Why Do You Think Christians Disagree on the Bible?

My review of Christian Smith’s newest book The Bible Made Impossible will be published on Sunday. Smith’s book tackles the faulty method in which evangelicals see the Bible and provides an alternative to what the author refers to as “biblicism”.

Before I post the review, though, I wanted to pose the following question:

Why do you think well-meaning Christians disagree on what the Bible says about a large number of issues?

Sound off in the comments below!

Barack Obama ‘Sings’ Justin Beiber

If the Romney camp wants to do the most damage, then associating President Obama with the latest teen obsession would definitely the way to go.

Too bad they weren’t the ones to come up with it.

(H/T Tastefully Offensive)

The Scene that ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ Should Have but Definitely Won’t

It’s not possible to earn the grace of God, but out of all of us, Christopher Nolan has probably come the closest.

We’re less than a month away from the release of The Dark Knight Rises. That means that we skinny dudes have about four months to work out really hard so when we dress like Bane for Halloween, we don’t look like complete idiots.

While there’s so much that I can’t wait to see of this movie, here’s something I hope will be in it that most likely won’t: a subtle clue as to what happens at the end of Inception.

If you haven’t seen that movie by now, then it’s own your fault that you’re about to get spoiled. Inception ends with Leonardo DiCapio spinning that top one final time before he goes to hug his children, his exile from them having finally come to an end. The top doesn’t fall over before the credits roll, which leaves us to wonder if Leo is still living in a dream.

(For the record, I think he escaped. The spinning top never wavers in any of the dream sequences, and in that last scene in Inception, it’s clearly losing some of its spin.)

Half the cast of Inception is in TDKR. Tom Hardy is playing Bane. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is playing a street cop (and possible replacement for Bruce Wayne?). Marion Cottilard plays a character named Miranda Tate, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if she turned out to be Talia Al Ghul, daughter of the villain from Batman Begins.

So I think it’d be cool if Nolan decided to drop a hint or two in TDKR as to what really happens to Leo at the end of Inception. I’m not sure what that would be. Maybe JG-L has a spinning top that he decides to knock over, and in a later scene, Leo appears?

If not that, then maybe this:

Batman and Bane had one final, bloody fight in which Bane kills the Dark Knight. Instead of being greeted by the other side of death, Bruce Wayne wakes up, discovers that he’s still a child, and that his parents have never been killed.

BOOM.

End of movie.

Do Husbands Have a Harder Job than Wives?

I’ve heard the same comment from complementarians for years: the Bible says husbands have a harder duty in marriage than their wives.

First, the background. A complementarian is someone who believes that God has ordained a certain roles for husbands and wives in marriage. The husband is supposed to be the leader, and the wife is to submit to him and his leadership, in the way that the church submits to Christ. While both parents might lead when it comes to their children, the wife is still submissive to her husband.

This view offends a lot of people (especially those of us who think the New Testament teaches no such thing). In an effort to offset the usual protests against this teaching, complementarians might tell you that the husband’s job in marriage is actually harder than the wife’s, because she has to submit as the church does to Christ while he has to love her like Christ does the church, going so far as to give up his life for her.

Someone recently said this in a conversation with me. I disagreed with him, and I responded by making the following points. I never heard a response, so I’m posting them now to see what people think.

1. Each of us is commanded to demonstrate Christ-like love in our lives. It’s how the rest of the world knows that we are disciples of Jesus (John 13:34-35). We’re commanded to love each other as Christ has loved us and to show the same type of forgiveness to our spiritual siblings as we have received from Him (Matt. 6:14-15; Colossians 3:13). This includes wives, as well as husbands (and singles, divorcees, etc.) I don’t see how this argument proves that husbands have a harder job in marriage, because everyone who’s a Christian, including wives, has the responsibility to love as Christ does.

2. This argument relies on a misunderstanding of how, exactly, the church “submits” to Christ. How does the Bride submit to her heavenly Husband? Is it not by trusting and loving him and, if necessary, being willing to lay down her life for His sake?

That last part should be sound familiar, and for good reason: it is exactly the same thing that husbands are commanded to do for their wives in Ephesians 5:25-30.

So I think the answer is no, husbands do not, generally speaking, have the harder job in marriage. I imagine that being a husband and being a wife is going to be tough for both people, and sometimes that role is going to be harder on one party than the other.

But I think it’s simply wrong to argue, on the basis of Ephesians in particular and the Bible in general, that husbands have the divinely appointed responsibility to fulfill the harder role in marriage.

Thoughts?

‘Reading the Holy Scriptures’

This is a great quote from St. Mark the Ascetic on how to read the Bible. I can’t count the number of times I’ve done the exact opposite …

When reading the Holy Scriptures, he who is humble and engaged in spiritual work will apply everything to himself and not to someone else.

(On the Spiritual Law)

(Found at Classical Christianity)