Harvard University's resident preacher presents a lively look at the Bible and the ever-evolving role of the Good Book in American politics, culture, ...Show synopsisHarvard University's resident preacher presents a lively look at the Bible and the ever-evolving role of the Good Book in American politics, culture, and in our own lives. With compassion, humor, and insight, Gomes shares timeless wisdom and comfort, helping readers reconcile the Bible with themselves and their world, and reclaim biblical interpretation from those who would misuse its passage to alienate and exclude.Hide synopsis
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The late Peter Gomes wrote this book in 1996 to tell us that HOW we read scripture is is as important as reading it. He says, "One must not use the scriptures as the drunk uses the lamppost - for support rather than for illumination." Gomes, minister in the Memorial Church at Harvard and Professor of Christian Morals at Harvard College until his death, is hardly a firebrand of liberalism. He delivered the benediction at the inauguration of President Reagan and the inaugural sermon for President Bush at the National Cathedral. He also happens to be a homosexual. Homosexuality is one of the issues he tackles, but the book is about the wider issues often forgotten in the sometimes acrimonious debate about social issues like this. He says, for instance, that doctrines of inerrancy and infallibility are often "found" in the Bible because we BRING them TO the Bible, not because they are THERE. Fundamentalists won't like this book but serious Christian students of the Bible will. It is one of the best books on Biblical interpretation, surpassed only by the more scholarly works of James Barr (e.g., The Scope and Authority of the Bible) and it is much easier reading for the general public.
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