Loose Ends: Banned Books and Bad Guys
I was reminded of this when there was such a kerfuffle here over my reading some books on the concept of universal reconciliation.
When I was in Calvary Chapel the list was longer than some of the books that were on it. Forbidden were anything “contemplative”, anything “emergent”, anything “New Age” and above all else, anything that was “Catholic”. “Reformed” or “Calvinist” were wicked as well.
Being the kind of person I am, those became the books I had to read.
What I found out was that the fundy Inquisition had no idea what was really in those books, nor did they understand the content enough to make a reasoned judgment on it.
They only knew their tradition and banned books the reason all book bannners do…out of fear of losing control of people and having their ignorance exposed.
They will tell you they fear people will be led astray…but they aren’t nearly as worried about people straying from orthodoxy as they are of people straying out of their control.
So…read deeply and read broadly.
If a certain doctrine or tradition interests you read the best books for it and the best ones opposed to it.
The same Holy Spirit that indwells the book banners indwells you…thinking is safe…God equipped you with a brain…use it.
The posthumous revelations of Jean Vanier’s abuse have raised age old questions again.
What do we do with the work of people who we find to have been as sinful as they were saintly?
What do we do with their legacy?
Barth was an unrepentant adulterer, Yoder was a monster, the list goes on and on…starting with “righteous” Lot who was last seen drunk in a cave impregnating his daughters.
We are all simultaneously saint and sinner, with clever ways of compartmentalizing both.
Some bad folks have written some awesome theology.
I don’t try to explain this, I accept it as proof of the human condition.
We are capable of learning from the good work and the bad behavior without erasing either…
The mixed information about the coronavirus is both dangerous and shameful.
We will politicize even the plague these days…
I almost forgot… Kate Bowlers reflection on Lent…good stuff…