Friday, July 22, 2011

The Vengeful God of the Bible

Owen Brown features in the BBC Wales Today talking sense after a vicar exhibited the Bible verses he thinks show how nasty god is and then burned the remnants of his cuttings. You can watch it on iPlayer BBC Wales News from about 1min50 into the programme, for five minutes, available until 7pm on Saturday.

The Reverend Geraint op Iorwerth is free like the rest of us to take offense at the Bible - better than apathy! Strangely the Bible's own offense at the Old Testament is the extreme extent of the LORD's love for his people....

And I don't really mind the Rev cutting up a Bible - good to engage with it, though cutting up any book feels sacrilegious! - it's great to engage with the text, I read mine with a pen in hand.

The problem is that when you play pick n mix with the Bible you become god, you stop letting god speaking and just define you own deity, dressed up in Bible language. It's the advantage of churches preaching it page by page, means they can't dodge the harder bits, or over focus on the preachers favourite bits.

As it happens, I met with Owen earlier today for a tour of his 66 exhibition that's at the Norwegian Church Arts Centre in Cardiff Bay until Saturday 23rd July. It's a great photographic exploration of the Bible to mark 400 years since the King James Bible was published. I love his vision for arts and for the Bible.

Owen's challenge is for us to read afresh - to not just take others opinion but to read it for ourselves. But doing that means you have to read the verses the Welsh vicar doesn't like as well as the other verses... to take the whole and see what is said.

How do you hold things together?

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