Living Biblically

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I'm stuck in Orlando. Someone has to be here. I'm teaching for RTS, but "stuck" in the sense that I have to spend the obligatory nights alone in a hotel (which when you're inside, could be almost anywhere in the western world). To amuse myself, I've picked up the latest book by A. J. Jacobs, The Year of Living Biblically. It's probably going to turn out very irreverent. Bishop Spong has given it the thumbs up so it's not promising to be a "good read" in any sense that I will want boast about. But so far it is both very moving and very funny! He begins by telling us that he went to a large Christian Bookstore in Manhattan.... "It's a huge Wal-Mart-sized store with fluorescent lighting and a long counter of cash registers at the front. My salesman is named Chris, a soft-spoken guy with the body of an Olympic power lifter. He shows me tables covered with Bibles of all shapes, sizes, and linguistic slants...
    He points out one Bible I might want, It's designed to look exactly like a Seventeen magazine: An attractive (if long-sleeved) model graces the front, next to cover lines like What's Your Spiritual IQ?" Open it up and you'll find sidebars such as "Rebecca the Control Freak."
    "This one's good if you're on the subway and are too embarrassed to be seen reading the Bible," says Chris, "Because no one will ever know it's a Bible." It's an odd and poignant selling point. You know you're in a secular city when it's considered more acceptable for a grown man to read a teen girl's magazine than the Bible." (p.9).

I'll get back to you with some more lines, so long as they are, well, acceptable.
Posted January 14, 2008 @ 10:47 PM by Derek Thomas

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