Friday, December 12, 2008

Some Additional Thoughts On Newsweeks Bad Theology/Journalism

This excerpt from over at MereComments:
....If secularists are going to increasingly take Christian Scriptures and doctrines out into the public square for either a flogging or a makeover (for their agenda), then articulate Christians are going to have to bring their Bibles back into the public square lest innocent and/or uninformed bystanders get the wrong ideas. We were told for years to keep the Bible out of it: this a public square under the supervision of the secular state...More

Within the comments there are some nice links to discussion of the above over at GetReligion:

What's the Standard:

It is no exaggeration to say the piece was an embarrassment. My analysis of the belly flop is here. On a radio show yesterday, the host asked me whether the piece was more offensive to my sensibilities as a journalist or a Christian. I went with “journalist” since the piece wasn’t anywhere legitimate enough, theologically speaking, to be considered seriously. As a journalist, it violated almost every rule in the book. It failed to accurately represent the viewpoint being scrutinized. It was riddled with errors. It was driven by emotion. More than a few journalists — one at a competing weekly news magazine — wrote to me yesterday asking, “Where was her editor?”...
...Yes, that’s right. The editor of Newsweek thinks that argument from the Bible is “the worst kind of fundamentalism.” Can you believe that? Can that be serious? Proper exegesis is difficult and requires a great deal of understanding of languages, types of writing styles, history and tradition — but determining what the Bible teaches is very serious work. Lutherans such as myself believe that Scripture is the only divine source and the norm for our teachings. That may be shocking to a liberal Episcopalian but to call such exegesis intellectually bankrupt is ignorant. And Biblical exegesis sort of defines the “great Judeo-Christian tradition.” Perhaps Meacham’s focus on civil religion and American history has made him blind to this fact.
We’ve noticed the tendency of the media to use the term “fundamentalist” to describe any conservative Christian. There was a particularly bad example of this in the
Los Angeles Times earlier this year when I think the author was using “fundamentalist” to mean “people whose politics I disagree with.”
But if the worst kind of fundamentalist is someone who quotes Scripture in a policy discussion, the word fundamentalist has no meaning. I also question whether, say, Meacham considers
religious liberals who use, say, the Sermon on the Mount to argue for domestic policy to be the worst kind of fundamentalists. Based on past coverage, I’m going to say no. In fact, this piece — and Miller’s — basically skirt the fact that the vast, vast majority of religious groups share a support of heterosexual marriage.
But apart from that, this bizarre preachment suffers from the same ignorance of the Miller piece — that opposition to same-sex marriage is based on Scripture instead of a wide variety of sources and tradition. Opposition to same-sex marriage is mostly based in Natural Law. I feel as if I’m doing a public service by repeating this for journalists but conservatives support defining marriage as a sexual union between a husband and wife, based around the ideas that babies are created via intercourse, that procreation is necessary for the survival of society and that babies need fathers as well as mothers.

The next one deserves its own post: Sola scriptura minus the scriptura

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