The Bible Made Impossible

The Bible Made Impossible

Why Biblicism Is Not A Truly Evangelical Reading of Scripture

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Biblicism, an approach to the Bible common among some American evangelicals, emphasizes together the Bible's exclusive authority, infallibility, clarity, self-sufficiency, internal consistency, self-evident meaning, and universal applicability. Sociologist Christian Smith argues that this approach is misguided and unable to live up to its own claims. If evangelical biblicism worked as its proponents say it should, there would not be the vast variety of interpretive differences that biblicists themselves reach when they actually read and interpret the Bible. Smith describes the assumptions, beliefs, and practices of evangelical biblicism and sets it in historical, sociological, and philosophical context. He explains why it is an impossible approach to the Bible as an authority and provides constructive alternative approaches to help evangelicals be more honest and faithful in reading the Bible.
Publisher: ** E-Book // Click on DOWNLOAD link to place holds
ISBN: 9781441241511
Branch Call Number: EBOOK TEXT
Alternative Title: OverDrive


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Jun 07, 2013

I found it interesting to read this book immediately after The Idolatry of God by Peter Rollins. I had, perhaps mistakenly, categorized Rollins as a "liberal Christian" and Smith as a "conservative Christian." I now think that both successfully go beyond the categories of liberal/conservative. As Smith insightfully points out, the "biblicism" and "fundamentalism" that is all too often identified with conservative Christianity today is more a reaction against modernity than a pursuit of Christ (a point also made by Andrew Himes in Sword of the Lord), and Christian liberalism sometimes looks to me like more of a reaction against faults of the "traditional" church than a pursuit of the true and ongoing revolution of the Gospel. Personally, every time the excesses of fundamentalism drive me to the verge of renouncing Christianity, or at least renouncing all doctrine, someone like Christian Smith comes along to remind me that the *living* Jesus is the true Word of God and the true center of Christian faith. "All else is commentary."


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