paul does that's

17:59

just obvious

18:00

right i mean because they actually

18:01

argued vehemently they didn't like each

18:03

other very much

18:03

for a decent period of time if you look

18:06

in the book of acts

18:08

peter had a different theological view

18:10

than paul did

18:11

paul had a different theological view

18:13

than john the apostle did

18:15

if you read the apostle john and you

18:16

read the apostle paul you're going to

18:18

hear a totally different feel and

18:20

emphasis

18:21

than you will from john to paul and then

18:24

you read james

18:25

and james is this crazy outlier a lot

18:28

more similar to peter in his jewish

18:30

background but james has a very

18:32

different

18:33

theology and view of god and the way

18:37

things work

18:38

than paul does for instance and i've

18:40

heard scholars say

18:42

that the church fathers as they were

18:44

putting together the canon

18:46

had an argument had a disagreement about

18:48

whether we just use paul

18:50

or we just use peter or we just use john

18:52

or we just use james

18:54

or if we use them all there was a

18:57

disagreement about this because it would

18:58

have been a lot easier

18:59

simpler the atheists wouldn't have had

19:01

as much ammo

19:02

if they would have put just one person

19:05

in there right one person's viewpoint it

19:06

would have been cleaner and neater

19:08

that's not what they decided upon they

19:10

decided to put the

19:11

concert the symphony of voices in there

19:14

to kind of

19:15

color in our theology and our view of

19:17

god and

19:18

in our view of reality and what god's

19:20

like to put in this

19:22

multitude of testimonies within the new

19:24

testament i think

19:25

quite honestly it's beautiful it's

19:27

brilliant it gives us

19:28

a rubric and a way of of how to engage

19:31

with the scriptures and how to engage

19:33

with

19:33

faith in a way that we can disagree with

19:35

one another even substantially

19:37

but we can still be part of the same

19:38

tradition our scriptures

19:40

are a model for it yeah

19:43

and that that obviously speaks to me as

19:46

someone who studies and writes about

19:48

disagreement to

19:49

to find in the text itself a model of

19:53

uh disagreeing about the most important

19:56

things

19:58

and and that somehow the disagreement

20:00

itself

20:01

gets enshrined as inspired scripture

20:04

isn't that interesting so one of the

20:06

things i love about the

20:07

the jewish tradition that i wish

20:10

christians

20:11

were better at honestly and there were

20:12

periods in history where we were better

20:14

at it

20:15

uh is continuing that

20:18

that conversation that disagreement

20:20

about the same topics and about the text

20:22

itself

20:24

um so to quote i think it was peter ends

20:27

that said christians tend to see

20:30

the bible as kind of a set of answers or

20:34

something like that whereas

20:36

jews tend to see the bible as a problem

20:38

that needs to be solved

20:40

and rabbis approach the the text of

20:43

scripture

20:44

as a starting point for a conversation

20:47

and often a really heated

20:49

conversation a disagreement a way

20:52

a way into a dialectic

20:55

and i think that's a much healthier way

20:56

to approach scripture and it's also a

20:58

way that's more in keeping with what you

20:59

find in the text itself

21:00

exactly not just the old testament but

21:02

the new testament as well yeah

21:03

and we've just kind of blown right by

21:06

that and ignored it

21:07

to our detriment i would say yeah so

21:10

yeah contradictions we didn't delve into

21:13

them they're all over the place and

21:14

again why wasn't just the gospel of

21:16

matthew featured

21:18

and just that that's the story or john

21:20

or marker

21:21

you know luke for that matter they

21:23

decided to put four different narratives

21:25

who don't always agree on the facts of

21:28

the matter which makes sense right

21:29

because if i was

21:30

if there were 12 of us who were hanging

21:32

out with this one person

21:34

and they asked us about tell us that

21:36

story of when that one person

21:38

healed that leper you'd probably get out

21:41

of 12 of us

21:41

probably eight different stories about

21:43

the particulars of what happened how

21:45

many people were there

21:46

all that stuff and they still the church

21:49

fathers still decided to put

21:50

four different narratives in there

21:52

instead of one authoritative one

21:54

which again just speaks to the nature of

21:56

the foundations of our faith

21:58

are rooted in a diversity of opinions

22:01

a diversity of perspectives and an

22:04

inclusion of it not just a

22:06

comfort with it but saying this is the

22:08

best way to do theology this is the best

22:12

way to follow christ and to to have a

22:15

journey with god

22:16

is to listen to a diversity of voices

22:18

conversationally

22:19

and then from there put something

22:22

together that we can call our own

22:24

that's beautiful yeah and you know

22:27

thoughtful people that approach the text

22:30

from a perspective of assuming that the

22:32

whole thing has to agree and there can't

22:33

be any contradictions and it's one

22:35

unified story from beginning to end

22:38

by you know inspired by the same author

22:39

and whatever who then dive into the text

22:42

and really study it study it with

22:44

experts go to graduate school and study

22:46

it

22:47

these people inevitably reach a point

22:50

where they have to decide okay i have to

22:52

restructure my faith

22:54

and what my expectations are for this

22:56

text

22:57

or i'm out and a decent a decent example

23:00

of this

23:01

is a relatively famous agnostic

23:04

and critic of the bible at this point a

23:06

guy named bart airman

23:08

who has made a career i mean he's a

23:10

legit new testament scholar

23:12

really good pedigree nobody denies that

23:14

the guy knows what he's talking about

23:16

but he's made a career of casting the

23:19

new testament in a really negative light

23:21

really trying to sort of argue people

23:23

out of faith

23:25

by trying to to say that the scriptures

23:28

are unreliable

23:30

and he has a lot of material to appeal

23:32

to i mean there's all sorts of

23:33

contradictions there's all sorts of

23:35

scribal insertions places where it's

23:37

just so obvious that at some point

23:40

some scribe who was translating this

23:43

text

23:43

or copying this text saw a part that was

23:47

difficult

23:47

and wanted to resolve the difficulty and

23:49

so changed the text i mean there are

23:51

lots of cases where we can watch that

23:53

happening

23:53

as though we were watching it on a video

23:55

because we have manuscripts from

23:56

different

23:57

times and we can see these changes

23:59

taking place over time

24:01

and so he points out all these things

24:02

and then his conclusion of course is

24:04

that

24:04

the whole thing's unreliable and we

24:06

shouldn't trust it to give us accurate

24:08

history much less to give us you know

24:10

good theology or whatever

24:12

and he describes himself in his books as

24:16

a former fundamentalist somebody who

24:17

expected the bible

24:19

to be unified and to all say the same

24:21

thing and then he got to a place in

24:23

graduate school i think it was

24:25

and he found himself writing a paper for

24:27

a class

24:28

where he tries to resolve one of these

24:30

contradictions

24:31

and he events this elaborate explanation

24:33

the story of how this could have

24:35

happened without being contradictory but

24:36

at the end of it and i think he got a

24:38

fine grade but at the end of it he said

24:40

i just couldn't believe my own argument

24:42

wow i had to jump through all these

24:43

hoops to resolve that and at the end of

24:45

the day i had to just conclude

24:47

no it really it really does contradict

24:49

itself those manuscripts

24:51

don't agree with each other and at that

24:54

point and every thoughtful person who

24:56

really digs into it reaches that point

24:58

and you face a decision and the decision

25:02

is do i

25:02

do i restructure my faith such that that

25:05

kind of evidence

25:06

is okay or even expected

25:09

or do i give up the whole thing and

25:11

unfortunately he gave up the whole thing

25:13

yep but other people other biblical

25:16

scholars reach the same place and it

25:18

doesn't have quite

25:18

the same impact because they don't view

25:20

their faith as

25:22

if one thing goes the whole thing goes

25:24

right right

25:25

and to me again this is again i'm making

25:28

my case

25:29

and we're making our case there's a

25:31

better way

25:32

to give the scriptures away and to teach

25:35

the scriptures and to teach how to

25:37

approach the scriptures there's just a

25:38

better way

25:39

because what we're do what we've been

25:41

doing in the church for the last couple

25:43

hundred years

25:44

is counterproductive actually like we're

25:47

we're telling people this is the way you

25:48

have to approach the scriptures and if

25:49

you do so any other way or if you have

25:51

any problem with it you have to

25:52

you've abandoned the faith and people

25:54

will say well i guess i could abandon

25:55

the faith

25:56

that is not helpful there's a better way

26:00

to to empower and encourage people

26:03

to dig deeper to be able to hold their

26:05

faith with uncertainty with questions

26:07

with doubts

26:08

and to hold the scriptures with all of

26:10

those to be able to hold it with the

26:11

contradictions and the imperfections

26:13

and to still dig in and be able to say i

26:16

don't have to chuck the whole thing

26:17

there's just got to be a better way and

26:20

i mean this is how many christians i'm

26:22

sure each of you know people like this

26:25

i know so many people who have grown up

26:27

in the church

26:28

loved jesus loved the scriptures loved

26:30

it all and then they loved it so much

26:32

they say i want to be a pastor

26:34

a ministry leader whatever and they go

26:35

to seminary right and

26:38

this is this has happened more often

26:39

than not actually for my friends who've

26:41

gone

26:41

to seminary they go to seminary and they

26:45

learn about they look under the hood of

26:47

the scriptures and they learn about the

26:49

the

26:49

the complexities in the contradictions

26:52

in the way this was all put together

26:56

and some of them walk away from the

26:57

faith altogether they say i can't do it

26:58

anymore i don't believe it

27:00

or some of them have a tremendous

27:03

excruciating faith crisis that lasts

27:05

years long

27:06

and eventually maybe they come back to a

27:08

different nuanced more mature kind of

27:10

faith but

27:11

looking under the hood for many people

27:13

actually introduces a faith crisis of

27:15

epic proportions

27:16

which tells me again we're doing this

27:19

the wrong way

27:20

church we're we're not handing a

27:23

sustainable

27:24

method of approaching the scriptures and

27:26

we can do and we

27:27

must do different yeah i'm on this i'm

27:30

on a major soapbox i apologize

27:32

it's a good time it's all right if the

27:34

podcast isn't a place for a soapbox then

27:37

i don't know what it is

27:41

it's like the most narcissistic thing a

27:43

person could do that's true

27:44

thank you for being honest

27:48

so should we get into some of the more

27:51

specific

27:52

issues that might lead people to have

27:55

that kind of crisis

27:56

that you were just describing let's do

27:58

it let's do it kyle

27:59

so one of the things that an astute

28:02

reader of scripture will notice

28:03

if you just start from the beginning

28:05

beginning being genesis

28:07

and read the thing through is that the

28:10

bible is extremely violent

28:14

now you might not notice its violence

28:16

right away because a lot of us have been

28:18

enculturated to not

28:19

see it as violence so an example that we

28:22

pointed to

28:23

in the last episode was the story of

28:26

noah

28:27

we're we're enculturated we're primed to

28:30

think of that as like a happy

28:32

fun even childlike story yeah we've got

28:35

songs about it

28:36

yeah yeah i remember being in a vbs

28:40

and we built a big paper mache whale no

28:42

this was jonah

28:43

we built a big paper mache whale that we

28:45

all went into and sat around and we did

28:47

the same thing with the ark you know

28:49

uh and you view these stories through

28:50

that really like you know

28:53

child like kind of fun up the ark

28:56

noah brother noah built the ark

29:01

that song alone should occlude us and

29:02

that there's something deeply wrong with

29:04

the story

29:08

but then you read it as an adult and you

29:10

see

29:11

holy crap this is dark

29:15

uh and and just reading this i mean you

29:17

can't read the book of judges

29:19

joshua paul or joshua

29:22

and at the things that not not only the

29:25

things that the characters do

29:27

but the things that god does the things

29:30

that god

29:31

commands directly and endorses

29:35

the bible is extremely violent

29:37

especially

29:38

in the hebrew scriptures but also

29:41

somewhat in the new testament i mean you

29:43

have that weird story of

29:45

ananias and sapphira and acts where the

29:47

holy spirit apparently

29:49

murders some people we don't like to

29:52

talk about that

29:54

you have you have portions of the old

29:55

testament or the hebrew scriptures where

29:57

god

29:58

directly commands genocide

30:01

we don't like to talk about that you

30:03

have a couple places where it seems like

30:05

god is asking for child sacrifice

30:08

we don't like to talk about that you

30:11

have places where

30:12

god instructs the israelites to take

30:15

sexual slaves

30:17

we don't like to talk about that you

30:20

have the place where

30:21

sarah abraham's wife makes hagar

30:25

a sexual slave and then tries to get god

30:29

to bless that

30:30

and then god blesses that

30:33

we don't like to talk about that there's

30:35

all this stuff and that's not even

30:37

scratching the surface

30:38

there's a really good book about

30:40

violence in the hebrew scriptures by

30:43

gregory boyd called the crucifixion of

30:46

the warrior god

30:47

and there's a chapter in that book where

30:49

he just lays out

30:51

by his own reading just a list

30:55

of the most violent portraits of god in

30:58

the old testament

30:59

and it's worth reading but man is a

31:01

difficult reading

31:02

because there's something like a

31:03

thousand passages just in the hebrew

31:06

scriptures where you have

31:08

violent things happening and god

31:09

condoning it or god directly doing or

31:11

commanding violent things

31:14

so much so that atheists and secular

31:18

people have latched on to this so i just

31:19

want to read you a quote real quick

31:21

from i know one of our favorite authors

31:24

a guy named richard dawkins

31:27

who who wrote this really terrible book

31:29

called the god delusion

31:30

but he says something in that book that

31:32

is kind of rooted in reality and

31:34

this is his description of the god of

31:37

the hebrew scriptures so richard dawkins

31:39

says this

31:40

the god of the old testament is arguably

31:43

the most unpleasant character in all

31:45

fiction jealous and proud of it

31:48

a petty unjust unforgiving control freak

31:53

a vindictive bloodthirsty ethnic

31:56

cleanser

31:57

a misogynistic homophobic racist

32:01

infanticidal genocidal filicidal

32:05

pestilential megalomaniacal

32:08

sadomasochistic capriciously malevolent

32:12

bully you say what you mean richard he

32:15

didn't pull any punches right

32:17

and it's funny each of those words you

32:19

can tell were chosen based on a

32:20

particular thing that happens

32:22

in the hebrew scripture if you're

32:25

familiar enough with the text

32:26

i know what 80 percent of those words

32:28

mean yeah you know what he's referring

32:30

to

32:31

when you hear those words so everything

32:33

that he's referring to here

32:34

has at least one place in the old

32:37

testament where

32:38

that seems like what's happening and and

32:40

it's it's difficult to read the thing as

32:42

an adult

32:43

with adult moral sensibilities

32:46

and come away with the view that god is

32:48

purely love

32:50

that god is just even

32:54

yep or even more difficult that god is

32:57

like what the new testament says god is

32:59

like

33:00

maybe that's the main thing because

33:02

jesus

33:04

and for example the sermon on the mount

33:06

says god is like one thing

33:08

and then you read all these things in

33:10

the old testament and it seems like god

33:11

is a very different thing

33:14

to the extent that this this led some

33:17

people in the history of the church to

33:18

conclude that

33:20

these two testaments were written by

33:22

different gods

33:23

or were inspired by different gods so

33:25

you have this martianite

33:27

heresy it was labeled which i think is

33:30

just an on

33:31

an honest reading of the text which

33:34

which is that

33:35

gosh if these are both inspired then

33:37

they must have been inspired by

33:38

different gods

33:39

because in one case you have a god of

33:41

peace and love and non-violence and in

33:43

the other case you have a god who is

33:44

basically a warrior

33:46

sure now i'll i'll give just and i don't

33:49

like giving disclaimers to this stuff

33:51

because i think

33:52

we have to be able to reconcile this we

33:54

have to be able to

33:56

sit with it and hold it but i will say

33:59

some of the things that both

34:00

dawkins cited and that you cited

34:03

for instance sarah promoting sex slavery

34:07

or whatever that is

34:09

that's just the ancient world in many

34:11

ways right concubines were just a normal

34:13

thing in the ancient world in in the

34:16

ancient near east

34:17

and you could have looked at looked at

34:19

any ancient text or ancient

34:21

sacred text and that would be there

34:23

because that's part of the ancient world

34:25

you can go on down the line polygamy and

34:28

you know all this stuff it's just the

34:29

ancient

34:30

it's the ancient world and my main

34:32

response to dawkins would be

34:34

take your pick of any ancient text

34:36

specifically any ancient sacred text and

34:38

you're going to find

34:39

all of that within it it's just that the

34:41

hebrew bible the hebrew scriptures

34:42

have persisted through time for some odd

34:45

reason right

34:46

they persisted through time and now we

34:47

have to reconcile all this

34:49

mess of the ancient world when we're

34:51

here sitting here in 2020. so of course

34:54

it's going to be messy of course it's

34:55

going to be awful of course it's going

34:56

to be

34:57

unpleasant and seem fictional and all

34:59

this stuff

35:01

welcome to the ancient world right that

35:03

would be my main disclaimer there

35:05

yeah and that's fine if you view the

35:08

text of scripture like any other ancient

35:10

text but of course

35:11

religious people don't want to view the

35:13

text of scripture like any other ancient

35:15

text we want we want it to be

35:17

inspired we want it to be reflective of

35:19

what god is actually like

35:21

and this creates huge problems in our

35:22

theology right and not not only that the

35:24

main

35:25

thing the main difficulty and this is

35:27

what boyd focuses on in his book is that

35:30

the the text of the hebrew scriptures

35:33

and the text of the new testament

35:35

seem to be at odds with each other about

35:37

what god is fundamentally like

35:39

yeah and let me just speak to that as

35:41

well personally

35:42

because i have good close beloved

35:45

friends who are

35:46

kind of at a place where they're like

35:47

i'm kind of done with the old testament

35:49

i understand it and you can't that's the

35:50

kind of the

35:51

the vibe that i was getting from you

35:52

kyle which i understand

35:54

but i would have a couple of of little

35:57

thoughts to

35:58

submit to you one would be when you

35:59

write off the old testament you're

36:01

writing off a lot of beautiful stuff

36:03

i mean the creation narrative is some of

36:05

the most beautiful writing i think the

36:07

world has ever known

36:08

and inspiring and wonder and

36:10

awe-inspiring

36:12

right there in the first two chapters of

36:14

the bible the third chapter of the bible

36:16

this

36:16

fascinates me so the book of genesis is

36:19

this fascinating

36:20

historical theological book but you go

36:23

further on and it's just you're going to

36:24

miss

36:25

all sorts of gold if you throughout the

36:27

old testament

36:28

particularly in the psalms the psalms

36:31

are this

36:31

beautiful raw picture of what a

36:33

spiritual a real spiritual journey looks

36:35

like where we get to see the psalmists

36:37

wrestling with god and wrestling with

36:40

wondering whether

36:41

god really is there or not whether he's

36:43

for them or not whether he's for their

36:45

enemies

36:46

it's this brilliant picture of the

36:48

spiritual life then you progress

36:50

and you get into the prophets and i

36:52

don't know of many if

36:53

any faith traditions besides judaism

36:56

and christianity that have self-critique

36:59

built into their sacred text right into

37:02

their tradition

37:03

where you have people slamming the

37:06

people of god

37:07

in in calling them to the carpet and

37:10

saying

37:10

you guys don't get what my heart is the

37:12

the reality of the prophets that we find

37:14

in the old testament in the hebrew

37:16

scriptures

37:17

is so subversive so radical

37:20

and so different than what we find in

37:22

other sacred texts

37:24

i would submit that if you're throwing

37:26

out the old testament you're throwing

37:28

all that good and then i would say in

37:30

ever any new testament scholar

37:32

worth their weight would say you can't

37:35

understand the new testament without

37:36

understanding the story of the old

37:37

testament

37:38

you can't understand the story of jesus

37:40

without understanding the story of

37:41

israel

37:42

you can't understand the book of romans

37:44

certainly without understanding the

37:45

story of

37:46

israel and the faithfulness and

37:48

righteousness of god so

37:50

you can throw out the old testament for

37:52

a time i would say

37:53

if you're if you're just sparks too many

37:55

unhealthy things in you

37:56

but don't let that last too long because

37:58

you're you're going to have a disjointed

38:00

faith journey you're not going to be

38:02

able to get the complexity in the

38:05

the layers and the nuances to our

38:08

christian faith if you throw out the old

38:09

testament that's my only that's my

38:11

yeah that's my case for the old

38:13

testament

38:14

sure and i'm you know i'm not advocate

38:16

i'm not a mercy knight i'm not

38:17

advocating

38:18

for tossing it out altogether although

38:20

do i have moods

38:21

like that yep yep i mean to make it even

38:23

more pronounced jesus himself

38:25

affirms the inspiration of the hebrew

38:29

scriptures

38:29

yep but if you'll notice and here's some

38:32

people might get uncomfortable with this

38:34

jesus picks and chooses what he quotes

38:36

from the old testament

38:37

you know what i'm talking about jesus

38:39

there's large swaths of the old

38:41

testament that jesus

38:42

doesn't touch whatsoever at all yeah he

38:44

picks up sometimes the the quoting is

38:46

is very obviously chosen exactly like

38:50

when he stands up in quotes from isaiah

38:52

he stops just before it gets to the part

38:56

about god judging israel's enemies sure

38:59

i come to you know you know heal the

39:01

wounds and bind up the

39:02

whatever freedom from the captives and

39:05

yeah makes that about himself and then

39:07

stops

39:08

where you know the good jews in the

39:10

audience are like what about where's the

39:11

rest of it

39:12

why would you why would you stop there

39:14

so definitely

39:15

a selective approach a hermeneutic

39:18

that's already broader than a lot of the

39:20

you know a lot of evangelicals would be

39:21

that is comfortable that is undeniable

39:23

yeah but you know he he he he situates

39:26

himself in the history

39:28

of this scriptural tradition that is

39:30

shot through with violence

39:33

and that's a hard problem yep and it's a

39:35

problem that

39:36

christians should wrestle with and not

39:37

accept easy answers about there's all

39:39

kinds of books out there written by

39:40

apologists who try to make it easier

39:42

than it is

39:43

well if we understand it in context you

39:45

know these numbers aren't actually as

39:46

large as they seem and

39:48

uh you know in the ancient world things

39:49

were so bad that actually you know

39:51

killing your enemies was more merciful

39:52

than letting them live

39:53

yes yes yes none of this stuff

39:56

is going to be acceptable to a person

39:59

who is trying to find out if god is

40:02

really defined

40:03

by agape love

40:06

that's our standard our standard is not

40:08

can we make this palatable

40:10

to the average person our standard is

40:13

can this be

40:14

what jesus said god was like yep and

40:16

that is a really difficult problem

40:18

yep it's a problem that is not solved in

40:21

a kind of dismissive way

40:23

i mean any solutions to that problem are

40:25

going to be very complex

40:27

very difficult and they're going to

40:28

require that we change our view of what

40:30

the bible is

40:31

yep i would agree i mean i would i was

40:33

one who for years

40:35

had that stance of well if you actually

40:37

look at what was going on in canaan and

40:39

if you look at what was going on the

40:40

hibbites and the hittites and the

40:42

jebusites and all the ites you'll

40:44

actually find that

40:45

like god actually in his mercy wiped out

40:49

a whole generation so that he could

40:50

start over because they were so far gone

40:52

all the stuff you know

40:53

i that's that's what i've said and

40:54

that's what i've the case that i've held

40:57

and it's worked for me for a decent

40:59

amount of time

41:00

but it no longer works for me because of

41:02

exactly what you said which is

41:04

if jesus is our hermeneutic if jesus is

41:07

our foundation

41:08

in our authority then that that doesn't

41:11

wash

41:12

actually i don't find that what that

41:14

does to your moral sense that you have

41:16

to convince yourself that somehow this

41:17

is

41:18

this is goodness right right the the the

41:22

ancient form of goodness is just so

41:24

foreign that you couldn't even

41:25

understand it i mean it just it

41:27

the word good loses all meaning at that

41:29

point i mean

41:31

that god then was good and the god now

41:32

is good and that means the same

41:34

thing i mean it's try to explain to your

41:36

daughter

41:37

that that was good and you immediately

41:39

see the limitations of it

41:41

absolutely and i mean i think i think

41:43

it's probably easier for americans than

41:45

other people groups to

41:46

to wash violence and you know see sea

41:49

killing is merciful

41:51

to be just totally honest but it doesn't

41:53

work for me anymore here's what does

41:55

work for me and i hinted at this last

41:56

week

41:57

is this idea and

42:00

again the heretic police are going to be

42:03

swarming right now but

42:05

it's this idea that god let his people

42:07

tell the story it's this idea that

42:10

the scriptures are a messy thing and we

42:13

see beauty in them but we also find

42:15

brokenness honestly and when god lets

42:17

his people tell the story

42:19

perhaps perhaps that means that god is

42:23

on

42:23

some level okay with his people getting

42:25

it wrong about what actually happened

42:27

about what was the heart of god about

42:28

what god

42:29

said as a matter of fact much of the old

42:31

testament is

42:32

from writers who are looking back on

42:35

things that happened

42:36

decades and sometimes centuries ago

42:38

right i mean lots and lots of the old

42:40

testament was written

42:41

during the time in captivity and they

42:43

were writing about

42:44

and they were they were writing as a

42:46

people who were marginalized who were

42:47

conquered who were defeated utterly

42:49

and they're trying to make sense of all

42:51

that had just happened to us and all the

42:53

stories that our forefathers had taught

42:54

us

42:55

they're trying to reconcile it and so it

42:56

seems like maybe god is okay with his

42:59

people getting it wrong god is okay with

43:00

his people

43:01

writing a revisionist history and saying

43:03

no god told us to do that thing that we

43:05

did

43:06

that was actually awful we did it

43:07

because god told us to do that

43:09

or maybe we're biased towards ourselves

43:11

maybe we

43:12

maybe god is just okay with that

43:14

happening within his holy scriptures

43:17

and we need to be okay with that as well

43:18

that's for me

43:20

once i actually sit with that it becomes

43:23

fairly obvious

43:24

to be honest with you and then it

43:26

actually begins to make sense of some of

43:28

the things and then the prophets come in

43:30

is this subversive more pure voice

43:34

saying oh my goodness my people you have

43:37

gone straight

43:37

so far you don't get it anymore you

43:40

don't get me

43:41

that actually makes sense of the story

43:43

to me

43:44

yeah this idea of progressive revelation

43:46

right that god reveals himself to the

43:48

extent that the people receiving it can

43:51

can understand yeah and inevitably

43:53

they're going to translate it through

43:55

their modes of

43:56

of understanding and often it's going to

43:58

come out

43:59

inaccurate it's going to come out from

44:01

our perspective ugly

44:04

but that god was accommodating to that

44:06

that's a good word good term

44:08

yep it's good so the bible the

44:11

violence in the bible is just one

44:12

problem let's let's just roll our

44:14

sleeves up and get after another one

44:15

shall we

44:16

the bible is a paternalistic

44:19

misogynistic text i mean you just you

44:22

can't get away from it old testament and

44:23

new

44:24

the bible was written by men

44:27

largely four men largely and it's just

44:30

all over the pages so we in 2020 pick up

44:33

this ancient text

44:35

and we're like oh my lord this is this

44:38

is disgusting

44:39

right talk about you're you're we're

44:41

both feminists but

44:42

you you are viciously feminist kyle i

44:47

would say

44:47

in a good way um tell us your

44:50

perspective on this

44:51

i hope so yeah yeah i mean this is

44:54

undeniable this is something that

44:55

feminist theologians have been talking

44:56

about for decades and decades

44:58

and once you read them it's you can't

45:00

read the bible the same way

45:02

anymore i mean it just leaps off the

45:04

page i mean as you said it's it's

45:06

written by men it's written in

45:07

patriarchal cultures

45:08

it's written in context where the idea

45:11

that women

45:12

are fully human as autonomous as men

45:15

is just utterly foreign i mean that

45:16

concept isn't even something that would

45:18

have had purchase in the cultures in

45:19

which this

45:20

text was written any of these texts i

45:22

mean the new testament and the old

45:24

so it's unsurprisingly it's extremely

45:26

sexist and and many

45:28

passages are directly misogynistic

45:32

and this is from the very beginning so

45:34

right there at the beginning of genesis

45:36

women are created second

45:38

and one and one of them telling you

45:40

created from from the rib of

45:42

of adam the woman eve which which just

45:45

means life

45:46

eve is a metaphor for the life force but

45:49

the woman

45:50

you know it's it's sexed or gendered as

45:52

woman female

45:53

takes the blame for the sin takes the

45:55

blame for the disobedience it was her

45:57

that was deceived

45:58

by the serpent and adam did what he did

46:02

because of her more or less i mean you

46:04

have early

46:05

early church theologians who make a lot

46:07

of make a big deal of this

46:09

are very explicit that adam adam didn't

46:12

fall into sin it was eve that fell into

46:13

sin

46:15

women from the very beginning assume a

46:16

subordinate role to men

46:18

they're supposed to be the servants

46:19

they're supposed to be the bearer of the

46:21

children

46:23

this is in the old testament this is in

46:25

the new testament

46:27

god is not exclusively but

46:30

consistently referred to as male

46:33

now there are there are some there's

46:35

some really interesting work being done

46:38

by some feminist and womanist

46:41

theologians to re-read and reinterpret

46:44

the scripture and they're finding some

46:47

some passages of that have been there

46:48

all along but that have been overlooked

46:50

where god is referred to in the feminine

46:53

or even in the plural

46:55

which suggests some really interesting

46:56

things about gender but by and large

46:59

in the hebrew scriptures and in the new

47:01

testament and certainly in the history

47:03

of the christian

47:03

church god is understood as masculine

47:06

women make up a tiny minority of named

47:10

characters throughout the bible and the

47:13

women that are named

47:14

almost always depend in some way on men

47:17

there are a few exceptions to that which

47:18

are notable exceptions but the exception

47:20

proves the rule in this case for

47:22

the most part women are not named

47:24

they're not the main character

47:25

they're there to make some point or

47:27

serve some purpose in the

47:28

basically to have some babies yeah or or

47:31

to be sexual slaves even or

47:33

whatever now there are some notable

47:35

exceptions to this

47:37

but that's the norm violence against

47:39

women

47:40

is frequently referenced sometimes it's

47:42

condoned up to and including sexual

47:44

slavery

47:45

murder greed judges 19 for example

47:47

probably the worst part of the whole

47:48

bible if i had to choose

47:51

women are consistently denied the

47:52

privileges of men

47:54

they're they're not allowed leadership

47:56

roles in most contexts they're not

47:57

allowed to teach

47:58

they don't have self-determination

48:00

they're not allowed to be educated they

48:01

don't have sexual autonomy for sure

48:03

so things that we just take for granted

48:05

in our culture are consistently denied

48:06

to women

48:08

throughout the text of the scripture now

48:10

that said there are some

48:12

some glimmers of hope jesus seems

48:14

remarkably egalitarian

48:17

he he has women in his inner circle as

48:20

far as we can tell

48:21

now his named apostles are men

48:25

but for all we can tell that that might

48:27

have been a

48:28

a redactor choice by whoever put

48:31

together that text because in some

48:32

places it seems clear that

48:34

there were also female apostles and

48:36

there were female disciples

48:38

in the inner circle junior mary

48:40

magdalene for example

48:42

uh women were the first to the tomb to

48:44

witness the resurrection so

48:46

you know the story of uh the woman

48:48

caught in adultery

48:49

uh which might be a later insertion

48:53

but nonetheless speaks to jesus

48:55

character in the fact that he seems to

48:56

be remarkably egalitarian

48:58

for his day sometimes paul says things

49:02

that are

49:03

really progressive he seems to take for

49:05

granted that women should be educated

49:08

for example he acknowledges deaconesses

49:10

and even apostles

49:12

who are female in some parts of the

49:14

scripture so romans 16

49:16

first corinthians 7 galatians 3 we see

49:19

the holy spirit falling on women just as

49:21

much as it does on men

49:23

and the early church having to grapple

49:25

with that which is one of the reasons

49:26

that my own tradition the pentecostal

49:28

tradition

49:29

from its founding was more egalitarian

49:32

than the other traditions

49:34

because when the holy spirit falls it

49:35

falls equally

49:37

on men and women they prophesy just as

49:39

much as men do

49:41

but then you also get these seeming

49:43

contradictions in paul

49:45

these are called the texts of terror

49:47

places where paul seems to deny that

49:49

women

49:49

can lead or says that they are in fact

49:53

second class

49:54

it's not permitted that a woman should

49:57

speak or teach

49:58

if she wants to learn she should go home

49:59

and learn from her husband

50:02

all sorts of passages like that first

50:03

corinthians 11 first corinthians 14

50:05

first timothy 2.

50:07

whole list of them now some of those

50:09

passages and

50:10

you know lots of theologians and

50:12

biblical scholars have

50:14

have have done the contextual work

50:17

to try to like massage those passages

50:19

and make it so that well if we see them

50:21

in their context

50:23

some of them seem to be less sharp than

50:26

just reading them in our own 21st

50:28

century context like for example the one

50:30

where

50:30

i think it's first timothy 2 where paul

50:33

says that

50:34

women should go home and learn from

50:35

their husbands well he's still assuming

50:38

that they should be learning which was

50:39

already progressive

50:41

right so some of these we can make a

50:44

little less bad

50:45

but i think we have to admit that at the

50:47

end of the day

50:49

nobody in the bible is going to be up to

50:51

our current standards

50:53

of women's rights nobody in the bible is

50:55

a feminist

50:56

none of the authors probably none of the

50:59

characters

51:00

except maybe jesus and honestly that's a

51:02

reading that we put on the text

51:04

it doesn't have to be read that way

51:06

that's a that's an interpretive choice

51:08

to read jesus that way it's a choice i'm

51:10

fine making but it's a choice

51:13

um so if this is a deal breaker issue

51:16

for a 21st century person

51:19

and honestly i would say it should be a

51:21

deal breaker issue

51:22

then however we're going to read the

51:24

bible has to be flexible

51:27

has to be non-literalist has to be

51:30

able to say that look this thing can be

51:34

true about what god is like

51:36

but it's filtered through a lot of

51:38

nonsense and a lot of baggage and a lot

51:41

of

51:42

immoral assumptions that were purely

51:44

cultural

51:45

that we have moved past and

51:48

we have to retain what's good about it

51:50

and discard what's not

51:52

i think that right there is a really

51:54

really really good point that

51:56

we would all do well to listen to in

51:59

that

51:59

when you say if we are uncomfortable

52:02

with

52:03

the sexism and misogyny that we find in

52:06

the scriptures which we

52:07

should be if you're not uncomfortable

52:09

with it

52:10

i worry about your character if you're

52:14

uncomfortable with it

52:15

then that means we must read this in a

52:18

non-literalistic

52:20

way and and approach the scriptures from

52:22

a different way than

52:24

we've been given that to me is

52:27

that's like a light bulb going on that's

52:29

a that's a that's something that we all

52:31

need to wrestle

52:32

with whether we're super progressive or

52:34

whether we're extremely fundamentalist

52:36

that if you're if you're okay with the

52:39

treatment of women

52:40

that you find in the scriptures if

52:42

you're okay with that you think that's

52:43

good that's god ordained

52:46

man that's not the kind of jesus that i

52:47

follow that's just not my faith

52:49

i i i'm sorry if you're not okay with it

52:52

i would say praise the lord

52:54

and now we actually have to do the work

52:56

of saying how do we approach the

52:57

scriptures that's such a good point kyle

52:59

that i'm

53:00

i'm repeating probably twice because i

53:02

want it to settle in a little bit

53:05

that if that's the case we need to have

53:07

a non-literalistic

53:08

perspective and approach to the bible

53:11

that's going to actually

53:12

require some nuance and complexity from

53:15

us and require some conversation

53:17

because for me as i'm listening to you

53:20

i'm like yes yes yes yes yes yes

53:22

but what else do we expect of an ancient

53:24

text that's that's that's what i would

53:26

say is like what

53:27

of course if the bible is a product of

53:29

its time it's a product of its

53:31

of its people i mean and i would say you

53:34

know the the bible lover in me would say

53:36

well just so you know

53:37

the apostle paul was taken as a

53:38

subversive radical in his day

53:41

in the early church was was known in the

53:43

roman empire as

53:45

being people who wanted to overthrow

53:47

society because they actually gave

53:49

places of honor to women and slaves

53:51

which was completely counter-cultural

53:54

slaves and women were given places

53:56

of honor within the early church and

53:57

because of that the people in the roman

53:59

empire thought that they wanted to

54:00

overthrow society

54:01

that's beautiful and that's a story that

54:03

you don't hear if you just

54:05

take that surface level reading but we

54:07

have to be able to reconcile the fact

54:09

that this is an

54:10

ancient document that we're reading

54:12

that's a product of its time

54:14

it's inspired but that word is

54:16

complicated

54:17

not simple and it doesn't mean that that

54:20

when we say that the bible is inspired

54:22

and we take that to say then

54:24

that this is how we should treat women

54:25

this is how we should the positions

54:28

women should or shouldn't have that's

54:30

where i have a major

54:31

major major problem because then we're

54:34

going to all live

54:35

in the first century a.d as far as how

54:38

we live our lives and how we treat one

54:40

another then it's okay to have a slave

54:42

then it's okay

54:43

to divorce your wife if you don't like

54:45

what dinner tasted like or to

54:46

kill members of your family potter

54:48

familia was a real thing in the roman

54:51

empire accepted

54:52

and of course we've come

54:55

2000 years from there and have a

54:58

different

54:59

perspective and that's why we must have

55:01

this kind of perspective when we think

55:02

about the scriptures

55:04

yeah i mean it's worth noting that

55:06

nobody reads the bible

55:07

literally nobody no matter how much you

55:09

want to say you do

55:10

yeah i mean nobody thinks god is a

55:13

chicken

55:14

when in the psalms it says that god

55:15

spreads his wings out of his chicks you

55:17

know

55:18

nobody nobody i mean no christian i know

55:22

avoids wearing mixed fabrics right when

55:25

when that injunction is in the same

55:27

chapter as

55:28

the injunction against homosexual sexual

55:31

activity

55:32

right i mean there's all sorts of

55:34

examples like that where

55:35

at the end of the day it makes you

55:36

wonder okay we're picking and choosing

55:38

here what is the basis

55:40

that we're using for the passages that

55:43

we

55:44

choose to take literally and the

55:45

passages that we don't

55:47

and the feminist theological answer has

55:49

been well it's the

55:50

power dynamics you you take the passages

55:54

literally that

55:55

that prop up the social power that you

55:57

hold

55:58

that maintain the status quo and you

56:00

ignore the passages that don't

56:02

that's how we choose that's our

56:03

hermeneutic it's not mysterious

56:05

and i'm i'm i've had all sorts of space

56:07

for that and for me

56:09

like i said last time my method would be

56:11

the cruciform

56:13

hermeneutic of does this wash with a

56:17

god who is hung on a cross and slowly

56:20

suffocated

56:22

for the sake of saving sinful humanity

56:24

that doesn't that wants to flip him off

56:26

and crucify him

56:27

if that doesn't wash with that god then

56:29

we've got to ask some questions and

56:30

we've got to be a little uncomfortable

56:32

because

56:32

the writers of the scriptures themselves

56:34

seem to say that the fullest expression

56:36

of who god is in the fullest revelation

56:38

of who god is

56:39

is christ on the cross this says

56:41

something about who our god is

56:43

and we have to be able to see all of

56:45

scriptures through that cruciform

56:47

hermeneutic otherwise we get into

56:49

trouble we just

56:50

easily get into trouble and have to jump

56:52

through all sorts of

56:53

theological hoops to to wash that stuff

56:56

and again it's not to say that there's

56:58

no authority in the bible it's just to

57:00

say

57:01

let's have a mature nuanced approach to

57:04

the way we approach scripture

57:05

and we just do what jesus says which is

57:08

the entire

57:08

law all all of them

57:13

boils down to love god with all your

57:14

heart soul mind and strength and love

57:16

your neighbor as yourself

57:17

and then go read about when the people

57:19

said well who is my neighbor

57:20

and read the story that jesus told

57:22

that's kind of what jesus said

57:24

it all boils down to so kyle we've been

57:28

we've been highlighting these issues in

57:30

the bible

57:32

and i hope not doing so to bash the

57:34

bible but just to give people permission

57:36

to to be confronted by them to to to

57:40

raise their voices to say it out loud

57:42

but can we

57:43

just talk a little bit about what we

57:44

love about the bible

57:46

and here i'll let you go first

57:49

sure my answer is fairly simple i

57:54

love the ethics of jesus

57:57

i love the idea of

58:02

and i love it in a kind of conflicted

58:04

way because i find it very difficult

58:06

to apply it's consistently challenging

58:08

to me oh my gosh

58:09

one of the things i love about it but i

58:11

mean the idea of turning the other cheek

58:13

the idea of loving your enemy

58:15

it sets a bar that to me

58:19

is an irrational bar unless there's

58:21

something true to it

58:23

it's i mean it just doesn't make sense

58:26

uh unless it's revealing some deep fact

58:28

about the world

58:30

and in my experience when i actually am

58:32

able to practice that which is

58:34

few and far between but when i am able

58:36

to successfully practice it i see

58:38

results

58:39

i see that the world kind of does work

58:42

like that that's

58:43

absolutely right the i mean what was it

58:46

martin luther king jr said i'm going to

58:47

butcher this but something like

58:49

you can change anybody's mind with

58:53

consistent challenging

58:57

love and attention

59:00

like given long enough humans succumb to

59:04

that

59:05

they succumb to being loved well into

59:08

being sacrificed for

59:10

and that matches my experience and jesus

59:11

seemed to see that more clearly and more

59:14

purely than most other

59:17

contemplatives yeah and then of course

59:20

he's he's

59:21

made some pretty theologically

59:23

significant claims about himself

59:26

so i accept on faith that that is what

59:29

the world is really like and then i try

59:31

to

59:32

i try to put it into practice and when i

59:34

do i see results

59:36

and i mean it captures my imagination

59:38

it's like if the world really could be

59:40

like that you know

59:42

yep what can we do to make it like that

59:44

even if it's false you know

59:46

we could pretend that it's true and make

59:48

the world like that and how much better

59:49

would that be

59:51

i don't think it is false but even if it

59:52

were it would still be a goal worth

59:54

pursuing

59:55

my love for the bible is multifaceted so

59:57

and i don't say that to make myself

59:59

sound pious or

60:00

having a high view of scripture this is

60:01

just the truth i love the fact that

60:03

as we talked about in last episode that

60:05

the bible is an ancient library of 66

60:07

books written by

60:09

you know dozens of authors over the

60:11

course of one and a half millennia

60:13

but there's one common motif there's one

60:15

common theme throughout the whole thing

60:17

and that is that there

60:18

this god of creation wants a people for

60:20

himself

60:21

and wants to wants to share that love

60:24

that this god

60:25

shares that's a captivating story and

60:27

it's that's the inspiration to me

60:30

that's the miracle of the scriptures to

60:32

me that

60:33

you have all this stuff and all these

60:35

different stories and all these

60:36

different histories and all these

60:37

different cultures and all these

60:38

different people

60:40

but it still boils down to this one

60:42

story this one narrative

60:44

that to me is a miracle literally

60:47

and then i'm i've been recently

60:50

fascinated by the facts in the reality

60:52

that the bible is

60:53

is a book that's been written is a

60:55

library of books that's been written by

60:56

marginalized people

60:58

we don't get this often in in america

61:01

but

61:02

the israelites were marginalized

61:03

oppressed people for a vast majority of

61:06

their history and their

61:08

their reality they were enslaved they

61:11

were oppressed

61:12

they were tossed to the side they were

61:15

thrown into captivity there's all sorts

61:17

of things to their history and then

61:19

you look at the early church which was a

61:21

very marginalized and oppressed people

61:23

group who had to hide

61:24

and had to had to hide the fact that

61:26

they were worshiping this jesus even

61:28

though they would never do it they had

61:29

to

61:30

they were persecuted and martyred and

61:32

and seen as

61:33

outcasts the bible is written

61:36

through the perspective of a

61:37

marginalized people which to me

61:39

makes sense that it's so hard for

61:41

americans to grasp

61:42

the bible it's actually really really

61:45

hard for us

61:46

as people who of privilege say what you

61:49

want about that word but

61:50

americans are the epitome of power

61:54

americans are the epitome of privilege

61:56

americans are the epitome

61:58

of of comfort whether you like to admit

62:00

it or not

62:01

let's just be honest and that means that

62:03

it's really hard for us to grasp

62:05

a story that's written to and for and by

62:08

a marginalized people and so that just

62:10

makes me want to unpack it all the more

62:12

makes me want to unpack my filters

62:16

as this powerful empire we're reading it

62:19

through the eyes of the roman empire

62:21

rather than through the eyes of the

62:22

early church do you know what i'm

62:23

talking about

62:25

so yeah that to me is fascinating and

62:28

that to me actually requires some

62:30

attention for us to how do we read this

62:31

as a marginalized people group how do we

62:33

read this

62:34

as an oppressed people group because we

62:36

might not actually get it

62:38

unless we get that hermeneutic and then

62:41

yeah the ultimate reason why i love the

62:43

scriptures is because that's where i

62:44

find jesus

62:45

it's just plain and simple jesus

62:49

as you said kyle makes sense of all

62:52

the questions to me jesus raises all

62:55

sorts of new questions for me

62:57

i'm enthralled and captivated by this

62:59

this man jesus

63:01

and i'm proud to to be part of a faith

63:04

that

63:05

follows the way of jesus i just am

63:08

like it's i wouldn't want to give my

63:10

life to any other way

63:12

besides the jesus way and i find that

63:15

way

63:15

in the scriptures and for that i'll

63:17

never give up on them

63:22

well we find ourselves now at the end of

63:23

a robust two-part discussion

63:25

on the bible and there's so much more

63:27

ground that we could have covered

63:29

actually we did cover it there's 30

63:31

minutes that we just had to chop off the

63:32

end of this episode for time's sake

63:35

discussion and some debate on topics

63:37

spanning from our hermeneutics to the

63:38

lenses with which we approach the

63:40

scriptures and we're going to make that

63:41

bonus content available

63:43

for supporters at any level over on

63:45

patreon.com

63:47

a pastor and a philosopher so head over

63:49

there if you're interested in hearing

63:50

more

63:53

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63:54

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63:56

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64:05

thanks again for listening until next

64:06

time this has been a pastor and a

64:08

philosopher

64:09

walk into a bar